To live and lead in the Future embrace and utilise ICT – Danbatta urges Youths
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated unequivocally that it is focused on implementing all sectoral interventions focused on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) youth empowerment, estimating that 70% of new value to be created in the economy over the next decades will be based on digitally-enabled platform business models. Prof. Umar Danbatta.
Danbatta made the statement while presenting the Fountain University’s 10th and 11th combined Convocation Lectures in Osogbo, Osun State. He said that the Commission’s determination to pursue a wide range of ICT programs aimed at youth is based on the expected opportunities for youngsters in the emerging ICT-based labour market.
Danbatta recalled that statistics from Global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), have indicated that unique mobile subscriptions are expected to grow up to 5.7 billion by 2025 with concurrent growth in Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) connections, and Internet subscriptions and corresponding growth in operators’ revenue and investment.
The CEO of NCC also stated that fourth-generation (4G) connections are expected to increase to 57% by 2025; fifth-generation (5G) is expected to have 1.8 billion connections; smartphone usage is expected to increase to 81 per cent; Internet of Things (IoT) connections will increase from 13.1 billion to 24 billion, and the mobile industry’s contribution to GDP is expected to increase by at least 5.1 per cent by 2025.
According to Danbatta, the consequences of the preceding are a huge, incredible chance for youths to own businesses.
“As a result, while the NCC collaborates and strategizes with its overseeing ministry, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, it also works with young Nigerians to prepare them to take advantage of these potentials for personal and national development.” “It is because of this enormous opportunity that NCC has launched a series of initiatives and interventions aimed at youth in a unique and unparalleled institutionalization of strategic engagement and partnership,” he said.
The ICT Hubs Support and Engagement program, according to Danbatta, is a forum that brings together key players, actors, and youths in the Nigerian tech ecosystem to deliberate and suggest policy framework and strategies that could further develop the sector and catalyze improved local content in the ICT/telecoms sector.
There’s also the yearly ICT Innovation Competition and Exhibition, which aims to help digital start-ups grow by providing a venue for them to show off their digitally creative solutions.
In addition, the Annual Hackathon is intended to challenge Nigerian start-ups and tech hubs to create significant and long-term innovative solutions that address prevalent societal concerns through the use of digital technology.
According to Danbatta, the ICT Park Project, which is being built across the country’s six geopolitical zones to boost digital skills among young people, promote innovation, provide jobs for young Nigerians, and ultimately support the Federal Government’s Digital Agenda, is also a strategic program aimed at harnessing and optimizing the creative energy of the youths for development.
The NCC National Essay Competition, which engages undergraduates in Nigerian higher institutions to investigate and develop research in tertiary institutions and build capacity, is another connected effort in this area.
Furthermore, school support programmes such as the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP), a special intervention launched as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project in response to the country’s digital information knowledge gap, and the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), which aims to close the knowledge skill gap in higher education institutions, primarily target youth and students.
As a result, Danbatta urged the youth to be aware of emerging ICT areas that are available for them to explore. Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data are among them, according to him.
He also encouraged youths and students to pay attention not only to any of those technology segments, but also to overlapping variables like hyper-connectivity, supercomputing, cybersecurity, and smarter world technologies like robotics, 3D printing, and sensors, which are at the heart of the circular economy.
Danbatta said the NCC had put all the ICT youth empowerment measures in place to promote a digitally-skilled workforce that will fit into Nigeria’s Digital Economy Project, in acknowledgement of the innovative minds of Nigeria’s large youth population. “The Commission is committed to promoting partnership and collaboration with technology hubs and startups in order to expedite innovations and the creation of a digitally-skilled workforce for industrial growth and the nation’s sustainable development.” The EVC stated.