The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has re-emphasized the need for Nigerians, especially the youths to create more time acquiring skills and not just paper qualifications.
The Minister, who was speaking at an event organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to join the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s United Nations (UN) World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID), argued that priority and preference are no more given to the class of degree but the innovative ideas one is able to graduate with.
“The approach today is that when a student gets admitted into a higher institution, he would be directed to come up with his startup within a year, he will be working on this till he graduates with his own company and becomes a potential employer. That is the best way of managing the challenge of unemployment, particularly in Nigeria where we have the challenge of unemployment and unemployability,” he said.
Describing the theme: “Creativity and Innovation; Powering Collaboration for a Sustainable Digital Economy” as an integral part of more than five out of the seven pillars of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy which are directly associated with Creativity and innovation, the Minister urged everyone at the event not to make the commemoration just a one-off thing. He encouraged them to identify the challenges Nigerians are being confronted with and collectively or individually proffer solutions that would address the myriads of issues in different sectors of the economy, including Health, Education, Finance, Security, Agriculture, and Governance and many more.
“You cannot innovate without creativity and you cannot be creative without critical and analytical thinking. The wisdom behind this celebration is to create awareness where people globally will understand how important it is to be creative and innovative, particularly towards problem-solving,” he added.
Speaking earlier on the essence of the commemoration, the Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, said the Agency keyed into the transformative initiative to make strategic realignments to consolidate the gains and globally position Nigeria as a leading digital innovation and entrepreneurship hub.
While maintaining that the initiative aligns with the National Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, Inuwa added that it would help Nigeria create and capture value from innovation.
“We are targeting security, Agric, Health, Education, and FinTech. Thankfully, we have many of them here showcasing what they have done in collaboration with the Centre; because innovation is the wealth of the 21st-century economy and it’s only through innovation that we can solve problems, create wealth and prosperity for our country. Therefore, NITDA and the Centre are doing what is going to transform Nigeria into a leading digital economy,” he said.