The Lagos State Government on Saturday said it was positioning the state as a technology talent hub for the world through training and job placement.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said this at an Engineering Summit Africa, organised by the engineering students of Lagos State University in Lagos.
The theme of the summit is, “Engineering, Technology and Economic Growth: A Global View”.
Hamzat said that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was convinced that an easy way to boost the Lagos economy was to invest in engineering, technology and innovation.
According to him, the state government is aware that there is a skill deficiency in Africa, and the Sanwo-Olu’s administration is willing to close it with talents in Lagos.
He said: “Any responsible government will be alarmed by the number of youth unemployment and make sure it is a top priority.
“This is why we are speaking with the private sector now on positioning Lagos as a technology talent pipeline for the world through training and job placement.
“Our plan is to train 1,000 youths (working population) on how to code every year and produce entry and intermediate level skills set for the world to recruit from.
“Lagos can reinvent itself; we can be the largest exporter of engineers and or technology.
“We can be the largest software exporter in the world; we can as well be the largest health technology developer. We can do it, if we are all invested and proactive.”
Hamzat, who was represented by Radaq Ajala, Chairman, Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area, Musin, lamented that globally, engineering appeared to be experiencing skills shortage.
According to him, the type of engineering that students are studying does not always match the type of engineers required by specific countries.
He said: “There is a great deal of existing literature that questions the quality of engineering degrees from some universities, suggesting that graduates do not have the right skills and experience to secure engineering employment.
“Many have highlighted the insufficient level of training for engineers in Africa which acts as a constraint on the advancement of engineering on the continent.
“The shortages of engineers in different disciplines across the world highlights the importance of ensuring that the right talent and skills are available in the sector.”
Jamiu Ijaodola, Executive Director, Engineering Summit Africa, said the programme was organised to share ideas on how engineering could develop various sectors of the country’s economy.
According to him, the engineering profession is a repository of knowledge, technology and experience of key economic importance and it is vital to ongoing economic growth and development.