By G9ija

The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to developing the capacity of Nigerians to use technology to solve problems.
 
To this end, the government is championing a paradigm shift that will lay emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills in line with global trends, noting that degrees are only meant to validate skills.
 
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, who stated this at the launch of Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App, in Abuja, noted that the programme would provide a platform to empower Nigerians to develop relevant skills and build innovative solutions to address challenges within our community.
 
He observed that the programme would create a platform to support a paradigm shift from degrees to skills and bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Pantami explained that the digital literacy and skills pillar of government supports the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

He observed that the project is part of the implementation of our National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria adding that Digital Nigeria Programme will provide a National Platform for improving the digital literacy of Nigerians and it will enable Nigerians to acquire high level digital skills.

Pantami said the project would have a strong emphasis on skills for jobs, and would include Nigerians in all strata of society, such as youth, women, children, internally displaced persons, and people living with disabilities.

He said: “This is a growing trend across the globe. For instance, China recently started the process of turning 600 of the country’s general universities into skill centres. Also, the President of the United States of America signed an Executive Order on the 26th of June, 2020, directing the Federal Government to lay emphasis on skills rather than degrees when hiring staff. The curriculum vitae of today should have two main parts – soft skills and hard skills.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. We recently provided a platform to support the Digital Nigeria programme, enabling Nigerians to receive training in diverse digital skills. As part of these efforts, I earlier launched another online academy executed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). Over 40,000 Nigerians have enrolled across both platforms since the 2nd of April, 2020.

Today, we are formally launching the www.digitalnigeria.gov.ng portal, and the ‘Digital Nigeria’ Mobile App. We are committed to enabling Nigerians to acquire high level digital skills from the comfort of their homes.”

The Minister said the Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App will empower innovators and entrepreneurs with skills required to thrive in Nigeria’s emerging digital economy; provide capacity building in a wide range of areas, including Digital Literacy, Productivity Tools, Web Development, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Database Administration, Networking, Programming, Internet of Things and Soft Skills.