Habila Victor, Kaduna
The KAD ICT Hub in partnership with the French Development Agency (FDA) would train one million residents in Kaduna State in four years, on Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Mr Yusuf Bashir, the Chief Executive Officer, KAD ICT Hub, made this known at the opening of a two-day workshop in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Bashir added that the efforts would create 200,000 jobs in the next four years.
He explained that the project was in line with the Nigerian Innovation and ICT Entrepreneurship Vision by building the digital capacity of the Nigerian population to boost employment of youths in the country.
“To this end, the KAD ICT Hub and AFD digital skills acquisition programmes for young residents of Kaduna state as a pilot project,” he said.
He identified the target beneficiaries to include youths, especially students in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions, and those various income groups, with emphasis on low-income demography.
He added that other beneficiaries would be graduates, out of school or dropouts, young unemployed adults with keen interest to develop ICT skills to have better access to employment.
“This initiative will contribute to preparing the current and next generation of youths in Kaduna state for entrepreneurship and secure fulfilling 21st century jobs in the technology sector.
“The training will be conducted via online platforms and 46 ICT centres that would be established, two in each of the 23 local government areas of the state,” Bashir added.
Mr Aso Vakporaye, Acting Director, Economic Growth Department, Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning said that Nigeria has the largest online market in Africa.
Vakporaye, who was represented by Mr Olusoyi Fatuyi, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that the country’s online market worth has grown from 104 million dollars in 2014 to 1,007 million dollars in 2019.
He described the digital industry as the future of the nation’s economy and as such requires more commitment from relevant stakeholders to strengthen the digital economy to tap its full potential.
Mr Paolo Lesbordes of the FDA said that the initiative was to encourage economic growth and employment in the country.
“We hope that the study would demonstrate the potential of the digital industry being championed by KAD ICT Hub, in boosting employment in the state,” he said.
On his part, the Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Nuhu Bamali, commended KAD ICT Hub, the federal government and FDA for the initiative.
Bamali, who is the Chairman of the Special Committee on Youth and Civil Societies for the Northern States Governors Forum, said that the initiative would provide opportunities for the youths to thrive.
He noted that a major cause of youth unemployment was lack of employable skills, stressing that ICT training provides access to new employment opportunities as demonstrated by the KAD ICT HUB.
“The training will not only equip youths with skills to start up their businesses, but also enable them to become employers of labour.
“The core mandate of the Special Committee on Youth Civil Societies is to tackle the socio-economic problems being faced in Nigeria, particularly the north.
“I am optimistic that as we focus more on the ICT sector, we will be able to provide jobs for our Youth and reduce the level of poverty in our society,” he said.