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Nigerian government trains 790 children on future skills



On Tuesday, the Federal Government made an announcement regarding its efforts to promote digital literacy by 2030. They revealed that 790 children across three different states have undergone training in emerging technologies as part of this initiative.

During an award ceremony held in Port Harcourt, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), shared this information. He pointed out that 177 children and teenagers in Port Harcourt had successfully completed the training program.

This collaborative effort between NITDA and the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) also extended to two other states. Specifically, 282 children in Abuja and 331 children in Jigawa also benefited from this valuable training. Sam Sambo, the Zonal Coordinator for South-South at NITDA, represented Mr. Inuwa during the ceremony.

Catching them young 

While noting that the scheme would address the unemployability gap in the country by empowering young Nigerians with the right skills, Inuwa said:  

  • “Children between the ages of eight and 16 years were trained in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Drone Technologies, Extended Reality, Digital Communication, and Internet of Things. Others are 3D Design, Coding and Virtual Reality, as part of NITDA’s Stem Bootcamp for Kids (SB4Kids) program. 
  • “The Federal Government is committed to catching our children young as part of efforts to address the unemployability gap in the country. 

Inuwa expressed optimism that the ‘catch them young’ program would yield positive results especially as the world was evolving and bracing up with emerging technologies. 

1,954 trained since 2021 

According to him, the agency has so far trained a total of 1,954 children on emerging technologies across four states and the FCT, Abuja since 2021.  

  • In 2023 alone, we trained 282 boys and girls from the ages of eight to 16 years in Abuja; 331 in Jigawa, and 177 in Port Harcourt. We commend the University of Port Harcourt for collaborating with us and making sure that the future of our children is safe,” he said. 

Speaking at the event, the Director of the Centre for Information and Telecommunications Engineering (CITE), Prof. Bourdillion Omijeh said the program was designed to address unemployment in the country.

He said the children have been equipped with the technological skills and knowledge needed to create newer jobs. 

  • “However, when you look at our university system in Nigeria, we have lots of first-class and second-class holders without jobs. So, the question is how do we bridge the gap, and how do we create jobs and entrepreneurs in the country? What we are advocating for is simply: learning and earning. 
  • “We want our children, while undergoing training, to develop skills, so that at the point of their graduation from the university they will have both a degree and professional certification,” he said. 

On his part, Prof. Owunari Georgewill, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) said the training was in tandem with his vision for a ‘Total Education’ for both adults and children.

He commended the trainees for their digital innovation and encouraged them to make judicious use of their newly acquired knowledge to create a better life for themselves and their families.