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450 Niger Indigent Youths, Women Acquire Digital Skills



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As part of measures to provide gainful employment for unskilled residents, 450 indigent youths and women in Niger State have acquired digital training skills.

Arewa  reports that the beneficiaries who were drawn from the various local government areas of the state are expected to put into practice the skills they have acquired and, in turn, become employers of labour.

The graduation ceremony of the recipients of the training took place on Tuesday in Suleja Local Government Area where dignitaries and the organisers of the training witnessed the activities and offered words of advice to the beneficiaries.

Ali Johnson-Onola, managing director of Ubelle/Neo Cloud Consortium, organisers of the training, made it known during the graduation ceremony that the programme was a Digital Skill training and inauguration of an internship business pitching programme.

He said the training, which included digital marketing, data analysis and cyber security was done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education under its Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills project.

Johnson-Onoja explained to Arewa that the beneficiaries were selected from amongst the more than the 900 young people who indicated interest when the programme began in December 2023 and noted that the graduands have been equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in the digital age.

The managing director stressed that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, had launched the World Bank-supported IDEAS project to enhance the country’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training system.

In Johnson-Onoja’s word, “This initiative aims to improve skills acquisition by involving industry stakeholders and attracting private sector resources to the formal training system.

“The programme focuses on inclusivity, welcoming individuals of all genders, backgrounds, and physical abilities.

“It aims to provide participants with holistic preparation for entry-level job opportunities through hands-on training and internships aligned with industry standards.

“Ubelle Nigeria Limited and Neo Cloud Technologies Consortium were among the 14 private sector organisations selected as grantees of the Innovation Grant Funding under the IDEAS Project to pioneer implementation of the project in November 2023. Ours is currently being implemented at the Fabsi Institute of Entrepreneurship in Suleja,” he said.

Johnson-Onoja insisted that the aim was to equip eligible youths, especially women, the physically challenged and the vulnerable, with digital skills training and certification.

He added that the trainers obtained various certificates in the basic, intermediary and advance categories from internationally recognised certification bodies and that the graduands would be mentored into getting jobs in the evolving digital market place and as well make many of them self-employed individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs

“We believe that this is an important project that needs national and international attention to expand its scope, empower our youths and entrepreneurs,” the Managing Director emphasised.

“We live in a time where digital literacy is not just an advantage but a necessity. This is in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, ” he maintained.

In his remarks, Muhammad Awwal- Ibrahim, the Emir of Suleja, represented by Dalhatu Makama-Zazzau, Suleja, and District Head of Magajiya, commended the organisers for bringing the programme to his domain.

He appealed to other NGOs and philanthropists to bring more of  such programmes to his Emirate.

The emir urged the beneficiaries to  judiciously use the skills acquired for themselves and for the benefit of others in thme society.

He warned the participants against deploying the skills for criminal activities in the cyber space, which he said would endanger their lives.

One of the graduands, Olarinoye Shedrack, commended the organisers for the opportunity and promised that the graduands would deploy  the skills to improve their lives and support  the socioeconomic development of Niger and the country in general.

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