NITDA launches digital economy employability programme in NYSC camps

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched its Digital Economy Employability Programme (DEEP) in collaboration with the National Youths Service Corps(NYSC)across the country to ensure digital literacy.

Brandpowerng reports that Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA at the launch of the programme in the FCT NYSC orientation camp, said the programme would focus on providing the youths with modern and relevant digital literacy and skills.

Inuwa said that the programme was part of implementation process of the 8th pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030.

The 8th pillar, which was Digital Literacy and Skills, was aimed at ensuring that all Nigerians acquire relevant digital literacy and skills to thrive in the 4th industrial revolution.

Represented by Dr Ayo Bakare, Deputy Director, Digital Economy Department, Inuwa said the skills would expose, prepare and connect corps members to in-demand career opportunities that were available in the global digital economy.

“Additionally, this programme will help create the opportunity for Nigerians to also create job opportunities within the digital economy space.

“This will ultimately help increase the contribution of ICT to the country’s Gross Domestic Product currently at 18.44 per cent.

“The outcome of this programme will help the country improve on its efforts at moving the country from a resource-based economy to a digital and knowledge-based economy.

“This programme will particularly focus on trending digital technologies and digital business strategies that will help participants discover opportunities in the global digital economy,” he said.

Inuwa said that according to an international tech company, about 149 million new digital jobs would be available by 2025.

He further quoted the company as saying that 800 million people would need to learn digital skills by 2030 to effectively perform their non digital jobs.

Inuwa said:’The implication of this projection is that many Nigerians, both in the IT and non-IT space must acquire digital literacy and skills in order to thrive in this current fourth industrial revolution.”

The D-G also said that Nigeria with about 50 per cent youths population out of about 218 million people, had enough human capital potential to drive the data economy.

According to him, that was the agency organised the programme in seven NYSC strategic camps.

Inuwa said: “We believe that the NYSC camps hold the brightest and the most intelligent Nigerian youths.

“We believe that corps members will not only benefit from this programme, but will also create a multiplier effect.

“This is by transferring the knowledge and skills acquired during the course of this programme to other Nigerians.

“This will help the country realise its target of 95 per cent digitally literate Nigerians by 2030.”

Inuwa  emphasised that the country needed to embrace digital transformation, adding that the world was moving away from a natural resource-based economy to a digital and knowledge-based economy.

He urged thecorps members to leverage on the opportunity, saying,” because it could launch them on the path of being the next sensational icons in the global digital space.”

The FCT NYSC Coordinator, Mr Suleman Abdul, urged the camembers to be part of the programme that would translate to national development.

Mr Tayo Olosunde, Executive Director, MindTheGap Foundation, an implementing partner of DEEP, said the NYSC was the most strategic platform to change the narrative of job creation in the country.

Olosunde said it was beyond spending one year to fatherland, adding,” the NYSC programme is constant and the structure could help correct unemployment issues.

“The kind of partnership NITDA is bringing for this programme will provide the content and linkages.

“When these youths are empowered, they will go to their place of primary assignment with skills.

“An employer will be excited to receive a corps member because they know you have strategy to move their business to the next level.”

Brandpowerng reports that highlights of the event included Platoon presentations by corps members on “Digital Skills are Compulsory for Every Youth that Wants to get a Decent Job or Build a Successful Business.’’