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NITDA, NYSC unveil initiative to promote digital literacy in Nigeria

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Director General of NITDA (2nd left), in a Meeting with Ayodele Olawande, Hon. Minister of State for Youth Development; and Brig-Gen. Y. D. Ahmed, Director-General of NYSC, During Inuwa's Courtesy Visit to NYSC         Photo: NITDA

*The National Information Technology Development Agency in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and National Youth Service Corps launches a comprehensive initiative to enhance digital literacy to bridge the digital divide and empower Nigerians in the digitalised world

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In implementing its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2.0) pillar of “Foster Digital Literacy and Cultivate Talents,” Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has launched a comprehensive initiative to enhance digital literacy across the country.

ConsumerConnect reports the NITDA and NYSC recently formalised strategic partnership at the NYSC Secretariat in Abuja, FCT.

The Information Technology (IT) sector regulatory agency affirmed the collaboration seeks to bridge the digital divide and empower the next generation to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

According to NITDA, this objective aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to reform the economy and deliver sustained inclusive growth by leveraging digital literacy and cultivating a pool of technology talents in Nigeria.

The agency further stated the initiative would focus on providing practical training in key areas, such as software development, data analytics, cybersecurity and digital marketing.

In terms of the impact on the young population, NITDA disclosed strategic partnership with NYSC aims to reach 30 millions of Nigerian youths.

These, it said, include Corps members, with the goal of equipping them with skills necessary for the digital economy by 2027.

In his remarks on the occasion, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Director-General of NITDA, on the importance of digital literacy, emphasised leveraging technology to enhance productivity and digital skills.

“We have set up the team working with your team to explore how you can infuse technology into the NYSC process, experiment emerging technologies like blockchain to secure NYSC certificates and build digital skills capacity among Corp members.

“Today, we are here on the bigger mission,” he stated.

Inuwa cited global research, which predicted 85 million talent deficits by 2030 that could result in a loss of 8.5 trillion US Dollars in annual value if unaddressed.

According to him, this initiative will not only enhance employability but also drive innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

Inuwa stated: “We developed the National Digital Literacy Framework with an ambitious target of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030, with a mid-term target of 70% by 2027.

“The framework promotes universal access to digital literacy, skills development at various proficiency levels, and workforce readiness for future digital demands.”

The Director-General also detailed the implementation plan, which includes training Corp Members during their service year and using them as digital literacy ambassadors across Nigeria.

He noted: “Our target is how can we leverage your platform to deepen that digital literacy.

“The initiative will involve onboarding Corps Members on digital platforms, providing continuous learning opportunities, and selecting ambassadors to teach digital skills in their communities.

“We need to build a tailor-made solution that will address our challenges, harness indigenous talents to promote digital solutions, and this requires the collective efforts of the government, private sectors, and all stakeholders.

Speaking at the meeting Ayodele Olawande, Honourable Minister of State for Youth Development, commended the collaboration, while emphasising unity of purpose in achieving shared goals.

The Minister said: “I appreciate this collaboration because I believe we are one family and we are working towards the same goal.

“I also believe that if there is anything we can give; it is our commitment. Regardless of where you come from, as long as, at the end of the day, the Nigerian youth are in a better position from where they are coming from, that is what is important.”

Olawande acknowledged the dedication of all involved, and expressed gratitude towards the NYSC’s leadership, commitment and availability to the cause.

Also speaking, Brig-Gen. Y.D. Ahmed, Director-General of NYSC, in his response, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and NYSC’s readiness to fully engage.

Ahmed said: “This process for us in NYSC is a very good one, and there is no any iota of doubt we are going to fully collaborate with NITDA to grab the process.”

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