Emerging technologies have brought changes in skill requirements – Dipo Faulkner, Country GM, IBM Nigeria

The digital economy is a wide field of new realities; therefore it has brought with it fresh requirements for those who must take advantage of it. Speaking during the signing of an MoU with the Federal Government in Abuja earlier, the Country General Manager for the International Business Machine (IBM) Nigera, warned that those who seek to stay relevant in the 21st century economy must possess a degree of digital skills.

Whereas many Nigerians lag behind in the areas of adaptability to new technology, which is the core of the digital economy, the MoU signed between the Federal Government and the IBM aims to close the gap in basic knowledge.

Faulkner emphasised the need for schools to give priority to teaching digital skills. He said this will ensure the future workforce will not only possess academic knowledge but have sufficient skills to survive in a world that is dominated by new technologies.

Reiterating the necessity of the MoU, he explained, “IBM works with governments and key Ministries to address the societal impact of digital technology, leveraging its investment in education with platforms such as IBM Digital Nation Africa.”

The new partnership will scale job skills across urbane and rural cities in the country.

Highlighting the impact of the MoU, the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Ali, said, “the MoU provides a platform to empower  Nigerian youths with digital literacy skills, to enable innovation, design and development of indigenous solutions, self-sufficiency and make Nigeria a hub for critical skills for Africa and the world at large”.

Broadband penetration still remains a key challenge in Nigeria. While access to digital devices and data has been made more affordable by new entrants into the mobile device market from Asia, and intense competition among telcos and ISP, fee for Right of Way (RoW) has turned into a contention among states and broadband firms.

It is hoped that the skills of the team on the National Broadband Committee will come to bear to ensure harmonisation and agreement for the prosperity of the new economy.

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