Youths should not allow themselves to be carried away by the age-long aphorism as ‘leaders of tomorrow’ rather they should embrace entrepreneurship and digital skills to remain relevant in the future economy.
The Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Mr. Nnaemeka Ani, made this remark, stressing that young people must prepare themselves to face emerging digital revolution.
He said that more than ever, it is vital for Nigeria to prepare her youth for the digital economy and the future of work.
Ani said that with 60% of the country’s population identified as young people, it is now pertinent to note that the labour market of the future will require new skills including digital fluency, creative thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, empathy and adaptability.
The SA on ICT to Enugu State Governor made these remarks while fielding questions from journalists in the State adding that appropriate action will help the country to harness this promising demographic dividend.
Speaking specifically on proactive stance of the State to reduce the risk of massive labour substitution and endemic unemployment, especially at post-COVID-19 pandemic era, he said the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is enabling the youths to leverage the new entrepreneurial and economic opportunities associated with the digital economy.
Ani who until his appointment was the Chairman of Mexygabriel Nig Ltd; Chairman, Njalo Technologies Limited – promoters of Njalo.ng; Co-founder of GrassRoots.ng and other businesses, said, while some steps are been adopted at the country level in preparing the youth for the digital economy and the future of work, Enugu State Governments has taken meaningful actions to address the yawning skills-gap and digital infrastructure inadequacies bedevilling the State.
In his words, “The future economy demands that Governments at different levels wear their thinking cap. In Enugu State, we are fortunate to have an administration that is given to creating responsive education systems. This entails serious reviewing and updating of the education apparatuses at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
“Equipping our young people with technical skills like digital fluency will empower them to assume responsibilities like coding and virtual designing, which will be in demand in the digital economy.
“Also, formulating policies for the digital economy is critical subject matter here. If you consider the uncertainties of the technological revolution and the consequent susceptibility of the digital economy to cyber-crime and monopolies, the State Government is guided by regulatory policies that keep stakeholders in check. Such policies are helping to create an environment in which young people’s digital enterprises can grow, and in which appropriate education and employment opportunities will be accessible to all people irrespective of position in the society.
He further promised that the State Government will keep expanding digital infrastructure, stating the government’s willingness to work with ICT companies to connect the State with digital infrastructure, such as fibre optic networks, and improving access to electricity and digital devices which are highly important to improve connectivity within the State.
He called for more collaboration between governments, multinational development banks and the private sector to create room for innovative financial models which promote upskilling among entrepreneurs.