As part of the implementation of the digital literacy and skills pillar of the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) this week virtually inaugurated the Government Stakeholders Engagement Committee for the Development of the National Digital Skills Strategy (NDSS).
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The Director General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi while speaking at the event recognises that collaborating with key government stakeholders to develop the NDSS will eminently assist in producing a very strong and encompassing strategy.
The NDSS inaugural engagement committee comprised of representatives from relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), saddled with the responsibility to develop and co-create the National Digital Skills and Strategy (NDSS) which will focus on balancing the gaps between the digital skills supply pipeline and in-demand skill sets required for the future of work in Nigeria.
Abdullahi who was represented by the Director IT Infrastructure Solutions, ITIS Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi noted that there was a call earlier for volunteer experts to conduct research in determining the talent gap assessment, adding that the assessment was carried out by Co-Creation Hub which culminated into the first draft of the NDSS.
He cited Statista on the 2021 World Bank, International Finance Corporation Report on the adoption rate of digital skills which was projected to increase from 25% to 45% by 2030. “The demand for digital skills in sub-Saharan Africa shows a higher tertiary Gross Enrolment Ratio, (GER) of about 11 percent and will result in an increased number of digitally literate graduates,” he said.
The NITDA boss further stated that, with a population of over 200 million, Nigerians which accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population, “Nigeria has a significant brain capital advantage with a large youthful population of an average age of 19 years. Nigeria has a strong comparative advantage to leverage on technology and use this opportunity to supply labor to the global market.”
He reiterated that NITDA has been driving the growth and regulation of the IT sector in the country, providing an enabling environment under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to boost the growth of the Nigerian ICT industry. These are targeted to maximize our socio-economic opportunities as we are leading our nation to embrace digital transformation, and to achieve 95% Digital Literacy penetration by the year 2030 as one of the critical key pillars and targets of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), Abdullahi said.
Speaking earlier, the Acting Director, Digital Literacy and Capacity Building department of the Agency, Dr. Amina Sambo Magaji said,” we are in the era where skills can give you access to job either physically, remotely or help you to start enterprises that can create jobs for the nation and the world at large.”
She emphasized that any certificate acquired without the right skill set would likely be disadvantageous to the person in this digital era. “This strategy is coming at a time when we are bridging the talent gap, not just in Nigeria but globally,” Dr. Magaji said.
She added that the Rule Making Process (RMP) of NITDA encourages the involvement stakeholders in the development of strategic document hence the need for the engagement.