By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
THE Federal Government has trained over 200,000 youths in information technology, saying Nigeria will achieve 95 percent digital literacy in the country by 2030.
Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi said this in Abuja at the annual Innovation, Research, and Software summit organised by the National Association of Computing Students in collaboration with Financial Services Innovators (FSI).
Abdullahi disclosed that the 200,000 youths were trained in digital content creation, digital marketing, and the use of productivity tools.
He said, “Globally, the most valuable companies in the world are in Information Technology. Today, even the richest countries are getting money from digital economy than resources like crude oil.
“At NITDA, we crafted our strategic roadmap and action plan 2021 to 2024 with seven strategic pillars to help youths benefit from the national digital economy policy.
“We have a target of achieving 95 percent digital literacy by 2030. So, we have launched many initiatives to train people. This year alone, we have trained close to 200,000 Nigerians in different areas of digital literacy.”
According to him, the Federal Government has also launched the digital Nigeria portal where youths can go online to acquire training in digital literacy.
Abdullahi described the COVID-19 pandemic as a blessing in disguise, saying the experience created an opportunity for technology and innovation to drive economic activities in the country.
“We understand that Information Technology is dynamic. So, what we are trying to do is to help youths use innovation to create prosperity for our country.
“Just recently, we identified five start-ups, and we are working with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council to give them between N15m to N20m each as a grant to develop their products,” the Director-General stated.
Speaking also, the Executive Director of Financial Services Innovators, Mrs Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, however, lamented that innovation was yet to be democratised in Nigeria.
“Democratising innovation will create products at affordable rates for Nigerians. This is when we, as a nation, will fully achieve digital, social, financial, and economic inclusion,” she said.
In his remarks, the President, National Association of Computing Students, Comrade Olamilekan Abolade, said the body was focused on empowering a new crop of innovative young men and women who will add technology value to every sector of the economy and solve real life problems.
According to him, “We want to use our power as students to push for the rebirth of technology, which is the enabler for adequate innovations and ensuring productivity.”