BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR,
Dr. Rasheed Jimoh, Acting Dean, Faculty of Communications and Information Science, University of Ilorin, has said the acquisition of skills in Information and Communications Technology remains the only panacea to youth unemployment in Nigeria.
Jimoh who stated this in Abuja at the just concluded eNigeria International Conference and Exhibition organised by National Information Technology Development Agency[NITDA], posited that Nigerian universities must as a matter of urgency, incorporate ICT entrepreneurial skills into their curriculum to mitigate the challenges of unemployment in the country.
Jimoh, who spoke on the topic: Promoting Digital Opportunities among Women and Youth, insisted that ICT based skills are what Nigerian youths needed to obtain the available job openings, irrespective of their chosen academic career.
According to him, ‘‘ICT based skills are the solutions to youth unemployment in Nigeria. The Universities have to be entrepreneurial in their approach to developing skills in their undergraduates.
“This can be done by inculcating ICT skills in their curriculum to be able to produce complete graduates.
‘‘ICT serves as the hub for digital opportunities in the innovative ear. Without ICT skills, you cannot find available jobs anywhere in the world.
‘‘As students, our undergraduates can take ubiquitous opportunities available out there by acquiring the necessary ICT skills to be able to create wealth, even while in school.’’
The don, who stressed the importance of ICT skills in the digital economy, maintained that we must overhaul the faculties in our universities for our graduates to be able to compete favourably.
According to him, the non- implementation of the National ICT Policy on Education and inadequate funding of education sector must be vigorously addressed to achieve the objective.
‘‘Lack of awareness to ubiquitous internet opportunities should be tackled and we must overhaul the system to deliver affordable internet services for all,’’ he added.
Also speaking, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, Director General of NITDA, said the agency remained irrevocably committed to widening the scope of IT penetration in the country through robust and holistic regulatory initiatives.
Pantami also promised that NITDA would continue to encourage local content by supporting the ICT start-ups with incentives and through provision of the enabling environment for them to thrive and compete at the global stage.