By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto – The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya A’isha Abubakar, on Tuesday reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to facilitate viable partnerships and policies on employment generation in the country.
Abubakar stated this at the commencement of Community Focal Programme part of Google Digital Skill Training for 1,000 youths enrolled in Sokoto State.
She said the programme was designed to enhance the capabilities of job seekers through digital means in recognition of importance of Information Technology dominance in all aspects.
She said the collective target for this wave of training was to reach out to 500,000 Nigerians in the next 12
months and to triple that number over the next five years.
“This will be achieved working together with parastatals under our Ministry such as
SMEDAN, SON, ITF, BOI and others like NITDA and NOTAP.
“We projected training 1000 youths over the next three (3) training days, but I am told that we have over 1,600 registered on the portal within just a few days theirs opening,” the minister said.
She said the event was aimed at enhancing employability of job seekers
and the growth of small enterprises, who were keen to join the digital world by improving their skills.
She commend Google, Mind the Gap, D9 Consulting, Usmanu Danfodio
University and other stakeholders for organising the event.
“Over 50 million Nigerians are connected online and lacked necessary expertise, thereby needed optimum skills to tap the the opportunities it provided.
“Google should accord Sokoto State with enhanced connectivity platforms for people to access recent upgraded services for job creation and social engagements,” the minister said.
She called on Nigerian youths to utilise empowerment training platforms for productive engagements.
She further cautioned youths against fake news and other cyber crimes noting that the programme solely aimed at capacity building.
Abubakar added that relevant government agencies were positioned to ensure actualisation of the project and commended Google and other partners.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, urged community groups and institutions to sensitise people to the importance of the programme.
Abubakar, who was represented by Ubandoman Sabonbirni, Alhaji Malami Shehu, commended the organisers and assured maximum traditional rulers’ support and cautioned people against misusing the skills.
The Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodio University, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, said the university had enough facilities to support the programme.
Zuru, represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Prof. Atiku Yahya, commended the organisers for selecting the university on hosting the programme and urged the beneficiaries to sustain the skills.
Mr Emmanuel Abiodun from Google, said the programme was started in 2016 on how to use internet to develop knowledge targeted 1 million people but at present increased to 10 million.
Abiodun said out of 1 million people started 450 are from Nigeria in first 12 months, noting that different government agencies had been engaged in the execution of the programme.