In a bid to proactively facilitate the development of Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy and fast-track the creation of an enabling environment where Nigerians can develop, adopt and derive value from digital technology, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has given a nod to the partnership proposal by the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig Gen.Yushau Dogara Ahmed.
Inuwa who expressed the Agency’s willingness to collaborate with the Corps during a courtesy call by the team reiterated the fact that NITDA being the bedrock in scaling awareness and adoption of Emerging Technologies will be more than willing to go the extra mile in fine-tuning the already existing collaboration towards moving the nation forward.
“We are looking at positioning Nigeria to become the global talent factory and to do that, your agency is critical because all graduates pass through your Organisation”.
“If we can collaborate, we can use that one year they would spend serving the nation to change their lives”, the DG noted.
While stating that the fastest way to make the country join the League of developed nations would not be through the traditional way adopted by Asian countries for which they spent nothing less than fifty years to attain the status they are today, Inuwa said Nigeria would have to be creative in its industrialisation quest.
The DG said that the shortcut to upping the ante remains the talent route, stressing that more than 55% of the country’s GDP is based on Services.
He further explained that “there is a global talent shortage and if Nigeria can position itself by training people and conveniently providing 2 Million developers in two years it can earn about $40B from the pool of 2Million developers, which will invariably also help address the Agency’s remittance challenge as well.
“Looking at the fact that Nigeria can be the talent hub of the world, given its competitive advantage to close the gap, we have identified your Organization as a key partner, if we must achieve the projections”, Inuwa affirmed.
Inuwa told his guests that the Agency had since started implementing some of the initiatives, like training One Million Developers in 2022 which some of the Youth Corps Members were beneficiaries.
“I am hoping that our collaboration will not only bring young Nigerians together to be trained on how to build mobile applications and systems but will also connect them to opportunities”.
“We are strategising on how to expand the training to other States as we plan to pilot it in the six geopolitical zones but if we can work together with you, it will be much easier for us to get the talent because you have graduated”, the Director-General avowed
According to the NITDA Boss, a total of about a Hundred and Twenty-four youths are trained and graduate every month from the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, adding that, although this is the basic training, there are other categories, including intermediary and advanced.
He assured the team from the NYSC that NITDA is interested in going beyond granting their request by collaborating to ensure that interested Corp Members are trained to become advanced developers.
The National Director of, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), Engr Ya’u Garba took the visiting team through the workings and prospects of the Centre as he highlighted the different programmes intended to scale awareness and adoption of Emerging Technologies.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig Gen.Yushau Dogara Ahmed in his brief said the purpose of the courtesy call was to appreciate NITDA’s performance generally and the existing collaboration between the Corp and the Agency over the years which he noted have been laudable, especially with the provision of Digital Economy Centres at NYSC Camps across some states.
Ahmed said the gesture has gone a long way in providing Information Technology (IT) support to the Organisation’s State Secretariat and the Scheme in general.
“I want to use this opportunity to solicit for NITDA’s support in assisting NYSC with some Information Technology (IT) equipment for the smooth take off our our newly constructed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre in our National Directorate Headquarters”, Ahmed said.
According to the NYSC DG, the Corp has had an ICT Centre at Area 1, Garki, Abuja but it became necessary to erect a bigger ICT Centre which he added stands at 90% completion.
Ahmed assured DG NITDA and his management team that NYSC as a Scheme will continue to support the Agency in its set target of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030.