Minister Harps on Boosting Nigeria’s Economy through ICT


Emma Okonji

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has said the ministry will continue to do everything possible to leverage Information and Communications Technology (ICT), in order to rejuvenate Nigeria’s economy as well as encourage massive online job creation through the implementation of various initiatives.

The minister who spoke in Ile-Ife, Osun State, while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Ife Youths Economic Summit (IYES 2017), said: “In this onerous task, 28,800 unemployed youths nominees across various states of the federation were trained in online job (Micro-work and E-lancing).

The ministry also said it has established incubation hubs in Lagos and Calabar, which are private and public sector collaboration aimed at catalysing the ICT industry by helping Nigerian ICT entrepreneurs create successful businesses, support the interactions between innovations and their partners and developing indigenous skills and capabilities. He added that the target of this initiative is to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015.

Striving to make the ICT sector the 4th pillar of the nation’s economy in terms of contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Adebayo said the sector, which is the fastest growing and which has contributed 9.58 per cent to the country’s GDP, trained 1000 girls in ICT in collaboration with Huawei Technologies and have sent 20 best amongst the 1000 girls already in Nigeria to China in April this year for further training.

The ministry, according to him, plans to build technical and job-ready ICT skills to replace expatriate expertise with highly skilled Nigerians, increase the supply of local highly skilled talent to a fast growing sector and enhance ICT industry employment opportunities.

He said that so far, the Digital Bridge Institute and other tertiary institutions are concluding an agreement with IBM Skills Development and Research Institutes to train 25,000 resources in five years (2013-2018) per institute.
“Similarly, partnership agreement has been signed with Cisco to build Cisco Academy for highest certification (CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert) in Nigeria and with Nokia on MLab Project. The implementation of the Nokia Life programme for farmers is also at the advanced stage.

“The modules to be covered in the one month following my opening addresses have been carefully chosen; software development, which is at the foundation of ICT because you need to write the instruction for the computer in a language it will understand, the study of various electronics technologies.

“They include computer hardware software, operating systems, web-based information and applications, telephones and other telecommunication and multimedia products, e-commerce, such as the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet and web enabling technologies which are products that can be used through or in conjunction with the world wide web to surf the internet.”
Adebayo further said that youths remained the cardinal members of the internet ecosystem and that the ministry is strategically inclined to bringing up initiatives to cater for the interest of the nation’s youth population and working closely with various partners at national, regional and global levels to ensure massive youth employment while fast-tracking the rejuvenation of the national economy.