Saturday , November 27 2021
Digital Nigeria Programme will Boost Nigerians' Digital Literacy, Skills - Pantami

Digital Nigeria Programme will Boost Nigerians’ Digital Literacy, Skills – Pantami

… As Minister Launches Digital Nigeria Portal, Mobile App

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,  Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has said the unveiling of the Digital Nigeria Programme will provide a national platform for improving digital skills as well as digital literacy in the country.

Pantami who made this statement stressed the importance of embracing and adopting the digital economy in today’s world.

In his remarks at the official unveiling of Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App held today stated that the move is part of the implementation of our National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.

According to him, the journey towards developing Nigeria’s Digital Economy commenced when the Nation’s President, Muhammadu Buhari approved the ministry’s request of redesignation of the Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, along with an upgrade of the mandate, on the 17th of October 2019. Which was then adopted by the Federal Executive Council on the 23rd of October 2019 and the implementation of the revised mandate of the Ministry commenced on the 24th of October 2019.

 The Minister noted that although the significant increase in the contribution of ICT to the GDP based on the Q2 2020 GDP was put at 17.83% as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, the effect of the digital economy is far greater than the ICT contribution shows.

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According to him, the Digital Economy encompasses ICT and all Digital Services, which includes all online activities in financial institutions, eCommerce, online tax payment, any form of online payment, online banking, etc. When we consider these, the contribution of the Digital Economy could be up to 45% or even more.

Speaking further, Pantami said today’s launch is towards the implementation of the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar

The Communications Minister stated that this is a follow up to the President’s flagging off of the Digital Nigeria Programme on the 19th of March 2020 to support Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training for Nigerians.

“The Digital Nigeria Programme will provide a National Platform for improving the digital literacy of Nigerians and it will enable Nigerians from all walks of life to acquire high-level digital skills.  It will have a strong emphasis on Skills for Jobs and will include Nigerians in all strata of society, such as youth, women, children, internally displaced persons, people living with disabilities, etc.

According to him, “we are championing a paradigm shift that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills. Degrees are only meant to validate skills. This is a growing trend across the globe. For instance, China recently started the process of turning 600 of the country’s general universities into skill centers. Also, the President of the United States of America signed an Executive Order on the 26th of June 2020 directing the federal government to lay emphasis on skills rather than degrees when hiring staff. The curriculum vitae of today should have 2 main parts- soft skills and hard skills.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognizes the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy.”

Pantami also posited that it will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

“We recently provided a platform to support the Digital Nigeria program, enabling Nigerians to receive training in diverse digital skills.

“Today, we are formally launching the portal and the ‘Digital Nigeria’ Mobile App. We are committed to enabling Nigerians acquire high-level digital skills from the comfort of their homes.

 “The Digital Nigeria programme will provide a platform to empower Nigerians to develop relevant skills and build innovative solutions to address challenges within our community.” he said.

Other objectives for launching the platforms include to promote the development and distribution of instructional materials in electronic format and to create an enabling environment for building the capacity of Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through e-learning channels.

The minister appreciated the contribution and partnership of the African Development Bank and the Microsoft towards the development of the initiative.

The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships as a key requirement for the successful development of our National Digital Economy.

The training content covers areas like Digital Skills, Productivity Tools, Web Development, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Database Administration, Networking, Programming and Internet of Things.  There is also training on soft skills like entrepreneurship, research, marketing, business and how to create excellent resumes. As such, a wide spectrum of users, from beginners to advanced students, can find appropriate courses.

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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