The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof Umar Danbatta has called for a review of the academic curriculum of most courses to include Information and Communication (ICT) contents in tune with the realities of the digital age.
Speaking at the first International ICT Capacity Building Conference organized by the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in Abuja, Danbatta noted that global trends point to the increasing job opportunities in the ICT sector, stressing that tertiary Institutions have a major role to play in addressing the challenge of the current digital skill gaps confronting the country.
He observed that the rising tide of unemployment is occasioned by the inability of the economy to create jobs due to the absence of innovation And maintained that citadels of learning, research and innovation must make the shift to enable our youths seize the future.
Noting that the NCC’s Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme (ADAPTI has made huge impact in terms of bridging the ICT skills gap of teaching and non-teaching staff of tertiary institutions in the country, he disclosed that DBI had trained over 6,000 workers drawn from universities, polytechnics, colleges of Education, Medicine and private tertiary institutions.
On his part, Administrator of DBI, Dr Ike Adinde warned that the country may miss the gains of the fourth industrial revolution if it fails to develop the requisite skills to exploit the opportunities of the digital age.
Adinde noted that while governments and Institutions are making huge capital investments in ICT infrastructure, telecommunications and IT systems, commensurate investments are not being made to develop the skills of their people to enable optimal return on the ICT investments.
He said, “Considering the fact functioning in the digital society requires more than low -level skills, most Nigerian graduates can be considered as lacking in digital skills. This situation is potentially disastrous for the current generation of youths who will discover that the vast majority of jobs require e-skills when they arrive at the job market “.