Skills, Not Paper Qualification Needed in Digital Age–Pantami
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said Nigeria, as a nation, must give preference to skills over paper qualifications, if its youths must fit into various sectors of the economy.
Pantami, stated this when he commissioned five Digital Economy projects in Gombe state. The projects were facilitated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
While stressing that Nigeria should focus more in acquiring skills in the digital age, rather than going for only the certificate, he said, the country should follow global trend, citing examples of many European nations where certificates are not needed to get jobs.
The Minister, said that in some regions, people are engaged not because of the school they attended or the impressive degree certificate they obtained, but because of the skills they possessed to work practically.
While lauding Federal Government’s commitment towards actualizing the Digital Economy agenda, Pantami said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been making a giant move to diversify the nation’s economy from natural resources economy to knowledge economy.
“This is why the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, through its parastatals, is building ICT Innovation Parks IT Centres and Capacity Building Centres across the country,” he added.
The five projects that were commissioned include NITDA IT Hub at the Gombe State Univesity; NITDA Innovation and Incubation Park at Federal University Kashare; ICT Community Centre at Tudun Wada; IT Training Centre at Dukku; and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Regional Office, all in the State.
The Minister, said that digital literacy and skills recognised the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy, adding that ICT Innovation Hubs support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, said the Innovation and Incubation Hub, Park and IT Centres situated at the prestigious universities and communities will serve as platforms of providing research, especially in capacity building, emerging technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Vice Chancellors of the two universities, Professor Aliyu Usman El-Nafaty and Professor Alhassan Mohammed Gani, expressed their profound gratitude to FG for awarding the projects in their institutions, while also thanking Dr. Pantami for coming up with the idea when he was DG of NITDA.