The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami on Monday launched the Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App.
The minister described the launch as a follow up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s flagging off of the Digital Nigeria Programme on March 19, 2020 to support Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training for Nigerians.
Pantami said the effect of the digital economy was far greater than the ICT contribution shows.
“The Digital Economy encompasses ICT and all Digital Services, which includes all online activities in financial institutions, ecommerce, online tax payment, any form of online payment, online banking, etc. When we consider these, the contribution of the Digital Economy could be up to 45% or even more,” he said.
The Digital Nigeria Programme, the minister said, would provide a National Platform for improving the digital literacy of Nigerians and it will enable Nigerians from all walks of life to acquire high level digital skills.
He said, “It will have a strong emphasis on Skills for Jobs and will include Nigerians in all strata of society, such as youth, women, children, internally displaced persons, people living with disabilities, etc.
“We are championing a paradigm shift that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills. Degrees are only meant to validate skills. 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.”
He said the digital literacy and skills pillar recognised the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy.
Pantami said it would support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.
According to the minister, “We recently provided a platform to support the Digital Nigeria program, 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 acquire high level digital skills from the comfort of their homes.”
He said part of the objectives of launching these platforms was to empower innovators and entrepreneurs with skills required to thrive in Nigeria’s emerging digital economy.
And also “to 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.”
Others include, to create a platform to support a paradigm shift from degrees to skills and bridge the gap between the academia and industry; to promote the development and distribution of instructional materials in electronic format; and to create an enabling environment for building the capacity of Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through e-learning channels.