Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is optimistic that Nigeria can overtake India in the technology and innovation talent market. He said this administration will continue to explore creative ways at empowering Nigerian youth.
We intend to create a reservoir of human capacity in technology that can be exported internationally.Nigeria can lead India as a market for technology and innovation talent. This year, we are establishing technology hubs across the country, two super hubs in Lagos and Abuja and six regional hubs in the six geo-political zones. In partnership with several major technology companies, the hubs will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building tools, he says.
During the flag-off ceremony of Google Digital Training for Youth Empowerment at the State House, Abuja, the Vice President stated that, “Each hub will be designed to produce relevant innovative technology, solutions to a wide range of business, commercial and government problems. For example, alternative energy solutions, creative technology, public services delivery in health, education and government processes, import substitution”.
He informed that several major technology companies are partnering with the government in the provision of infrastructure and opportunity in the hubs, adding that there is already a budget for the training of 65,000 young Nigeria s in hardware and software services and more sophisticated software hardware such as animation. This would mean that we would be building more local capacity to build, assemble hardware and to write innovative programmes. We will also be focusing on technology for media and entertainment,” he affirmed.
While the empowerment initiative flagged off on Tuesday is targeting 400,000 Nigerian youth at a start, Osinbajo said that the government is determined to give every opportunity to younger generation to ensure they excel with the use of modern technology. He added that a special initiative on innovative technology and start ups and presentation of prospective participants have already been done in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
On Friday Sept 2, 30 of the best start up ideas will be exhibiting their inovations at the Presidential villa at the first Annual Aso Villa Demo Day. The 30 winners will participate in an innovation growth camp for the next two day. He said this is why what Google has offered to do in collaboration with the Federal Government, the Google training for youth employment, the training of 400,000 young people is a monumental contribution to the national plan and in particular to economic development.
Every one of the 400,000 young men and women to be trained is a potential creator of facebook, Uber, Jobberman, Iroko Tv or something that we haven’t even imagined yet. The exciting prospect of this training is that it unleashes the creativity and innovation and the boundless imaginative of the most productive segment of our society- the youth, Osinbajo remarked.
According to him, “For any student today I think that we must appreciate that this is the age of multi-tasking. You cannot just be an economist, an accountant, a lawyer or a graduate of international relations, or mass communication or performing arts and just remain that way. Multi skilling is crucial today; multi-tasking is the order of the day. You can’t just be one thing. You must learn to be a man of affairs, a versatile operator not a mono skill graduate”.
To achieve this, he said that there are many opportunities as practically anything can be learned online today. All of these business reviews and business journals, many of them are free online. Everyone has a right to be rich. Age is not a barrier to great wealth as we have seen from all these example of great men and women who have done so many incredible things.
He stated that there are also important opportunities for those in the performing and film arts, which goes beyond actual performing to effective management of talents, their programmes and projects. “Today every good concept needs well trained managers who understand how the industry works and how to leverage the entertainment value chain. Isn’t it time for `uberification’ of Nollywood, to make actors and actresses especially new talents more visible to film makers? he queried.