Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State has said that his administration will partner the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to train 40,000 youths on technology, annually.
Mbah said that the training would be a way of empowering them and ensuring they could become major players in the digital space.
He made the promise when a team from NITDA, led by its Director General, Kashifu Abdullahi, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Enugu, on Thursday.
He expressed interest in collaborating with NITDA on the training of youths in the state on digital skills, information and communication technology, which would make them self-reliant, create wealth for themselves and provide jobs for others.
Mbah further disclosed his government’s efforts to expose the youths to the emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, mechatronics, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, fintech and others.
These, he said, were presently driving the global economy, adding that the state would be glad to partner with the agency to achieve its goals.
“We recognise that a lot of the skills set the youths have today may no longer be relevant to the emerging future, which requires our young people to be upscaled digitally so they can embrace the emerging possibilities it affords.
“So, we know that the world is now moving into robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augumented reality,” he said.
The governor appreciated the Federal Government for choosing Enugu for NITDA zonal headquarters.
Speaking on the role of technology in phasing out the brick-and-mortar method of trading, which was becoming old-fashioned, Mbah said that plans were already being perfected to equip young ones in the state with fintech and cyber security.
According to him, skills will enable them to integrate into the digital market, which will allow them to do e-commerce so that they will be able to have their market base in the entire globe.
He said that the state economy would not only be driven by technology but would help his administration achieve its strategic objectives of growing the economy seven-fold from $4.4 billion to $30 billion and eradicate poverty from the state.
“We are going to drive that growth with technology and not magic.
“The exponential growth projection can only come through technology,” Mbah said.
Earlier in an address, the NITDA boss said that their visit was necessitated by their desire to collaborate with the state in achieving its strategic objectives and vision.
He said that the partnership would elevate the state in line with the governor’s mission and vision for the state.
“We are here in the state to look at how we can actually deepen our collaboration with the State Government and we don’t want to just stay in Abuja and do things in isolation.
“We want to work with the State government and collaborate with it.
“We want to connect with the stakeholders in the state ecosystem.
“We also want to share our strategic vision with the state and see how the state can also tap into our vision.
“In addition, we want to explain how we can further partner with the state and ecosystem to drive digital economy,” Abdullahi said.
He further said that approval had been given by the NITDA headquarters to site its South-East Zonal Headquarters in Enugu. (NAN)