Dr. Ike Adinde, the Administrator of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) stated the need for the acquisition of digital skills by both educated and uneducated Nigerians in order to further grow the economy.
He made the call in Abuja when DBI hosted a one-day interactive forum with human resource managers and information communications technology (ICT) directors to get feedback on the institution’s performance in 2018.
Adinde addressed a recent World Bank report which cited Nigeria’s low investment in human capital development, by revealing that digital skill acquisition would change the narrative and position Nigeria with comparative advantage that is driven by technology.
The DBI boss noted that the skills available in the Nigerian economy today cannot drive a modern economy.
According to Adinde, “we know it and we can see it from a cursory observation of the kind of skills that abound in our economy. Today, like I said in my earlier speech, most people are unemployed not because they don’t have education but because they don’t have the requisite skills that the industry needs. So we can distinguish between unemployment as a result of jobs not being available and unemployment as a result of not having the employable skills that industry demands and that is where the World Bank report is important”.
He added that “the World Bank report is important to Nigeria to the extent that it also indicate we need to develop skills that the modern economy needs, like the digital skills. Many of our young people do not have the requisite digital skills to play in the modern economy. That is where DBI comes in. Most of the programmes that we offer today are designed to help our young people and graduates across all disciplines to acquire digital skills that will enable them to mainstream into the modern economy”.
Adinde revealed that “DBI is driving the initiative of the national occupational skills system, which will target vocational skills development in ICT. We are looking at a target of 10,000 beneficiaries annually if the programme that we are unleashing works. As we are currently working with the National Board for Technical Education (NABTED) to train external assessors and quality verifiers, DBI wants to eventually becomes an award body for those skills”.
To effectively plan for the coming year, he said the main aim of the forum was to appraise the performance of the institution on the training of the workforce of both the private and public sector.
In his keynote address, the Chairman of the governing board at DBI, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu agreed with the institution’s administrator. He said “as we are all aware, the digital age is altering how we do things – socially, economically and politically. The increased pace of globalisation and technological advancement is expanding and the divide between Africa and other regions is closing gradually”.