Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, has announced a plan to train three million Nigerians with technical talents in the next four years.
Tijani unveiled the new strategic blueprint, ‘Accelerating our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency’, as part of the Ministry’s aim to accelerate the diversification of the Nigerian economy by enhancing productivity in critical sectors through technological innovation.
Between 2023 and 2027, the Ministry has three key objectives which aim to:
- Accelerate the growth of Nigeria as a global technical talent hub and net exporter of talent
- Deepen and accelerate its position in global research in key technology areas
- Raise the complexity and dynamics of Nigeria’s economy by significantly increasing the level of digital literacy across the country
Regarding talent development, one of Nigeria’s main goals is to train three million early to mid-career technical talents throughout the next four years. In the blueprint, the Ministry explains that its training will cover tech-enabled and tech-adjacent skills, core tech competencies and advanced proficiencies.
Bosun Tijani took to LinkedIn to share the strategic blueprint. In the same post, he commented: “Our blueprint has been carefully crafted based on extensive engagement with stakeholders from our ministry – departments, units and parastatals, ecosystem stakeholders and my immediate team. It is designed as a living document outlining our high-level focus areas, as we firm up plans to operationalise these goals.
“I am confident about our next steps as we activate this blueprint and deliver on our plans in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda‘, for the good of all.”
Should its talent training goal come to fruition, the Ministry explained that it hopes to retain at least 1.5 million of the newly skilled tech professionals within its local talent pool and facilitate opportunities for
another 1.5 million of our talented individuals to excel in the global talent marketplace, preferably through remote opportunities.
Driving digital transformation in Nigeria
Nigeria has also identified digital literacy as a crucial area to develop. Another key aim it is currently on its way towards achieving is to ensure 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030, as it looks to become a digitally inclusive nation.
The new tech-based strategic blueprint explains how it wants to achieve 70 per cent of this target by 2027 – putting it well on its way to significantly improving this aspect of Nigerian lives.
In order to successfully drive digital transformation in the region, it is of utmost importance that the country does not overlook the implementation of essential technology infrastructure. To ensure this is not the case, Nigeria has introduced its ‘National Broadband Plan’, which includes an aim of boosting its broadband penetration rate to 70 per cent by the end of 2025. The African country currently has a broadband penetration rate of around 50 per cent, which is an achievement in itself, considering the figure sat at only six per cent in 2015.
While Nigeria gears up to drastically improve core infrastructure across the country, it also has its sights on upcoming emerging technology such as artificial intelligence (AI). In line with its other policies, Tijani explains in the blueprint that Nigeria hopes to create over 50,000 jobs in Nigeria’s AI industry by 2030.
Blockchain is also on the radar of the Ministry, which has plans to develop initiatives to facilitate the adoption and integration of blockchain technology in Nigeria’s digital economy. While it hasn’t yet established specific benchmarks for success, in time, goals will likely include to increase the number of startups using blockchain technology, as well as increasing the number and scope of the government’s own blockchain projects.