The agency, which recognizes that the information and communication sector is growing and creating thousands of new jobs each year, as well as providing opportunities for development, has an all-inclusive ICT capacity-building intervention for different segments such as executives, People With Disabilities (PWD), women, and children. NITDA graduated over 300 children from the STEM Bootcamp for Children in Lagos in September.
At the graduation ceremony, NITDA Director General Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi stated that the program aims to bridge the gap that currently exists in the educational sector, adding that it resonates deeply with the ongoing efforts to implement the National Digital Economy Policy for digital Nigeria.
Furthermore, during the Nigeria Computer Society’s (NCS) courtesy call on NITDA DG, where the society presented the DG with a ‘Proud Ambassador’ award for his outstanding leadership, Abdullahi assured that NITDA has an ambitious target of making Nigeria a start-up nation and training one million programmers between now and next year in order to achieve 95% digital literacy in Nigeria by 2030.
“We believe we cannot succeed in isolation,” he was quoted as saying. This is why we work with organizations like yours.”
Meanwhile, while NITDA’s numerous efforts are commendable, it is suggested that the agency look more into partnering with e-commerce firms with an existing presence in some underserved areas, particularly in the South West region, to deepen its efforts and accelerate the achievement of Nigeria’s 95 percent digital literacy goal by 2030.
These e-commerce companies make significant contributions to human capital development. For example, Alerzo, a business-to-business (B2B) firm founded in Ibadan, Oyo State in 2019 and now operating across the country, has heavily invested in its over 150,000 informal retailers as part of its efforts to drive the nation’s digital economy.
At a recent media event, Adewale Opaleye, Group CEO of Alerzo, emphasized the importance of collaboration while stating that the company embraces technology to address the challenges that informal retailers face.
He did say that the company built its entire infrastructure from the ground up, including its 40 warehouses and 400 vehicles for fast and timely delivery.
According to Opaleye, Alerzo has foot soldiers who go from shop to shop teaching informal retailers how to download apps, register on the apps, know what to click, select products, check out, and use the Veedez bookkeeping app. Alerzo, as an organization, takes pride in assisting informal retailers in adopting digital innovations in order to run profitable businesses while also equipping them with future-ready skills.
Recalling, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, recently applauded consistent growth in ICT contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which hit 17.92% in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, and assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of a robust digital economy.
However, as the government invests in ICT and pushes for less reliance on oil to boost Nigeria’s economy, there is hope that the collaboration of NITDA, Alerzo, and other e-commerce firms, particularly in the South West, will have a greater impact on the socio-economic development of the region, and thus the nation and continent.