The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Pantami has said that Degrees are only meant to validate skills as Federal Government is championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills, while government provide a platform to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills.
The Minister disclosed this at the graduation lecture of the National Defence College (Course 28) in Abuja on Tuesday, he said digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy which support the development of large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.
According to Pantami, “Skills is a growing trend across the globe. China recently turned 600 of the country’s general universities into skill centres. Also, the President of the United States of America signed an Executive Order in June 2020 directing the federal government lay emphasis on skills rather than degrees when hiring staff. The curriculum vitae of today should have 2 main parts- soft skills and hard skills.
“The curriculum vitae of today should have 2 main parts- soft skills and hard skills. The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here. We will be happy to collaborate with you in this regard”, he said.
He added that the recent changes in work patterns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have also shown that the development of digital economies are no longer a luxury, rather they have become a necessity. “In Nigeria, we are also keen to develop a digital economy that will have a great impact on every sector of Nigeria’s economy.
“We have chosen to be proactive in order to play a leading role in the global digital economy. Reactive people merely end up becoming consumers of technology. The Developmental Regulation pillar provides support for the effective regulation of the digital technology sector in a way that fosters development, rather than tifles it.
He noted that Data is critical to the development of any digital economy and it becomes valuable when it is used to improve social and economic processes, products, organisational methods, and markets. “Relevant data can support the efficiency of enforcement of existing policies. Digital transformation can reshape the interaction between government and citizens and expand stakeholder engagement.
“I would like to say that the digital economy is a prime catalyst for development. I am glad to note that, in less than one year, our modest efforts have already yielded remarkable results. For instance, the recent Q1 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07% to Nigeria’s total real GDP.
“Security agencies have a lot to gain from the development of a digital economy and we invite you to key into the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. We cannot do develop the digital economy alone. It is important that the National Defence College and other public institutions join in its implementation”, he said.