“Stop Fixation on Certificates; Get Skills” ~Minister Pantami Advises

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has advised Nigerians to shift focus from their fixation on certificates, to skills acquisitions to enhance the country’s digital economy. He said this on Tuesday, August 4th during his lecture “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria” at the graduation of the National Defence College Course 28 in Abuja. According to the Minister, digital literacy and skills (computer literacy) is one of the foundations of a growing digital economy of Nigeria in synchrony with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

Over – reliance on certificates, he argues, needs to be curbed in employing labour force. He urges that Nigerians should begin to value skills if the country must develop her digital economy.

He cited the examples of Morocco, USA, and China. These countries, he discloses, focused more on skills instead of certificate qualifications. He said these countries established numerous skills centres to cater for the need for innovation and enterprise.

The Minister quickly corrected the assumption that he is talking down the importance of certificates. He said that certificate is valuable, but it should not be used to replace skill as skill acquisition is a primary focus. He said that this reorientation is necessary for the actualisation of the digital economy of Nigeria’s dream.

He observed that the first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that ICT contributed 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP. A number that has never been reached until now in the history of Nigeria.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

“We recently provided a platform, the digitalnigeria.gov.ng  platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.”””

Pantami said that the security architecture of the country needs to exploit digital revolution to effectively and efficiently solve the begging security challenges facing the country.

He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), robotic technology, drone and so on.

Source: Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy

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