Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has highlighted the need for Nigerians to be prepared for the 4th industrial revolution.
Abdullahi, speaking during a courtesy visit by Lawan Sani Taura, the vice-chancellor of the Sule Lamido University, Jigawa, called on stakeholders in education to bring Nigerian students up to speed on the fourth industrial revolution.
He observed that with the realities of today, and with the COVID-19 pandemic speeding up the industrial revolution, it is now more important than ever to develop capacity in salient areas and to grow the country’s preparedness for emerging technology.
“We need to look at the educational sector and focus more on skills and research that can be used to develop the economy. People should not see education as the end but means to an end. We need to look for ways to disabuse people’s mind on paper qualification and inculcate in them those skills required for the imminent industrial revolution and also focus more on science and technology,” Abdullahi said.
Citing scholarly research, the NITDA chief stated that as many as 800 million jobs are set to be lost as early as 2030 unless people quickly develop capacity and up-skill and re-skill as labour need shifts. He also noted that fields like artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies are expected to generate 149 million jobs in the near future.
Taura who visited the agency boss to solicit the intervention of his office in his institution’s drive for technology spoke on what the university is already doing, but also called on the agency to do more. According to him, the university is introducing new courses and curriculum that will help the drive towards preparing the country for the 4th industrial revolution. He, however, noted that the school needs support and intervention from the agency.
In his response Abdullahi said: “We are already in partnership with the Jigawa State government on digital transformation and smart initiatives. We can also partner with you to do some research for us on how we can enhance these projects we are doing.
“The best way we can partner is in agriculture and ICT innovations and entrepreneurship,” he noted.
NITDA was established by the NITDA Act of 2007 and the agency is the ICT implementing arm of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communication