Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Administrator of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Dr. Ike Adinde, has advocated for the acquisition of digital skills by both the educated and uneducated Nigerians in order to further grow the economy. He stated this in Abuja recently when the institute hosted a one-day interactive forum with human resource managers and information communications technology (ICT) directors to get feedback on the institution’s performance in 2018.

On Nigeria’s low investment in human capital development, citing the recent World Bank report on Nigeria that the country is still battling with low investment in human capital development, Adinde said digital skills acquisition would change the narrative and position Nigeria with comparative advantage that is driven by technology.

According to Adinde, most skills that abound in our economy today cannot drive a modern economy, saying the World Bank report indicates that we need develop digital skills that is needed by modern economy.

“We know it and we can see it from a cursory observation of the kind of skills that abound in our economy. Today, like I said in my earlier speech, most people are unemployed not because they don’t have education but because they don’t have the requisite skills that the industry needs. So we can distinguish between unemployment as a result of jobs not being available and unemployment as a result of not having the employable skills that industry demands and that is where the World Bank report is important.

“The World Bank report is important to Nigeria to the extent that it also indicate we need to develop skills that the modern economy needs, like the digital skills. Many of our young people do not have the requisite digital skills to play in the modern economy. That is where DBI comes in. Most of the programmes that we offer today are designed to help our young people and graduates across all disciplines to acquire digital skills that will enable them to mainstream into the modern economy,” Adinde stated.

He added: “We believe that with what the NCC and other government agencies are doing, there is every likelihood of bridging the gap soon.

“DBI is driving the initiative of the national occupational skills system, which will target vocational skills development in ICT. We are looking at a target of 10,000 beneficiaries annually if the programme that we are unleashing works. As we are currently working with the National Board for Technical Education (NABTED) to train external assessors and quality verifiers, DBI wants to eventually becomes an award body for those skills. So that once you pass through the assessment we can award you a certificate that places you at a certain competency level.”
Adinde said the major aim of the forum was to appraise the performance of the institution on the training of the workforce of both the private and public sector so that the institution can effectively plan for the coming year.

“The main aim of this 2018 forum is to interact with human resource managers and ICT directors on how DBI’s training calendar has fared in 2018 especially in the ICT sector. The feedback from this interaction will go a long way in helping DBI to redesign and re-present its programmes for the coming year. we solicit for their cooperation so that we can work together to develop their workforce, especially in the ICT area where DBI is very strong,” Adinde said.

The Chairman, Governing Board at DBI, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, in his keynote address agreed with the institution’s administrator by saying: “As we are all aware, the digital age is altering how we do things – socially, economically and politically. The increased pace of globalisation and technological advancement is expanding and the divide between Africa and other regions is closing gradually.”