Certiport, a global Information Technology (IT) training and certification institute, in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and other training institutions, has announced fresh plans to train 60 million Nigerians on digital literacy in three years.
The Vice President, International Sales, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Certiport, Jan Day, made the disclosure in Abuja, when a team from the company, including Commit Technology & Consult, its country representative in Nigeria, paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu. The visit was to present an award to the minister for his efforts in driving the Nigerian Digital Literacy Council initiative, as well as to intimate the minister on Certiport’s plan to bridge the digital literacy gap that exists in Nigeria, through the training of 60 million Nigerians.
While welcoming Certiport to Nigeria and for its initiative, Shittu said government was in the forefront of developing Nigerians in technology skills, through government support for technology start-ups in the country.
“The world is now a global village, but we see a gap in the Nigerian educational system, which we call ‘the digital divide’. We are in Nigeria to help the ministry of education and the ministry of communication to bridge the digital divide, by training up to sixty million Nigerians in digital literacy,” Day said.
He said Certiport was pleased that Nigeria has a digital literacy council that would drive skills acquisition in digital literacy and for that reason they awarded the the Minister of Communications, who is currently driving the digital literacy initiative in the country.
“Diversification of the Nigerian economy is important to make the economy stronger. In today’s world, no country is dependent on one sector, because they have seen the need for diversification and I am happy that Nigeria is diversifying in the areas of ICT and Agriculture. In order to make the diversification process a lot faster, we have decided to assist in the area of training and skills acquisition in digital literacy for Nigerians,” Day added.
The CEO of Commit Technologies & Consult, Dr. Niran Oyekale, said the initiative to train Nigerians on digital literacy became necessary, following the prolific IT skills acquisition, offered by several training institutes for Nigerians, but are without the actual training on digital literacy.
“If Nigeria must be an investor-friendly country, then its citizens must be digitally literate. Investors would like to meet a whole lot of people who are digitally literate and would not want to invest in a country that is still backward in the area of digital literacy, hence the willingness of Certiport to train Nigerians in the area of digital literacy, should be commended,” Oyekale said.
“Nigerians need to have digital skills to make them employable. Nigerians do not get international jobs because of their low level in digital literacy and we need to step that up,” Oyekale added.
He explained that the Nigerian population on Facebook is over 18 million, yet that does not make them digital literate, because the platform is a mere platform for social interaction.
Managing Partner to Commit Technologies, Mrs. Yemisi Akinrinade of Concinnity Consulting, said: “In the 20th century, literacy was defined as the ability to read, write, and solve arithmetic, but in the 21st century, that has changed and literacy has gone beyond reading, writing, and solving arithmetic. The 21st century is about digital literacy, which is the ability to use digital technologies to evaluate, create and access information.”