FG to UK: extend digital training to Southern Nigeria - THE NATION
By Blessing Olaifa, Abuja
The Federal Government Thursday enjoined the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) to extend the coverage of Basic Digital Literacy Programme currently going on in the Northern parts of Nigeria to states in the Southern part of the country.
The Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba, who made the appeal, commended the UK government for the programme, saying it would help towards the realisation of the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
Agba made the remarks while launching (virtually) The Fact Sheet on The Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.
The programme was facilitated by a Non-Governmental body, Tech4Dev.
Mr. Agba noted that without the knowledge of digital skill, Nigerians would miss plethora of opportunities far and near, asserting that the partnership between the government of Nigeria and UK government for the training of people in underserved communities would have positive impacts on human capital development in the country.
He said: “The Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria is a project that is funded by UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office which was designed to empower 1,000 vulnerable persons in basic digital literacy across rural clusters in 10 states in Northern Nigeria.
“This programme aligns with the resolved of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. I am calling especially during a time like this that we have economic down turn occasioned by COVID 19 pandemic affecting the poorest and most vulnerable segment of the population for more support.
“It is my hope that this initiative can be replicated in all states of the Federation, not only in the North, but all across Nigeria. Rural communities and persons with disabilities are often neglected, however with this programme; it is possible to create opportunities for them.”
In her remark, the Deputy High Commissioner, (UK) FCDO, Martha Bosta, said the government of UK is working with policy makers to support digital interventions particularly as the world grappled with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that such support would enhance financial services, health care, agriculture, education and Smart City.
She explained that the focus on underserved rural communities and vulnerable segments of population was aimed at easing economic and social burdens on such persons and bringing them on board of digital world.
She added that the UK government was working with the three tiers of government in Nigeria to train neglected persons in digital skills, stressing that such efforts would further enhance their sense of safety and security on the cyberspace.
The Executive Director of Tech4Dev, one of the facilitators of the project, Diwura Oladepo, said the project which was designed for 1,000 participants was attended by 1,338 persons from Kwara, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kogi states.
She explained that the training covered people living with disabilities, women and girls as well as those within age 36 and 46 working in government offices in the affected states.