Lagos State Government has urged the people of the State to embrace Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool to being financially independent and self-reliant as against seeking for employment or scarce white collar jobs.
Speaking at the 6th EU-Nigeria Business forum tagged: “Youth as an Engine of Broad-Based Economic Transformation”, held recently at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Olufemi Odubiyi stressed that the State Government has intensified its efforts towards the training of students of tertiary institutions in areas that include mobile device assembly, repairs and management as a way to further boost youth empowerment in ICT.
According to him, as part of efforts by the present administration to help students to acquire practical knowledge, the government encourages students from tertiary institutions to have their internship with various ICT providers across the State.
He said that the State Government is successfully using ICT in driving governance and other sectors of the economy, such as Education, Employment, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry.
The Commissioner emphasized that the emerging trend in youth empowerment in Nigeria was entrepreneurship education which includes ICT training, adding that ICT education assumed importance against the background of poverty, widespread unemployment and the need to shift the attention of the youth away from joblessness, redundancy and idleness.
In his words, “The role of ICT in the economic transformation cannot not be quantified as it helpsto establish an environment that encourages networking of services and application, promoting e-commerce and trade promotion programmes for goods and services; promoting Internet access to exchange and access digital content; establishing e-government; promoting e-education and online services; strengthening network security; building and developing e-society and ICT human resources”.
He explained further that ICT can effectively aid international economic integration, improve the standard of living and also improve biodiversity utilization.
Earlier, the Head of European Union delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen said there was a need to build bridges between Europe and Nigeria, stressing that European investors are looking at ways of investing in the country to boost the economy.
He added that with the growth in population, 80million job opportunities can be created in areas such as agriculture and technology among others.