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Talent Gap Assessment: FG To Conduct IT Research

The Nigeria government has concluded arrangement to carry out research on Information Technology (IT), talent gap in the country, with the view to bridging the gap the short fall would create and position the country to be competitively prepared for it.

The research, which is commissioned on behalf of the Federal Government by the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) is to be conducted by Co-creation Hub within six months of its launch.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami while speaking as the special guest of honour at the virtual ceremony put together to launch the commissioning of the research, opined that it has become imperative to carry out the assessment gap in order to build on the modest achievements the sector has recorded in the last three years.

Prof Pantami maintained that the digital economy sector in Nigeria has been the crown jewel of the economy and it has been blessed with so many achievements and gains particularly in the last three years.

Citing the National Bureau of Statistics’ data, the Minister stated that the sector remains the fastest growing sector of the economy and the only sector that grows in double digits in recent time, noting that there are many opportunities the digital economy sector offers globally, and Nigeria must be well positioned to benefit from them.

in his words, “This initiative will guide us to know the opportunities we have locally; the opportunities we have globally and what we need to do to ensure we bridge the gap that exists.” He added that, “There are 1,995 ICT companies in Nigeria and this research will take this into consideration and I hope at the end of it, we will have excellent report that if implemented, would guide our country to make informed decision for the sector. “

While commending the initiative, the Minister observed that the research will make the small, micro and medium enterprises very effective, as they are the bedrock of Nigerian economy.

Prof Pantami also stated that the Nigeria Start Up Bill is in the process of transmission to President Muhammed Buhari for his assent, maintaining that if the bill is assented to, it will avail the start-ups many opportunities because most of the challenges encountered by the start ups have been effectively addressed in the bill.

Earlier in his remarks, the NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa stated that the research on IT Talent Gap Assessment is to be carried out in line with President Buhari’s desire to diversify the Nigerian economy and also in alliance with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, adding that the outcome of the research would also help in attaining the 95 per cent digital literacy target being provisioned in the NDEPS.

Inuwa stated that the outcome of the research will offer the nation the opportunity to have its national talent strategy that would look at the demand and supply sides, train people to have their own start ups with already-to-market products.

On his part, the co-founder and Head of Research, CC-Hub, Dr Oluseun Adepoju who stated that there was no better time to carry out the research than now due to the position of Nigeria as a very robust country when it comes to technology, further maintained that the importance of the research is to move in accordance with the pace of the technological advancement which keeps growing in geometrical rate.

On the opportunities the research could also offer, he said it will avail the country to identify the knowledge gap on specific technological skills deficiency; identify other government parastatals’ involvement in technology talent development; identify knowledge gap on technology talent expert pipeline and identify gap on the impact of tertiary education institution of technology programs on general technology talent ecosystem in Nigeria.

The research which would be conducted in all the six geo political zone with two states per zone would collect data from one federal university, one private university and one federal polytechnic using both quantitative and qualitative triangulation sampling method.

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