A project tagged ‘DigiKat’, has disclosed plans to ensure that no fewer than four million people in Katsina State get digitised before the end of year 2026.
Malam Muhammad Abbas-Usman, the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Lead of the project, disclosed this during a one-day town hall meeting in Katsina, the state capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised to highlight the impact of the project on youths, general populace and the state’s economy.
Abbas-Usman added that the project was a transformative initiative aimed at digitising the state and Nigeria with the ultimate goal to educate, empower, upskill and make individuals and groups digitally compliant.
“It was also designed to empower the people of the state with essential digital skills and create a conducive environment for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The aim is also to make the state digitally compliant and improve the ease of doing business, create job opportunities for youths, and narrow the digital divide.
“The project will also help the state to become one of the largest digital consumer bases in the country, and provide opportunities for local-level businesses to become global,” he said.
He said the project would improve public services by making public servants computer literate and improving their productivity.
The project lead also said it would develop efficient trade mechanisms, and encourage technology and digital transformation of individuals and groups.
“The major goals of the DigiKat is to make the state digital and thus improve the ease of doing businesses, help Katsina State youth to acquire relevant digital skills.
“It will help the youth transit their skills into gainful employment, increase their income earning potential and assist a portion of the unemployed youths in the state,” he said.
He said the project would provide youths with computer literacy through online courses, library and digitisation training, online clinic and market, innovation lab and DigiKat pay.
According to him, it will include agriculture digitisation initiative, youth and women entrepreneurship training, tourism and culture promotion, art and culture hub, E- library and digital archive and digital history preservation.
Dr Muttaqa Rabe-Darma, the President of the project’s Advisory Board, suggested that the digitalisation of teachers through this project would help pupils in class to assimilate more.
“It is one of the major ways that the target of digitising the state can be achieved and become sustainable,” he said.
He added that millions were spent to create avenues to encourage teachers on digitisation, especially by creating a Facebook page for the teachers to know its importance but the project later died.
He further said that they later created an application, called go-teachers-class, to enable the teachers to learn how to teach in the class.
“We later introduced an online library, in which we attached competition for the patronisers. But we stopped all because the teachers were not patronizing the project,” Rabe-Darma said.
“Then we introduced an online hospital, with 356 doctors, but at the end of the day we realised only 141 patients. The acceptability of the initiatives is the major problem.
“Even during COVID-19 pandemic, we introduced online classes, but our people were not utilizing the opportunity, that was the most annoying,” he said.
He, however, expressed confidence that the renewed effort of the project could be achieved due to the political will of the present administration in the state.