The Federal Government has asserted that Nigeria can achieve her target of 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030.
The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu AbdullahI, made this assertion during the graduation ceremony of 50 children, including 10 almajiris at the Engausa Global Tech Hub in Kano State, saying the government’s efforts toward promoting digital literacy has started yielding results.
Abdullahi said that the centre had, in 2021, trained over 700 young boys who were selected from various rural communities in the state, adding that he was very happy that the centre has co-oped young almajiris into the system.
“We have been collaborating with Engausa as the founder said. As a result of the intervention, we did for the centre last year, they had multiplied the number of people they trained. In 2021 they trained more than 700 people in this centre as a result of this collaboration,” he said.
He added that the agency has been expanding the collaboration and would be willing to do more with the centre this year to see how to give more indigent children access to digital technology.
“One of our mandates is to implement the policy under the National Digital Economy Policy for digital Nigeria to a logical conclusion, in achieving the 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030. You know the government cannot do it alone. We need to partner with centres like Engausa to achieve this. So, we are working with them to even expand this centre to other states and also see how we can equip them more.
“We are also looking at how we can assist the children who have participated in this programme to start their businesses,” Abdullahi said.
Earlier, the founder of the centre, Mr. Mustapha Ringim, said the centre was out to bridge the productivity gap among young people, especially those who cannot make it in informal schools. “I realised that there are a lot of things that I can offer to the community by breaking some barriers and bridging some gaps which limit the productivity of our youth, especially at the grassroots – [where] the almajiris and school drop-outs cannot continue their studies due to lack of proficiency in the English Language, among other things,” he said.
Ringim said he realised that language should not be a barrier to achieving one’s dream, especially when it comes to the world. He argued that countries, where the English Language is not spoken, have made progress in technology, innovation and creativity.
“The English Language is not the only medium of learning skills or the only medium of prosperity when it comes to knowledge and practising what you know.
“That is why I domesticated the technology and the skills I have, so that the people will easily tap from my knowledge through the Hausa language for better understanding of the subject matter, ” he explained.
The children were subjected to extensive training for two weeks in innovative digital skills in computer networking, installation of CCTV cameras, graphic design, innovative creativity, among others.
Engausa Global Tech Hub is an incubation centre, currently working in collaboration with NITDA in Kano, where young boys are being subjected to extensive training at their early stage, using Hausa language in building their digital technology skills.