The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is set to scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.
This was disclosed in a statement by the media office of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, on Thursday.
The training, under the initiative called ‘A New DEEL for the Nigerian Youth’, was conceived last year and was meant to begin in December 2019 but was placed on hold due to lack of funding to fully implement its components.
DEEL is Digital Skills Acquisition, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership.
The Minister was quoted in the statement as saying; “through the stimulus plan budget under President Muhammadu Buhari, we can now implement 65-75 per cent of DEEL, concentrating on digital skills acquisition to bridge the existing gap we have in the area of technology.
“We had great ideas on my resumption of office but due to COVID-19 and funding challenges our vehicles for achieving the initiatives were slowed down but not stopped.”
He also stated that the Ministry was able to train over 30,000 youth during the lockdown leveraging partnerships with IBM and other tech organisations in various states.
The free IBM and Microsoft training in partnership with the Ministry are ongoing and accessible through the ministry’s sites while a partnership with Google will soon be activated to train youth, Dare added.
The statement said states in the six geopolitical zones have been selected for the first phase of Coding for Nigerian youth where each youth undergoes three months training in coding and is given a laptop to commence work upon completion of the training.
It added that the ministry will train youth in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Mobile Device Repairs Training, Coding, Data Collection and other technologically oriented aspects.
Meanwhile, the Ministry’s 60 Day App Challenge will this Sunday (National Youth Day) see a number of Youth receive N1 million each, laptops and training in Business Development to ensure they are well equipped to start on their own.