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NITDA, youth ministry, NYSC move to enhance digital literacy

As part of efforts to enhance digital literacy across the nation, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has launched a comprehensive initiative to implement its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2.0) pillar of “Foster Digital Literacy and Cultivate Talents.”

The strategic partnership which was formalised at the NYSC Secretariat in Abuja, seeks to bridge the digital divide and empower the next generation to thrive in an increasingly digital world, aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to reform the economy and deliver sustained inclusive growth by leveraging digital literacy and cultivating a pool of tech talent.
The initiative will focus on providing practical training in key areas such as software development, data analytics, cybersecurity, and digital marketing. It aims to reach 30 millions of Nigerian youths, including NYSC members, with the goal of equipping them with skills necessary for the digital economy by 2027.
Speaking on the importance of digital literacy, the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, emphasised leveraging on technology to enhance productivity and digital skills.
He said, “We have set up the team working with your team to explore how you can infuse technology into the NYSC process, experiment emerging technologies like blockchain to secure NYSC certificates and build digital skills capacity among Corp Members. Today we are here on the bigger mission.”
Inuwa cited global research which predicted 85 million talent deficits by 2030, which could result in a loss of 8.5 trillion US dollars in annual value if unaddressed. According to him, this initiative will not only enhance employability but also drive innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.
“We developed the National Digital Literacy Framework with an ambitious target of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030, with a mid-term target of 70% by 2027. The framework promotes universal access to digital literacy, skills development at various proficiency levels, and workforce readiness for future digital demands,” he added.
Inuwa further detailed the implementation plan, which includes training Corp Members during their service year and using them as digital literacy ambassadors across Nigeria.
“Our target is how can we leverage your platform to deepen that digital literacy. The initiative will involve onboarding Corp Members on digital platforms, providing continuous learning opportunities, and selecting ambassadors to teach digital skills in their communities.
“We need to build a tailor-made solution that will address our challenges, harness indigenous talents to promote digital solutions, and this requires the collective efforts of the government, private sectors, and all stakeholders,” he added.
On his part, the Minister of State for Youth, Ayodele Olawande Wisdom, commended the collaboration, while emphasising unity of purpose in achieving shared goals.
He said, “I appreciate this collaboration because I believe we are one family and we are working towards the same goal. I also believe that if there is anything we can give, it is our commitment. Regardless of where you come from, as long as, at the end of the day, the Nigerian youth are in a better position from where they are coming from, that is what is important”
The Minister acknowledged the dedication of all involved and expressed gratitude towards the NYSC’s leadership, commitment and availability to the cause.
The Director General of NYSC, Brig Gen YD Ahmed, in his response, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and NYSC’s readiness to fully engage.
He said, “This process for us in NYSC is a very good one, and there is no any iota of doubt we are going to fully collaborate with NITDA to grab the process,” he assured.