Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Thursday that Nigeria needed to embrace technology to bridge the digital divide.
Mr Adetokunbo Kayode, the President of the Chamber, said this in Abuja during the graduation ceremony of 120 youths in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) vocational skills training organised by the chamber.
“Sadly, technology has left scores of people behind, mostly in developing countries.
“We need to embrace technology to bridge the digital divide especially responding to growth opportunities and anticipating underlying skill shortages, are critical if we are to prepare a workforce of the future,’’ he said.
Kayode said that in the last two decades, the ICT sector had introduced the most powerful modern tools for development.
He said that the centre developed by the chamber would go a long way to deal with the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality in the country.
Kayode said that the centre would also serve as the engine for developing entrepreneurs and transforming Abuja into a competitive business hub, and by extension, the rest of Northern Nigeria.
“The centre will promote, encourage innovation and furthermore provide the required quality of service while developing the digital economy.
“The participants have been trained in system administration, graphic design, digital marketing, web design, web application development and photography.
“They are the first of the 1,000 people that will be undertaking a similar journey over the next 10 months on other trades and vocation with focus on agriculture and construction skills,’’ he said.
Kayode assured the participants that skills acquired from the programme would enable them to successfully pursue their dreams against all odds.
“I am proud to inform you that we have developed a freelance services marketplace application called the “WEFITWORK”.
“WEFITWORK is an application that will connect all the participants willing to offer their services to customers in Abuja for now,’’ he said.
He said that in the next few months, the centre would start the training of civil servants who were preparing to retire.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Vice President ICT/Provost of ACCI Best Centre said that youth skill acquisition would create value that would enable the country to achieve its goals.
Adesugbe said that with the growing rate of the country’s population more attention should be geared toward skills acquisition.
He said that Nigeria added almost five million new citizens to its population every year which implied that in another 20 years it would double.
“The growing population, if not appropriately managed may turn to be a nightmare if we do not activate real workable plans to create economic activities to educate and build needed skills to feed the job market.
“The economy will also create value, house and feed our people and provide good health facilities for all.