By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
The federal executive council yesterday approved the ICT roadmap for 2017 – 2020 .
This is even as the federal government said the new road map if properly implemented will create 2.5 million jobs between now and 2020.
Minister of communication, Adebayo Shittu,disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by acting president ,Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential Villa.
According to him,another aim of the approval is to ensure broadband penetration to all parts of Nigeria particularly to ensure that by Year 2020, as presently the country has penetration level of about 30 per cent.
“Well, we thank God that at last the ICT roadmap 2017 – 2020 has been approved for implementation by the government. This roadmap essentially, is a framework for development of ICT in Nigeria generally. It is also one of the pillars of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the aim among others, is to ensure the creation through ICT of 2.5 million jobs between now and year 2020.
“Again, another aim is to ensure broadband penetration to all parts of Nigeria particularly to ensure that by Year 2020, we have penetration level of about 30 per cent. Again, we believe that the content of this ICT roadmap will assist in harnessing the innate skills and opportunities available. We know that our youths are very intelligent, very, very dynamic and they will utilise the implementation of the ICT roadmap to ensure that more jobs are created and to really get Nigeria digitised,” he said.
He expressed confidence that this policy when properly implemented, will contribute to growing the Nigerian economy such that even with the government revenue, it could increase the GDP to about 20 per cent by Year 2010.
The minister noted that as of this year, the contribution of ICT to Nigeria GDP is a little above 10 per cent.
He further stated that ICT will also assist in making businesses and service delivery easy because of e-government components of it and because of the e-commerce components of the ICT roadmap.
He added:I think one of the main issues is that invariably, we will have an ICT University which will be a specialised university to try to provide opportunities at the local level for intelligent and brilliant and innovative youths to learn more. As of today, with due respect to our universities, the general opportunities are not really there.
“If you consider the fact that ICT is growing at exponential leave; if you consider the fact that ICT is also a destructive technology, where if you have a syllabus today, by tomorrow that syllabus is changing; if you have another one tomorrow by the next day, it is changing, because there are many people involved in innovations all across.
“As at today, many of our graduates are ill-equipped for the ICT industry even in Nigeria not to talk of exporting their services to other African countries. What a lot of our people do after graduating from the universities is to go to India to equip themselves better to get all the skills that they will require for this new sector of technology.”
“So, we feel that instead of our people having to go India, having to go to South Korea and all of that, let’s create a specialised environment in Nigeria where people can train both Nigerians and people from overseas. In doing that, we will have enough manpower to take care of the ICT industry which of course is multi-faceted within Nigeria and also be available for jobs all over the world,” he stated.