By Jessica Dogo
Abuja -The Federal Government has launched a Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile Application in furtherance of the Digital Nigeria Programme, which was kick started by President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 19, 2020.
Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE), performed the virtual launch of the mobile application on Monday in Abuja.
Pantami said it was part of government’s key initiatives aimed at empowering innovators and entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to thrive in an emerging digital economy.
He explained that the Digital Nigeria programme was a key component of the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria which was being championed by himself.
Pantami said the ministry was partnering with global institutions including the African Development Bank (AFDB) and Microsoft to enable Nigerians acquire cutting edge digital skills within the comfort of their homes.
The Minister, however, reiterated government’s resolve to promote skills over paper qualifications.
“We are championing a paradigm shift that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.
“Degrees are only meant to validate skills, this is a growing trend across the globe.
“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy.
“It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.The “Digital Nigeria” mobile app is available on playstore and apple store, enabling Nigerians to enrol in ICT courses within the comfort of their homes,” he said.
Pantami said that much of the content was provided through AfDB’s partnership with Microsoft, adding that students can download certificates after completing the courses.
According to him, across the globe, there is a growing focus on the need for developing skills, rather than merely acquiring degrees.
“To this end, Nigerians are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity by enroling today at https://digitalnigeria.gov.ng; or https://academy.nitda.gov.ng/ accordingly.
“The portals will give details on how to register and how to download the relevant Mobile Apps.
“The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to developing the capacity of Nigerians to use technology to solve problems.
“We will keep updating the course offerings to reflect global trends. The Digital Nigeria Programme will provide a platform to empower Nigerians to develop relevant skills and build innovative solutions to address challenges within,” Pantami said.
Some of those present at the launch included Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, Managing Director of the Galaxy Backbone (GBB).