SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the road map for Information Communication Technology (ICT Roadmap 2017-2020) with a projection that it would generate no fewer than 2.5 million jobs in three years.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, while briefing State House correspondents of the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
The Minister also pointed out the benefits of the ICT roadmap to include broadband penetration to all parts of Nigeria by Year 2020, as according to him, the current penetration level is less than 30 per cent.
”Well, we thank God that at last the ICT roadmap 2017 – 2020 has been approved for implementation by the government. This roadmap essentially, is a framework for development of ICT in Nigeria generally. It is also one of the pillars of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the aim among others, is to ensure the creation through ICT of 2.5 million jobs between now and year 2020.
“Again, another aim is to ensure broadband penetration to all parts of Nigeria particularly to ensure that by Year 2020, we have penetration level of about 30 per cent. Again, we believe that the content of this ICT roadmap will assist in harnessing the innate skills and opportunities available. We know that our youths are very intelligent, very, very dynamic and they will utilise the implementation of the ICT roadmap to ensure that more jobs are created and to really get Nigeria digitised,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the policy when properly implemented, would contribute to growing the Nigerian economy such that even with the government revenue, it could increase the GDP to about 20 per cent by Year 2020.
The minister noted that as of this year, the contribution of ICT to Nigeria GDP was a little above 10 per cent.
He further stated that ICT will also assist in making businesses and service delivery easy because of e-government components and the e-commerce components of the ICT roadmap.
He added: “I think one of the main issues is that invariably, we will have an ICT University which will be a specialised university to try to provide opportunities at the local level for intelligent and brilliant and innovative youths to learn more. As of today, with due respect to our universities, the general opportunities are not really there.
“If you consider the fact that ICT is growing at exponential leave; if you consider the fact that ICT is also a destructive technology, where if you have a syllabus today, by tomorrow that syllabus is changing; if you have another one tomorrow by the next day, it is changing, because there are many people involved in innovations all across.
“As at today, many of our graduates are ill-equipped for the ICT industry even in Nigeria not to talk of exporting their services to other African countries. What a lot of our people do after graduating from the universities is to go to India to equip themselves better to get all the skills that they will require for this new sector of technology.”
“So, we feel that instead of our people having to go India, having to go to South Korea and all of that, let’s create a specialised environment in Nigeria where people can train both Nigerians and people from overseas. In doing that, we will have enough manpower to take care of the ICT industry which of course is multi-faceted within Nigeria and also be available for jobs all over the world.”
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