The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has commissioned the North East Information and Communication Technology Hub with over 250 computers and other ICT infrastructures in Gombe State.
In a statement on Monday, the Head of NITDA’s Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit, Hadiza Umar, said the agency also donated 300 computers to teachers in the state to aid teaching and learning.
According to her, the ICT hub was built to serve as training facility for ICT capacity development in the geo-political zone.
In the same vein, the agency also flagged-off the training of 100 artisans in ICT capacity building.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the training will focus on mobile phone repairs and the trainees were selected from the state after scaling through a rigorous screening exercise.
While commissioning the hub, the Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Pantami, said the wisdom behind the establishment of the centre was in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan, EGRP, of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
According to the minister, the hub would also help towards diversifying the nation’s economy.
He said: “It is observed that the present government is obsessed with creating an enabling environment for Nigerian youths to encourage them come up with crazy and innovative ideas that have tendencies of disrupting the existing technological innovations.
“World over, we know that it’s almost impossible for the government to create the required number of jobs for their graduate.
“So, the inability of the government to provide jobs for all Nigerian youths are not a peculiar problem to Nigeria,” the minister stressed.
Mr Pantami, however, said the government would continue to create enabling environment to nurture entrepreneurs to be self-reliant and become employers of labour.
The minister noted that the country is blessed with youths who are naturally talented and gifted, adding that “what they need is the enabling environment for critical and analytical thinking with right mentorship that will guide them for proper implementation and translation of their ideas to marketable solutions.
While challenging the youth to come up with disruptive innovations that could change the way we live, Mr Pantami noted that 90 percent of the first 20 richest people in the world carved niches for themselves in the ICT circle.
The minister recalled that the federal government, through NITDA, has completed the establishment of three ICT hubs in the country which are located in Ibadan, Katsina and Gombe for the South West, North West and North East geo-political zones respectively.
He pointed out that works were at advanced stages in eight other centres across the country.
“This intervention is to help the states to solve the challenges of unemployment and to create a culture of self-reliance among Nigerian Youths who will, in turn, become employers of labours,” he concluded.
In his remarks, Governor Inuwa Yahaya commended NITDA for various interventions in the state in the last two years.
He said: “We appreciate NITDA for what it has been able to do in our state in the last two years of the administration of former Director General and now the Minister of Communication Dr Isa Pantami and his successor, Kashifu Abdullahi.
“We have received various interventions, and numerous capacity building trainings and donations of ICT tools for the beneficiaries.
“What I can say is that for all other things you plan to do for the state towards the development of human capital through ICT, you will find in me a dependable ally.”
Earlier in his remarks, the NITDA Director General, Kashifu Abdullahi, lauded the identification of ICT by President Buhari as one of the tools that could help in resuscitating the nation’s economy.
He said: “NITDA, in line with the vision of President Buhari crafted seven strategic pillars to prepare Nigeria for ICT readiness for socio economic development.”
The DG re-emphasized the determination of NITDA to invest in the people for them to be self-reliant in term of job creation and to reduce the over reliance on government for job opportunities.
“What we are about to commission today is to aid the capacity building and strategic pillar of the Agency, thereby creating opportunity for digital job creation and boosting of local content development in both hard and software,” he pointed out.