The Federal Government on Monday launched the Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App as part of the implementation the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, who launched the tools at a virtual event in Abuja, said the portal and mobile app are among initiatives aimed at empowering innovators and entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to thrive in an emerging digital economy.
Pantami explained that the launch would help to actualise the Federal Government’s desire to promote digital literacy and skills in the country, in line with the Digital Nigeria Programme.
He said: “The Digital Nigeria Programme will 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.
“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.”
Stressing the importance of skills over mere theoretical academic qualifications, the minister said the Digital Nigeria Programme intends to effect a paradigm shift in the country.
Pantami added: “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.
“Also, the President of the United States of America signed an Executive Order on the 26th of June 2020 directing the federal government lay emphasis on skills rather than degrees when hiring staff.
“The curriculum vitae of today should have two main parts – soft skills and hard skills.”
According to Pantami, the Digital Nigeria Programme will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.
“We recently provided a platform to support the Digital Nigeria program, enabling Nigerians to receive training in diverse digital skills,” he said, noting that the formal launch of the portal and the mobile app would enable Nigerians to acquire high level digital skills from the comfort of their homes.
The Minister further disclosed that the training content of the programme covers areas like Digital Skills, Productivity Tools, Web Development, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Database Administration, Networking, Programming and Internet of Things.
It also provides training on soft skills like entrepreneurship, research, marketing, business and how to create excellent resumes.
Pantami added that the Federal Government was partnering with the African Development Bank to implement the programme.
It is expected that the programme would create an enabling environment for building the capacity of Innovation Driven Enterprises and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises through e-learning channels.