FG Releases Blueprint on Digital Economy, Plans to Train 3m Tech Talents

•Prioritises digital jobs by 2027

Emma Okonji

 The Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, yesterday, released a strategic blueprint for digital economy.

The blueprint focuses on five major pillars of knowledge, policy, infrastructure, innovation and trade, as roadmap outlining the goals and objectives of the ministry.

The strategic plan, which was released via the X (Twitter) handle of the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, highlighted some initiatives and projects that would be achieved by 2027.

Under the knowledge pillar, which was the first on the agenda, the Minister said government would work with industry stakeholders to train three million tech talents and prioritise job placement by the end of 2027.

According to the Minister, within the same period, the level of digital literacy of Nigerians would increase to 70 per cent, with a plan to position Nigeria to be among the top 25 percent of research globally in six key areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Blockchain Technology and Additive Manufacturing.

According to the strategic plan, “Government is committed to talent development. We have set the ambitious goal to train three million early to mid-career technical talents over the next four years.

“The trainings will cover tech-enabled and tech-adjacent skills, core tech competencies and advanced proficiencies, designed to power our workforce to thrive in a constantly evolving technology landscape.

“Ultimately, our strategic intent is to train at least 1.5 million of the skilled professionals within our local talent pool and facilitate opportunities for another 1.5 million of our talented individuals to excel in the global talent marketplace, preferably through remote opportunities.”    

Under the second pillar, which is centered around policy, the Minister said when properly designed and executed, the policy would provide a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.

“Over the next four years, our policies will focus on encouraging investment, research and development and the protection of intellectual property. By so doing, we will attract talents and investments to stimulate the nation’s innovation ecosystem.

“We have identified nine priority policy, regulatory and strategic initiatives for review and implementation, which includes: National Broadband Plan, National Policy on Digital Public Infrastructure, National Policy on Telecommunications, National Blockchain Policy, National Digital Economy Bill, Nigeria Startup Bill, National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, National Data Strategy and National Digital Literacy Framework,” Tijani said.

In the area of broadband review and implementation, the Minister said the government would support the exiting plan to achieve 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.   

The Minister said the third pillar, which focuses on infrastructure, would address spectrum management, digital public infrastructure, among others, with a plan to achieve up to 50 per cent utilisation of identified spaces for innovation and tech related initiatives.

He also said the fourth pillar of the strategic blueprint, which focuses on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Capital, would provide a roadmap for Nigeria to harness the potential of innovation, entrepreneurship and capital, as catalysts to transform Nigeria’s digital economy.

The Minister, in the document, said the fifth pillar of the strategic blueprint would serve as a roadmap in positioning Nigeria to become a major player in the African and global technology ecosystem, designed to grow inter-African trade by 500 per cent by 2027.

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