Digital Innovation Pact for Northern Youths Underway

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Emma Okonji

The Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD), in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Kano State government and the Bayero University, Kano are on the verge of signing a digital innovation pact for youths of Northern Nigeria.

The decision formed part of the discussions at this year’s Nigeria Digital Innovation Conference held at the Bayero University, Kano last week.

The conference tagged ‘Building a new Nigeria in a digital economy’, which was well attended by youths from various states of the North west region, was organised to bridge the widening digital poles between the Northern and Southern axis of the country.

According to the Executive Director of CECAD, Bayero Agabi, said the conference, which had in attendance the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Garba Umar Danbatta; the Vice Chancellor Bayero University Kano and other stakeholders from the public and private sector, was organised to see how Nigeria, its businesses and innovations are responding to the digital competitive world.

He said from the interaction, there is a gap in the area of capacity building among the youths in the Northern part of the country, which has informed decision to give opportunities to them in an effort to engender a total knowledge-based economy.

“We have identified a gap in the area of capacity building for the youths. We are already in discussions with our partners to bridge that gap by exposure the youths to ICT tools that would make them competitive and create jobs for themselves and others,” Bayero said.

According to him, “lacuna exists in our educational system where ICT-related curricula have become outdated and out of touch with the reality in the industry, making the ivory towers produce students, whose skills are at variance with the industry skills requirements.This has to be addressed, since innovation can only be achieved through the right education, backed by the right policies.