The Federal Government has empowered 100 Nigerians with digital tools including laptops, free one-year internet subscription and cash, towards driving Nigeria’s digital economy.
Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy presented the items at the closing of a digital job creation training in Abuja on Wednesday.
Pantami said that the gesture was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s digital economic drive in the country.
He explained that digital skills were no longer optional, as they had become a necessity, noting that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector was a key enabler of the economy.
He said that all sectors of the economy including health, security, agriculture and education, relied on digital technologies to strive for the future.
Stating the significance of the programme, he said that digital skill had become a useful competence across sectors.
He reaffirmed that the focus of the world had changed from certificates to skills acquisition and advised Nigerians to be patient and ambiguities on digital skill acquisition.
“This is a digital training organised by the government under the supervision of the ministry in order to create more job opportunities for our citizens within and outside the country.
“This is the third. We are in the pilot phase, trying to validate the model we have developed.
“We try to study the existing gaps in the digital world, come up with training to fill the gap.
“This is what we have been doing, it is all about creating jobs for our citizens in line with the priority issues of this administration, particularly in the area of economic development,” he said.
The minister, however, said that the ministry also plans to organise six other training programme with a minimum of 100 participants in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
“Within this period we want to organise six pieces of training with a minimum of 100 participants in each geo-political zones of the country.
“To be fair, the only criteria is to be able to read and write, however, the training is many, it all depends on the specific training you want to partake.
“When it is basic training you only need to be able to read and write, for intermediary training you need the basic knowledge to be available.
“While on advance training, you will discover that the requirements, conditions are many, it all depends on the training you want to partake in, but to be fair it is free for all our citizens,” he said.
In his goodwill message, the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Abubakar Muhammed lauded the minister for walking the talking by making sure the job creation programme was realised.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Director, ICT, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Samuel Okoye, urged the participants to use the acquired digital skills to transform their businesses.
Okoye noted that the training has been able to develop the digital skills of participants in line with the objective of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
He advised the beneficiaries to use the skills learnt to better Nigerian society, especially in the digital space.
One of the participants, Mr Saheed Aiyegboka thanked the government for the opportunity, stating that the skills learnt would greatly impact on his life.
Similarly, another participant, Ms Dorcas Kowa, said that she had learnt how to operate her business digitally, saying that the training would propel her business exponentially in the internet space.