By Sodiq Lawal
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu visited Ile Ife today to attend the Ife Youth Economic Summit that was hosted by Ooni of Ile Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan.
While addressing the youths, he said that the Federal Government of Nigeria was ‘genuinely’ committed to the development of Information and Communication Technology in the country.
The minister, who was represented by Mr. Olufemi Olufeko, explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration placed importance on youth development and massive job creation using ICTs.
He said, “This government is not paying lip service to the development of ICT in the country. ICT provides job creation; connect people to job using internet- based and mobile tools; provides larger reach, provides awareness for products and services to more global end users, thereby using more coverage and commercial activities and massive job creation.
“ICT empowers workers by making labour markets more transparent and inclusive by making sure low-income and marginalised communities also have opportunity to be part of the market. ICT also supports innovation; this creates new, more flexible form of employment and work.”
He advised youths in the country to be committed and dedicated to make a change in the country’s technological sector.
“If you start small and committed, your business will grow. ICT is the way and you should take advantage of it,” he added.
He said, “Having known the impact ICT can make on our economy it is imperative we take the bull by the horn. The first step in our development drive will be ICT skills development in Nigeria.
He expressed that ICT holds a lot of potential for economic growth and Nigeria being the ‘giant’ of Africa will wake up and take the initiative of empowering her youths for the challenges ahead.
“More investment will be made in the ICT sector, subsidies have to introduced to reduce the exorbitant cost of acquisition of ICT education in our country today; a state of emergency should be declared in the ICT sector of the economy and incentives provided to encourage more youths to pursue careers in the ICT industry. We should stop paying lip service to ICT development.”