NITDA: Badaru tasks youth on critical thinking as Pantami hails Jigawa for digital economy drive

The Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru Abubukar, has urged Nigerian youths to key into the digital technologies and focus more on critical thinking in order to find solutions for Nigeria’s economic and security challenges.

Governor Badaru made this call at the 1st Jigawa innovation summit organised by the state government in collaboration with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Youth Coalition for Development (YCD), an NGO that canvasses youth engagement in changing the status quo for the betterment of Nigerians.

The governor said it was only through critical thinking that the minds of Nigerian youths can be opened, so that they can look around their environment and see the opportunities around them.

He further said the vision and focus was to bring world of innovations to the state, noting that oil economy is almost over because of what is happening around the globe.

He said, “We have to look at the areas where we have competitiveness and see how best we can make our economy work through those areas. Like I have always said, we can achieve this largely in Agriculture. We have vast land and water for irrigation in Jigawa. We will continue to focus on how to develop Agriculture and its value chain.

“I want to challenge this Summit to see how best we can to improve in what we are doing and how best we can to create jobs around the value chains in Nigeria digitally.

“We have Informatics Kazaure that produced so many IT professionals in the country. So I expect this Summit to bring to our table advises in our educational arena so that we can do more in developing our youth by making them employers, not just employee.”

On his part, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), commended Jigawa state for its drive in digital economy, noting that the state has showed its willingness to support the effort of the federal government developing indigenous digital economy in the country.

Dr Pantami said the rate of unemployment in the country motivated the ministry to think outside the box by focusing more on creating potential employers rather than potential employees.

He said, “If you enrolled people in university and they graduated without sufficient skills, they will never be self-reliant, they will always go around looking for jobs. But when you provide digital skills for your citizens, they will be employers of others, which Jigawa Innovation Summit should also focus on.”

The minister cited Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, second richest person in the world, as the perfect example of potential employer, who millions of people are working under him.

He stated how Netherland used digital technology to boost its agricultural activities despite having lesser landmass compare to some states in Nigeria.

He added that if Jigawa state deploys digital innovation to agriculture it will go along the way in creating many jobs and generating revenue for federal and state government.

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