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FG creates academy to train 500,000 Nigerians in digital skills



THE Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has revealed that the Federal Government has created a digital academy that will see to the training of over 500,000 Nigerians in digital skills nationwide.

  Pantami disclosed in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during the 5th edition of the TechSummit Ogun, 2022 tagged “Disruptive Innovation: Production And Distribution of Creative Content” organised to guide emerging creatives and content creators to all sorts of opportunities in the industry,

Pantami, who was represented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale, noted that the FG has instituted about 20 different policies to guide the operations of digital economy and innovation in the country. He listed the policies to include

  The minister listed the policies to include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy which was anchored on 8 pillars, the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (2020-2035), the Nigeria Startup Bill which is in the process of being forwarded to the National Assembly and National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship among other.

  He pointed out that the government created those policies such that, “digital innovations and entrepreneurship are used to create value and prosperity for all,” adding that there is the need to empower Nigerians with skills that will imbue the adoption of digital technologies across economies.

  “To this end, we have set up an online training academy, which together with other digital training outlets has led to the up-skilling of about 500,000 Nigerians.

“We also developed the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) to ensure that our citizens have access to, and can afford quality broadband connectivity. The Plan seeks to deliver data download broadband speeds across Nigeria at a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas.

  “With effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population and penetration rate of 70% by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data. We have already experienced a significant drop in cost of 1GB of broadband,” he said.

  The minister also noted that the global market value of the creative industry, as a major contributor to economic growth, grew from $208 billion in 2002 to $509 billion in 2015 according to the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development while the global startup economy is worth over $3.8 trillion in Ecosystem Value in 2015 according to Startup Genome and more than the individual GDP of most G7 economies.

  He said: “This may explain why the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is expected to rise exponentially. A foremost Goldman Sachs estimates that AR and VR will grow into a $95 billion market by 2025.

  “Digitalisation is therefore one of the key means by which creative content can be made more visible and accessible to regional and global audiences. As such, digitalisation offers great potential for tapping into traditional and non-traditional markets for creative goods and services.”

Also speaking at the event, the Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Bako Wakil, said the NCC will continue to provide necessary infrastructure across the country for people and the digital ecosystem to thrive.

  He said: “You need the internet to be very effective in what you do, either as a tech or creative talent. NCC is one of the leading implementing agency for the national broadband plan. Our plan is to make the broadband available, access and affordable to all Nigerians.

“We have actually auctioned the 5G sector. This is another step towards achieving the goal of the national broadband plan. Perhaps, before the end of the year, we will see some activities in the deployment of 5G.”

The TechSummit was convened by Chief Executive Officer of VerveTree Startup, Mr Olaniyi Ayoola.

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