In a bid to complement the federal government’s effort for reducing unemployment among Nigerian youths, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), disclosed it has established Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Innovations Hub in six geo-political zones of the country.
According to the agency, The ICT centres, were set up to encourage and promote digital innovation among the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria, and was also to support the government’s commitment of addressing unemployment by making ICT tools available for the youths.
Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, The Director General of the agency, disclosed this while handing over the first ever ICT Hub, established by the agency in Katsina to the state.
He said, “The country under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, is seeking to minimise its dependency on oil by diversifying the economy to evolve entirely new industries and enable the existing ones, and We strongly believe that the main driver of these industries is ICT. Therefore, we must encourage and empower our pool of young talented youths to take advantage of the digital era.”
Pantami, explained that NITDA was saddled with the responsibility of implementing the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and general ICT development and regulation in the country, through the formulation of standards, policy-frameworks, developmental programs and initiatives.
According to him, “As an agency, our responsibility is to encourage and coordinate ICT innovations that can transform our dear country. We believe that critical drivers of the digital economy and engine room of economic growth are the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) that are empowered with ICT tools.”
While urging the management of the institute to put sustainable programs in place to ensure that the Hub was adequately utilised, Pantami implored it to come up with a strategic roadmap and operational plans for the Hub and liaise with NITDA through the Office of ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) while implementing the plans.
He, however, applauded the state government for providing an enabling environment that encourages strategic partnerships on initiatives that attract investments in ICT and other sectors of the economy.
Commissioning the project, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, said the institute was expected to be a veritable platform for socio-economic upliftment of the teeming unemployed youths who will venture into competitive global entrepreneurship in ICT.
And that the state government was committed to exploit the new wave of ICT for development of the society and has for long recognised the importance of ICT and has given it adequate attention.