Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has pledged to support the government of Bayelsa State in its drive to build ICT human capital out of the teeming youths in Bayelsa State as part of the state agenda to foster a new economy outside dependency on crude oil.
Shittu, who was recently in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, as part of the official launch of the ‘Baylesa ICT Ignition Week’ and ‘Innovation Ecosystem’ spoke of the need to be part of the global economy and to look for a future for young Nigerians in ICT outside of crude oil.
“It is my pleasure and privilege being with you on the occasion of the official launch of the Baylesa ICT Ignition Week & Innovation Ecosystem on the important theme: Human Capital & Youth Development in Bayelsa through ICT For Economic Restoration. It is apt and could not have come at a better time than this when government is putting all measures in place to leverage ICTs and to reposition our national economy,” said Shittu, while being welcomed by the governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Henry Seriake Dickson.
“This Ignition Programme put together by Young Innovators of Nigeria (YIN) in collaboration with Bayelsa State Government demonstrates Rt. Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson’s commitment to restore Bayelsa State youths with requisite 21st century skills that will transform the state’s natural wealth to human capital and will further boast the quality of skills by start-ups across Bayelsa State through investing in human capacity which is a vital component of the ICTs growth strategy. We believe that our capacity to compete in the global market greatly depends on the ability of our people to innovate and apply the relevant technology for growth and development,” added Shittu.
Part of the objectives of the ‘Ignition Programme’ is to create opportunities for startups to take their business to the next level; help develop Bayelsa State Technology Forum (BSTF); provide young people the opportunity to explore software engineering/application development; and provide a common platform for young people to interact with local /global industry figures and policymakers.
“The initiative is expected to open a portfolio of opportunities in entrepreneurship for young people to self-initiate and create jobs in challenges times such as the country is experiencing now,” said Shittu, while assuring the governor and the state of ready support in the ministry to help build ‘an army of geeks’ from Bayelsa State.”
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