Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has requested Technology company, Huawei, to establish a global ICT centre for the training of Nigerians and Africans.
He made the request during the kick off of the implementation of the Federal Government and Huawei Memorandum of Understanding aimed at providing ICT skills to Nigerian youths yesterday in Abuja.
The MoU aims at promoting the partnership between the Ministry of Communication and Huawei Technologies Co; Ltd to establish two core ICT projects in Nigeria: the Huawei ICT Academy Project and the Huawei ICT Talent Cultivation Project in line with the Ministry’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for the development and promotion of Digital Economy and growth in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian government is thankful to Huawei especially looking at how the country has benefited in the CSR programs. The President of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCSF appreciates the work of Huawei and is encouraging Huawei to do more on the Nigerian soil since Nigeria is the largest and biggest market in Africa. Huawei (should) establish a global training center in Nigeria to train Nigerians and other African countries on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)”.
The Minister also highlighted that the federal government has provided an enabling environment for international companies to invest and do business in Nigeria. The administration has come up with “36 initiatives to enable the ease of doing business in Nigeria, signing an executive order to address the challenges faced by International companies to provide accountability, transparency, e-govt, tax holiday, visa on arrival etc which has moved Nigeria higher in the world ranking of ease of doing business. These are part of the administration’s determination to prioritise skills especially in the digital economy sector.”
Huawei will make available, its technology and trainers to help curb the rate of unemployment In Nigeria by providing jobs, experience, opportunities and ICT certifications to students each year so as to increase their market competitiveness.
According to the minister, the implementation of the MoU would see more than 100,000 Nigerians benefit from the initiative beyond the agreement. The skills gained by the students will enable them become entrepreneurs in the nearest future.
This partnership will enable the development of over 300 ICT Academies in top-rated universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria. At least 10,000 university students from reputable universities – on the recommendation of the Ministry – will be trained each year with a total of 30,000 students in 3 years. This would include trainings, competitions and other activities incidental to the operation of the ICT Academy.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Cui Jianchun, who was present at the event expressed delight to witness the initiative.
“I salute the Minister’s support in making Nigeria an outstanding country in ICT because the digital economy develops a country and develops young talents. The Chinese embassy would continue to support the corporation to make a difference. We would sustain this initiative and ensure the University, Minister and Students testify to the initiative,” he said.
Mr Cui Jianchun, who is China’s 14th ambassador to Nigeria, highlighted nine other programs of Africa-China Cooperation over the next three years which will further strengthen Africa-China practical cooperation and achieve mutual benefit and win-win result. They include programs in medical and health, poverty reduction and agricultural development, trade promotion, investment promotion, digital innovation, green development, capacity building, cultural and people-to-people exchange, and peace and security.
“The Digital Innovation Program is being implemented today. I want to assure you that