The federal government of Nigeria hopes to achieve 95 percent digital literacy in the country by the year 2030. Kashifu Abdullahi, the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said this on Tuesday at an Innovation, Research, and Software summit organised by the National Association of Computing Students in Abuja.
Abdullahi speaking on the topic, ‘Technology Renaissance for Innovation and Productivity, disclosed that the government had trained 200,000 youths in the use of productivity tools, digital content creation, and digital marketing this year alone. “Globally, the most valuable companies in the world are in information technology. Today, even the richest countries are getting more money from the digital economy than resources like crude oil,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Moreover, the NITDA boss said the Federal Government launched the digital Nigeria online portal where youths can go online to acquire training in digital literacy. “We also have the NITDA academy, which is equally a self-learning platform. The government is developing a framework to license private organisation to also carry out digital literacy training because we know that the government cannot do it alone,” he stated.
The director-general of NITDA explained the coronavirus pandemic as a blessing in disguise, reiterating that the new norm experience created an opportunity for technology and innovation to drive economic activities in Nigeria. “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,” Abdullahi said.
Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, the executive director of Financial Services Innovators, in her speech, regretted the fact 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.
Olamilekan Abolade, the president of the National Association of Computing Students, in his remark 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 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,” he said.