The Federal Government has trained 36,000 Nigerians on emerging technologies and Internet of Things as part efforts to digitize the economy.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this in Abuja, while inaugurating the batch B of 12 ICT projects spanning across the six geo-political zones in the country.
The Minister said the policies, strategies and frameworks that would help it achieve a digital Nigeria by 2030 had also been developed.
He noted that the world was moving towards a knowledge-based economy, stressing that the World Economic Forum had predicted that in the next few years, a minimum of 80 per cent of the world economy would be digitised and without digital skills, Nigeria would be left behind.
Pantami added that the government was putting in place infrastructure that would help the country achieve a digital Nigeria as well as providing a sustainability model on how the projects could be maintained to enable Nigerians derive maximum benefit from them.
According to him, the government would ensure equity, fairness and accountability in the delivery of its intervention projects across the different geo-political zones.
Isa observed that the positive part of Covid-19 pandemic is the inauguration of projects virtually within a few hours, which is saving the country money and time.
He said: “It is unrealistic for these projects to be commissioned physically within a single day because they are located in various parts of the country. I think this is the positive side of the pandemic. If not because of this pandemic, may be about 15 staff would have been traveling to different parts of the country to commission these projects. Now with this challenge, we save huge amount of money for government because we are doing it virtually, and the challenge is to ensure that good percentage of Nigerians are digitally literate and provided with digital skills.
“Mr President has also directed us to conduct a virtual Council of State meeting next week, where all former Heads of State will have a meeting with the President virtually, and only few of them that are in Abuja could be there with him physically. This is another positive side of Covid-19, which has motivated us to be doing things virtually. It is reducing corruption because whenever a project is automated, it reduces human interface and also reduces corruption.”
The Minister listed the projects that were inaugurated to include capacity development programmes in support of artisans, ICT innovation hub, E- Library, School Knowledge Centre, Virtual Examination Centre, Emergency Communication Centre, and the Digital Capacity Training Centre among others, which are part of the National Digital Economy Policy for digital Nigeria.
Also speaking, Jigawa State Governor, Muhammad Abubakar, noted that the ease of doing business ranking for Nigeria is improving drastically, and the government is increasing its non-oil export with the view of diversifying the economy, adding that many industries are now resorting to import substitutions.
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