The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has challenged Nigerian students to be agents of Digital Economy.
The Minister stated this during the formal Presentation of students from Nigerian Universities by Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria limited in Abuja, Nigeria.
He also urged them to learn from emerging technologies that put China on the top ladder of development and bring them home with disruptive ideas that will change the totality of lives in Nigeria.
Dr. Patami said: “Whatever you achieved today, that success must be challenged and must by the upcoming success you plan to achieve. That hands-on-training you are going to acquire in China will bridge the gap between the academia and industry. People in the academia are good in research and development, sometimes with crazy ideas.
This is a journey for you to personally bridge the gap that has been existing between your life on campus as a student and the industry, your potential destination. I am happy that Federal government has approved the renaming of this ministry to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
This effort alone will tell you that Nigeria is strategically repositioned to be a continental leader in terms of digitalization.”
He emphasized the need for mentorship of youth in ICT saying:“You should come up with big ideas that will completely change the world .You need mentorship. This trip for us is part of the mentorship program we have started enrolling. Throughout t trio, make sure you are learning from the experience, let them share their experience on what they have achieved so far. The way they struggled before achieving success is very important, it will help you perceive the challenges that may come ahead being digital personalities.”
The Minister also charged the student on the need to be self-sufficient and become employers of labour: “Don’t be thinking about being potential employees come up with big ideas where you become potential employers, instead of looking for someone to employ you what we want you to do is to do each and every one of you should this k of how to employ 50000 people in the next few years. ICT other than digital technology has the potential of employing and lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
You are now stakeholders as young innovators towards removing this number of Nigerians out of poverty. After the trip I will be happy to receive you and as the crazy ideas you have gathered.”
The Minister also commended Huawei for sustaining their Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR in Nigeria and keying into the capacity building of the younger ones in the country.
The Communication and Digital Economy Minister added: “I plead with you, when our younger ones travel to China try and expose them more into emerging technologies. Let us come up with disruptive technologies, crazy ideas that will come back and build applications that will completely disrupt the way we live in Nigeria. That is we are planning.”
Earlier, the Managing Director Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Zhang Lulu while congratulating the beneficiaries, he reiterated the company’s commitments to continue to with Nigeria in its quest of digitization.
According to Lulu: “We feel it is more an obligation than an option to join hands with government and other partner in increasing Nigerian youths’ ICT competence.
With this belief, Huawei has been investing strongly in digital skills in Nigeria. This year marks Huawei’s 10 Year anniversary in Nigeria.
These are not possible without the great leadership of government, efforts of industry players, and you, tomorrow and today of the country. Huawei is also proud to be part of making this happen.
At Huawei, we believe that people are the most valuable asset, and investment in people is the most important investment. We feel the same joy when we see a lady get a job after network switching training; it matters to us when we heard a young men who lost an opportunity because he lacked data analysis skill.”
Mr. Lulu highlighted some of the benefits the students will be exposed to, saying:“during your visit in China you will be able to attend hands-on trainings at Huawei’s World-class labs, learn the latest trends happening in this industry, and exchange ideas with the experts from all around the world in our global headquarters. Remember, you will be diplomats of Nigeria. Let me conclude by saying that ICT skills are something that you can earn from it, if you properly shape it, nurture it and fertilize it. Just like a seed that you plant, eventually it will bloom and bear fruit for yourself and for prosperity of the country.”
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Mr.Obinna Ugwu of University of Ibadan thanked Huawei and federal government and promised that they would do the country proud in China and bring home the skills acquire from the training.