In pursuit of an ambitious goal to achieve 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 and aligning with the vision of the President Bola Tinubu administration to create over one million jobs for youths in the digital economy sector, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has officially launched the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF) with the aim of developing a digitally literate citizenry.
The framework seeks to provide a clear and consistent definition of digital literacy and create a national curriculum for digital literacy capacity-building training, ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background or location, has the opportunity to acquire the digital skills necessary for success in the 21st-century economy.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony held in Abuja, the director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, highlighted the significance of the framework, stating that it would pave the way for a comprehensive review of curricula from kindergarten to universities.
The objectives of the Framework include Universal Access, ensuring that every Nigerian has access to digital literacy and skill development, which will promote the development of digital offerings locally. The third objective is inclusive participation, aiming to involve everyone in the digital literacy drive, with a special emphasis on promoting digital gender inclusion for Nigerian women. Additionally, the framework aims to foster workforce readiness.
Abdullahi stressed the need for Nigeria to strategically position itself to fill an estimated 85 million talent deficit gap worth USD8.5 trillion in unrealised annual value, a projection made by Korn Ferry for the year 2030. He pointed out that the way people work is set to drastically change, citing McKinsey’s research on job automation displacing around 480 million jobs and Microsoft’s prediction of over 190 million new IT jobs by 2025.
The director-general emphasised that the framework sets the tone and direction for creating jobs through digital literacy and skills development. He mentioned that NITDA has already conducted an IT skills gap assessment and is currently working on a digital talent strategy to build a robust talent pipeline. This strategy will not only focus on training individuals but also on connecting them with job opportunities, locally and globally, to be part of the global value chain.
During his goodwill message, the director-general of SMEDAN, Mr. Olawale Fasanya assured NITDA that the agency would incorporate digital skills into its training curriculum to positively impact many people, as digital skills have enormous potential to benefit nano, micro, small and medium enterprises.
The event’s highlight was the official signing of the NDLF by the special guest of honour and permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. William Alo and the DG of NITDA.
Several dignitaries and representatives from various organisations attended the event, including the director-general of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr Aliyu Aziz; national commissioner, Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, as well as representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Education, MTN Foundation, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and many more.