Northern Youths Want Digital Inclusion Opportunities Harnessed
A group of young writers and journalists from Northern Nigeria, have lamented the under utilization of ICT Centers across the North, which were established by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to develop the capacity of youths on modern technological skills.
The youths were drawn from Arewa Agenda, and Paradigm Initiative, Northwest Zone.
At a press briefing on Sunday in Kano, Convener of Arewa Agenda, Mohammed Dahiru Lawal, and the Program Assistant for Paradigm Initiative, Sani Suleiman Sani, both observed that if the lapse is not corrected by those concerned, it will place the North at a disadvantage in accessing digital opportunities for digital inclusion towards a digital economy.
They said with the rising unemployment rate in Nigeria, digital entrepreneurship is yet to be fully exploited by the majority of Northern Youths, given its potential to become an engine of economic transformation in the Country.
“It is true that the capabilities and skills required to use various forms of digital technologies remain limited to a small segment of the population coupled with the fact that about 60 million Nigerian adults are without access to a formal account which is a prerequisite for digital financial services, stalling the country’s journey toward financial inclusion and access to digital Economy opportunities is narrowed to a slim share of the population.
“That is why strategic ICT based investments and innovations especially the ones being championed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the supervision of the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, is bridging this gap especially with massive investments in digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital financial services, digital entrepreneurship and digital skills, all key fundamental elements of a digital economy,” they added.
While calling on stakeholders such as religious leaders, political actors, and traditional leaders to key into the sensitization effort, Lawal and Sani, urged Northern youths to take advantage of NITDA’s offerings to learn computing technology skills that will enable them imbibe the culture of digital entrepreneurship leading to a rebust Digital Economy as Northern States are already backward in accessing Digital Opportunities.
The Group also tasked Northern Governors to compliment the Federal Government Digital Economy efforts through the activities of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), by having a delibrate plan, allocation and releases of resources to support digital Transformation.
They maintained that anyone that wants to participate in global jobs of this generation must learn computing and data analysis skills for an inclusive digital future.
Arewa Agenda reports that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has established over 1,000 ICT centers across the country, ICT Innovation and Incubation hubs strategically located in States including Kano, Katsina, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Gombe among others and twelve virtual libraries in Nigerian universities aimed at developing youths potentials on modern technological skills.