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We have sponsored 40,000 Nigerians on global certifications – NITDA

By Stanley Iwuoha

The National Information and Technology Development Agency on Monday commenced a 2-day capacity building for 35 Civil Society Organizations, CSOs on leadership and basic ICT applications in Abuja.

The two day capacity building is aimed at strengthening the skills and professional development of members of the Civil Society Organizations; contribute to bridging the digital divide and promote digit inclusion for all the CSOs.

In his keynote address, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Abdullahi Kashifu said the training became imperative because the training would offer members of any Society access to information and resources that foster their economic and social development.

He said all CSOs in Nigeria must be digitally literate so as to use internet for their day-to-day activities and also be able to discharge their functions in addressing specific national development goals and priorities.

‘‘New developments in ICTs, characterized by powerful social media platforms have changed the way in which people and organizations communicate, share information, network and mobilize in support of issues of common concern.

‘‘This presents CSOs with exciting new opportunities to raise awareness about their work, connect with a wide range of individual institutions donors, raise money and find volunteers both locally and internationally. Despite the benefits, however, it is still a huge challenge for many organizations to adopt and apply these tools. As a result, there is a specific need for the CSO groups to train its members about the potential of ICTs, enhance the impact and of their work.’’

According to Kashifu, the training is in line with the second pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), digital literacy and skills, which encourages policy backing for massive training of Nigerians from all works of life in order for them to obtain digital literacy and skills.

The NITDA boss further stated that the organization has through its Academy for Research and Training (NART) so far enabled 40,000 Nigerians access globally recognized trainings and certifications on digital skills and emerging technologies including Cybersecurity.

‘‘As the digital economy creates many new economic opportunities including access to digital jobs, digital skills must be developed. Enabling the information technology human capacity development for Nigerians is an important statutory responsibility for NITDA. Empirical evidence suggest that citizens requires proper and adequate digital skills to take advantage of technological advances.’’

In his remarks, the leader of Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI), the organizer of the workshop, Amb. David Yomi said TADI felt that a lot of Nigerian are not ICT savvy and decided to approach NITDA to build the capacity of CSOs to enable them communicate very effectively to their communities.

He said about 35 CSOs are participating in the training and that the training is expected to go round the six geo-political zones of the country after the completion of the pilot in Abuja.

‘‘We intend to impact the basics of ICT on the CSOs to be able to communicate more effectively to their community. If anybody is not IT inclined, that person will not be able to communicate. NITDA being the regulator of IT sector, we ran to it for support.

‘‘We are training about 35 CSOs. This is going to be the pilot, and we will have it in the six geo-political zones.’’

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