By Emmanuel Nduka
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, has stated that up to 85 million Nigerians are on the verge of losing their jobs due to lack of digital knowledge and skills.
The minister stated this as the special guest of honour at the launch of the Generation Unlimited Nigeria, a global platform bringing together government, multi-sectorial institutions, private sector and young people with the aim to support 20 million young Nigerians within the ages of 10 to 24, and 35 years to get jobs by 2030.
Abdullahi said the ministry is leveraging on existing structures at its disposal with a mission to incubate young people and get them ready for the labour market.
According to him, “85 million people are about to lose their jobs due to lack of digital knowledge and skills. As a ministry, we’re leveraging on TVET as a means of getting the youths employed, and we are ready for to partner the UNICEF”.
In the vein, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was also a special guest of honor at the occasion, lamented that one key issue affecting Nigerian youths in skills acquisition is the Nigerian university curriculum, which he said was no longer relevant to present realities, and has continued to graduate unemployable youths without skills.
Ganduje stated that in embracing the digital future through skills acquisition, the sum of N7 billion has been spent in building skills acquisition centres in the state, ‘which was based on research that can make youths self-employed’.
He said moving forward, the state government has been able to identify 20 different skills, and “we are graduating thousands of youths who are being employed and are entrepreneurs too”.
The governor added that as the most populous state in the country based on the last census, the state government has invested so much in education and has benefitted not less than N3 billion as counterpart funding from the federal government through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer of Generation Unlimited, Mr. Kevin Frey, said if young people have the right skills, 1.8 billion people around the globe would be positively affected.
He said already, 100 million people have been employed globally in 47 countries in the three years of the existence of Generation Unlimited which started in 2018.