The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya A’isha Abubakar, on Tuesday reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to facilitate viable partnerships and policies on employment generation in the country.
Abubakar stated this at the commencement of Community Focal Programme part of Google Digital Skill Training for 1,000 youths enrolled in Sokoto State.
She said the programme was designed to enhance the capabilities of job seekers through digital means in recognition of importance of Information Technology dominance in all aspects.
She said the collective target for this wave of training was to reach out to 500,000 Nigerians in the next 12
months and to triple that number over the next five years.
“This will be achieved working together with parastatals under our Ministry such as
“We projected training 1000 youths over the next three (3) training days, but I am told that we have over 1,600 registered on the portal within just a few days theirs opening,” the minister said.
She said the event was aimed at enhancing employability of job seekers
and the growth of small enterprises, who were keen to join the digital world by improving their skills.
She commend Google, Mind the Gap, D9 Consulting, Usmanu Danfodio
University and other stakeholders for organising the event.
“Over 50 million Nigerians are connected online and lacked necessary expertise, thereby needed optimum skills to tap the the opportunities it provided.
“Google should accord Sokoto State with enhanced connectivity platforms for people to access recent upgraded services for job creation and social engagements,” the minister said.
She called on Nigerian youths to utilise empowerment training platforms for productive engagements.
She further cautioned youths against fake news and other cyber crimes noting that the programme solely aimed at capacity building.
Abubakar added that relevant government agencies were positioned to ensure actualisation of the project and commended Google and other partners.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, urged community groups and institutions to sensitise people to the importance of the programme.
Abubakar, who was represented by Ubandoman Sabonbirni, Alhaji Malami Shehu, commended the organisers and assured maximum traditional rulers’ support and cautioned people against misusing the skills.
The Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodio University, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, said the university had enough facilities to support the programme.
Zuru, represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Prof. Atiku Yahya, commended the organisers for selecting the university on hosting the programme and urged the beneficiaries to sustain the skills.
Mr Emmanuel Abiodun from Google, said the programme was started in 2016 on how to use internet to develop knowledge targeted 1 million people but at present increased to 10 million.
Abiodun said out of 1 million people started 450 are from Nigeria in first 12 months, noting that different government agencies had been engaged in the execution of the programme.
Edited by: Abdullahi Yusuf
Mrs Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, says the Federal Government will continue to promote regulations and policy framework on tech entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The minister, who said thisbon Thursday in Abuja at the launch of the ecosystem research paper, noted that the research will provide policymakers with the tools to manage and leverage on digital disruption.
Abubakar, who was represented by Mr Adewale Bakare, Director Industrial Development Department said, “we see the creativity and ingenuity of our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the enabling environment will make them thrive.
According to her, the research will provide policymakers with the tools to manage and leverage on digital disruption.
“We will use the report to provide solution, come out with policies to help promote and guide ICT entrepreneurs in Nigeria,” she said.
Also, Mrs Titi Akinsanmi, Google Policy and Government Relations Lead and the experts, told NAN that Nigerians has the potential to develop the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem but the framework and enabling environment is lacking.
Akinsanmi said that resilience among citizens, the steaming youthful population, harnessing market potential and the right framework will propel start-ups and the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Akinsanmi said that the drive to help digital economy of Nigeria to succeed is dependent on the citizens.
According to her, the government needs to make policies that will allow Small and Medium Enterprises the ease of doing business so as to complement inputs from entrepreneurs.
Mr Mimshach Obioha, Programme Director Ventures Platform Foundation, said that the Nigerian tech ecosystem was still at its infancy and required huge support from all stakeholders.
Obioha said that the world had been powered by raw materials that needed to be transformed into assets to boost the economy of any nation.
He said that Nigeria with its large population and large resources with many entrepreneurs can transform the country and Africa.
According to him, oil as a source of revenue is obsolete and the country needs to create an alternative revenue generation channel, which technology can offer.
He further said that the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem if properly supported had the potential to create jobs.
Mr Bankole Oloruntoba, Managing Director Enspire Hub, said that ICT hubs should ensure they actively build on their capacity and programmes.
Oloruntoba added that the capacity of an ICT hub could launch it in its relevant space.
Mr Segun Araroini, a Partner of Value Minds, said ICT hubs could synergise by creating a virtual networking platform to develop the ecosystem.
Also, Mr Dikko Radda, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said that the world was being technologically driven, saying that the government needed to do more to launch Nigeria in the ICT global space.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that poor infrastructure was the bane to the success of technology entrepreneurs.
Represented by Mr Henry Nkemadu, Director Policy Competition and Economic Analysis, Danbatta said that the commission was supporting ICT hubs, tertiary institutions that created hubs.
“We realised that poor infrastructure is the bane of techprenuers taking root in the country and we are committed to ameliorating the situation,” he said.
NAN reports that the research discovered that financial capital, skilled talent, networks, market potential, culture, regulations and infrastructure had limited the progress of start-ups and ICT entrepreneurs.
The report, however, observed that the tech ecosystem had developed in Lagos and Abuja with unique networks of entrepreneurs while the government was also developing initiatives that will consider each state’s need.
Edited by: Felix Ajide
The showcasing took place at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World, 2016, which began on Nov. 14.
Danbatta said that an efficient and effective innovation would attract investment for the good of the developer and the country.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the regulatory body sponsored eight start-ups to ITU Telecom World, 2016, to showcase their applications/products to attract investment.
Danbatta noted that the products of the innovators were still at the prototype stage, and should be made effective and efficient when taken to the next stage.
The executive vice president said that the innovators had demonstrated groundbreaking and entrepreneurial skills that would go a long way in accelerating the desired change in the country.
According to him, acceleration of innovation drives change in the way things are done, ensuring a more effective and efficient manner.
”I have seen that these very proud Nigerians have come up with innovations that will make a difference on the way and manner we do certain things.
”Our mandate is to identity innovations, accelerate the process of innovations in order to improve on the national system of innovations for the country.
”There are agencies of government in the country that are responsible for the escalation of these innovations to the next stage.
”We do the headhunting to find out young Nigerians with very bright ideas that they have translated into innovations.
“Having identified them, we will draw attention through collaboration of the other agencies,’’ he said.
Danbatta gave the assurance that the NCC link the young innovators/entrepreneurs to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
“This is with a view to finding how these products can be translated further for the benefit of the country,” he said.
NAN reports that the innovations include ‘Akanka’- a platform for top handpicked freelance designers in Nigeria that creates digital content for brands – and ‘Awodi Power Machine’ – an electricity generating machine.
They also include ‘CoLab’ – a collaborative community for startups, innovators and entrepreneurs – and ‘Fedironics’ – an intelligent meter for solving the challenges facing metering of electricity – as well as ‘Logical Address’ – a physical address solving application.
The others are ‘School Run’ – a platform to solve the challenges of school activities – and ‘Power Beta’ – a product that resolves power generating issues – besides
‘Intelligent Security and Emergency Device (ISED) – a device that solves security issues at homes, offices and automobiles.
The 2016 edition will end on Nov. 17.
(Edited by: Bola Akingbehin/Ijeoma Popoola)