By Emmanuel Elebeke
The National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA, has began training of 100 women in the North Central zone on application of ICT tools for small scale businesses and entrepreneurship.
The participants were drawn from six states of Niger, Kwara, Benue, Plateau, Kogi, and Nasarawa as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The training which is taking place at Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital is part of efforts to close gender gap and inequality in ICT related ventures. The training is also to further empowered the women to be productive and contribute to the economic development of the country.
In his address, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa state, Engr Abdullahi Sule said it had become necessary for the state to diversify its economy from solid minerals resources to ICT and knowledge-based economy.
“I am glad to say this afternoon that Nasarawa is following the lead to a better and more prosperous future as we diversify our economy from solid minerals to ICT and knowledge based economy or digital economy.
“This is where the future is pointing to and we cannot afford to be left behind because ICT in the nearest future would contribute to GDP more than oil.
ICT would not only bring about efficiency and improved productivity in governance but reduce the challenges of fraud,” the Governor said.
In order to make the dream of the state a reality, Governor Sule revealed that 30 percent of the 2020 budget was devoted to education and information and communication technology .
In his speech, the Director General of NITDA, Malam Abdullahi Inuwa Kashifu explained that each of those benefitting from the empowerment programme was expected to train three others on the application of digital tools for entrepreneurship and other ICT related businesses.
He further informed that the programme was part of efforts by the present administration to lift 10 million Nigerians out of poverty, noting that Nasarawa was chosen due to its huge investment in ICT and digital economy.
The NITDA boss, however announced that participants at the weeklong empowerment programme would be given laptops, internet facilities as well some stipend to kick start their businesses.