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FG targets 95 per cent digital literacy skills in Nigeria by 2021

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•Pantami calls for states supports on initiatives
The Federal Government is going to facilitate and ensure the attainment of 95 per cent digital skills among Nigerians in the next two years.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, who disclosed this, said the move became necessary to ensure Nigerians are up to date with global developments.

Pantami spoke at the 7th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy, themed, “Leveraging the Gains of ICTs in Developing and Implementing a Digital Economy Strategy for Nigeria,” in Gombe State.
He noted that to achieve basic, intermediate and advanced skills in digital literacy in Nigeria, there is a need to bridge the existing gap; through unflinching support by all states government.

He said, “This cannot be achieved alone by Federal Government, all the states must key-in to see that ICT literacy is provided to its indigenes. This is absolutely necessary for the implementation of digital economy.”

Pantami pointed out that this is why Federal Government is agitating and advocating for all states to ensure basic knowledge of ICT is mandatory from primary level to secondary, as this would create enabling environment for children to grow up with knowledge of ICT.

The Minister urged the states to work towards changing the perception of their indigenes and residents and make them understand that today’s ICT is not about socialisation and ease of activities, “but for economic empowerment, for which economists predicted that 60 per cent of the world economy will be dominated by digital economy, and we do not want to be left behind.”

He added, “To have Digital Nigeria means Federal, states and local governments must all be on board in order to achieved this, that is why it is very important to look at the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy. The responsibilities and implementations of the policy document should be borne by the Federal, states and local governments.”

He said the policy document is not static, as there is room for council deliberations to be accommodated, and stressed the need for integration of observations, recommendations, comments, and constructive criticisms from stakeholders.

The Minister reiterated that parastatals under the supervision of his Ministry are regulatory bodies, and as such, are required to come up with development regulation that will provide enabling environment to support the sector and make digital economy thrive in Nigeria.

He said: “In the course of doing that they are not in any way urged or encouraged to come up with unnecessary restrictions but to ensure that these instruments are regulations that are to support the development of the sector.”

Earlier, the Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, commended the Ministry for the choice of the state to host the highest national advisory body on ICT.
He noted that the body also provides platform for planning, implementation, directing and coordination of policies, programmes and activities in the ICT sector of the economy.

He said Gombe State is fully committed to partnering with the Ministry in its current effort towards enhancing digital inclusion, connecting the people, and opening up opportunities so that no community is left behind in the rapidly growing digital world.


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