As the world continues to evolve and incline towards digital technology, the need to build on this skill has been emphasised once more.
The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Digital Bridge Institute, Prof. Mohammed Ajiya has said the future globally would be digital going by all indications as he urged Nigerian Youths to look inward as to fine challenges and fashion ways to solving them.
The Digital Bridge Institute’s Boss made the statement in Abuja during a live program known as ‘Week Tech’, with Kaftan TV while speaking on the impact of ICT in Nigeria, challenges, way forward and the role Digital Bridge Institute is playing for a better ICT in Nigeria.
“The United Nation, Youth, and ICTs
While access to technology and associated electronic content has significantly changed the lives of
many people in developed countries, this is not always the case for those in less developed
countries especially, Nigeria, and not until in the wisdom of NCC establishing Digital Bridge Institute, Nigeria would have been far backward.
“We all know that Access to ICTs such as computers, mobile phones, and the Internet, especially broadband, remains a challenge for people in the developing world. In addition, the cost of ICT access (mobile
phones and Internet) is much higher as a proportion of per capita income, but reverse is the case here, NCC with the help of the Digital Bridge Institute and the government has long ago curbed all these challenges. And for other challenges still been experienced, we urge all relevant stakeholders, including the government, civil society and the private sector to come together and work to provide an environment that fosters the development of nigeria people and enables them to realize their potential in the Information Society. ICTs transcend borders enabling the communication between Nigerian people from every corner of the world, helping in the promotion of dialogue and mutual understanding. It is important then that international cooperation in regards to the transfer of technology is fostered.
“It is in the light of the above that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the pilot ship of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami resiliently found its feet on youth engagement in ICT to help enhance an efficiently access and maximize the ICT advantages to better their lives.
“Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami’s immeasurable achievements has succeeded in solving a decade and three years problem of Right of Way which had impeded broadband penetration for donkey years. Not only that but also the erroneous act of destroying telecommunications’ equipment was also addressed by making it Critical National Infrastructure.
Likewise, the Ministry addressed the problem of improperly registered sim cards that have exposed millions of lives and properties to danger by deactivating 2.2 million sim cards.
“Also, Pantami succeeded in numerous policies and strategies not to only promote the communication sector but to also assist the Digital Economy, ranging from the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy 2020-2030, National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, Sim card registration policy etc…
“His commitment to the development of nigerians in ICT through the instrumentality of DBI has done well by instituting Digital Capacity Training Centres in Abubar Tafawa Balewa College of Education, Kangere, Bauchi, Bauchi State, College of Health Technology, Kano Road Bauchi State, ATBU Teaching Hospital, Opp. Yan Doka Street, Bauchi State, Federal Government College, Azare, Bauchi State, Government Day Secondary School (GDSS), Games Village, Bauchi.
“Establishment of Digital Divide Bridging Centres (DDBCR) With E-learning Facilities in Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Bauchi State, National Center for Petroleum Research and Development Energy Commission of Nigeria, ATBU, Bauchi State, College of Education, Tilden Fulani, Toro LGA, Bauchi, Bauchi State, Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Tafawa Balewa Estate, Bauchi, Bauchi State, Government Senior Secondary School Gamawa, Gamawa LGA, Bauchi State”.
“The ministry in conjunction with DBI had executed digital projects across the country starting from ICT innovation Hubs, Digital Skills for Entrepreneurs and Innovators, Community IT Training Centres, Tertiary Institution knowledge centres, school knowledge centres projects and a host of others”, he said.
Reflecting on the impact of ICT, he said, “Technology, specifically ICT has played a central role in the lives of the Nigerian people’s rise to prominence on a global scale. It has helped them mobilize, collaborate, and given them a voice where there was none
before. It has brought them together in response to social concerns. It has connected them across
vast geopolitical barriers.
“The International Telecommunication Unit (ITU) and Broadband Commission research has shown the benefits of ICT access across all major sectors. For young people, access to information means better access to capital, markets, and training needed to pursue a career or studies; increased participation
in political processes, and recognition of youth as responsible citizens in today’s society. Youth
entrepreneurship particularly which is facilitated by access to technology, the internet, and information – is fast being positioned as a solution for youth employment.
“People are rising to the challenge by pioneering the use of ICT, and driving trends in what is a dynamic and major growth industry. While the good news is that they are using ICT, the challenge is to inspire them to use it to change their world in a positive way”.
Disclosing the achievements of DBI, Prof. Ajiya stated that 120,000 staff of tertiary institutions and 70,000 secondary school tutors across Nigeria have been trained in digital skills. “These academic instructors are expected to transfer this knowledge to their students in turn. That’s the concept”, he added
The professor who is also an engineer noted that staff of the private sector, government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDA) have also been trained in digital skills courtesy of the institution.
“Digital Bridge Institute runs five (5) digital diploma courses in Kano and Lagos campuses respectively. Our graduates can live in Nigeria and be working for establishments in any part of the world”.
Speaking on the impact of COVID-19 which has shown the importance of digital technology, he pointed out that the emergence of COVID has further shown that the future is digital.
“In the course of the pandemic, teaching and learning have become digital. Classrooms have been decongested since people can learn from the comfort of their homes.
“We are now in what is called the new normal. The pandemic has helped us to embrace digital skills. This has affected the method of teaching and examination”, he said.
Prof. Ajiya disclosed that NCC has gone down to the villages where it has established computer centers across the nation as he appreciated the effort of Dr Isa Ali Pantami, the Nigeria minister of communications and and Economy.
He further said that Digital Bridge Institute does both up-skill and training of people with no knowledge in the area of technology.
“The institute helps people utilise their devices and offers specialised courses. This course can be in the area of law where the staff of the Ministry of Justice is trained on how to gather evidence with the aid of technology, same to an Accountant, to a DSS, Police, Army officers, and all sectors.
Pro. Ajiya admonished Nigerians and in particular the youths to look at the various challenges in the country and design solutions for them.
“Once they can successfully do this, money will be at their disposal”, he urged.