The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment towards bridging the unemployment gap in the country through the acquisition of digital skills.
On Thursday in Kashere, Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State, Pantami said this while inaugurating the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub deployed to the Federal University of Kashere, built by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
According to him, the challenge of unemployment burdens the government and said that it was in that regard that several interventions were put in place to create an enabling environment through digital skills acquisition for youths to become employers of labor.
He said: “The government is focusing more on developing talents through various opportunities in ICT by establishing digital and skill centers where universities and other learning centers will identify talented youths that government could assist to develop their talents.”
According to the minister him, one of the ways to combat unemployment is to create job opportunities for the youth, and this can only happen through entrepreneurship and skills which remain the contemporary way out of unemployment.
He also pointed out that the Kashere intervention was the third to be commissioned after the ones in Port Harcourt and the University of Lagos.
Dr. Pantami said that others were ongoing in Minna, Bauchi, and other states and that the interventions were to bridge the gap between academia and the industry and also provide platforms for youths to become self-reliant.
He said: “One of the challenges we are having as a government is our challenge of many graduates without vacancies to accommodate them.
Every year our children graduate from universities and they are looking for an opportunity to serve the government, and if you go to the government, the opportunities are limited.
“The vacancies in government cannot accommodate 5 percent of our graduates. This is our major challenge,”
Dr. Pantami said the situation necessitated the government to “think outside the box” and that the only way was to change the narrative of producing potential employees into producing potential employers, and that the government, through his ministry, was working toward building a national policy on digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Minister was of the opinion that all these were measures toward empowering youths to tap into the opportunities in ICT.
Earlier, the Director-General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi, said that the current COVID-19 pandemic has presented the right opportunity for all stakeholders in the academia to turn to digital platforms to conduct research and other activities.
He urged the university to make the best out of the facility to develop youths that would leverage ICT to develop the nation and proffer solutions to future challenges.
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdullahi Gani, thanked the federal government for the intervention, assuring them that the facility would promote learning and improve the quality of education in the institution.
Featured Image: thisdaylive
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild weekly digest for updates.