By Etuka Sunday
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has called on stakeholders in educational sector to prepare Nigerians especially students for the fourth industrial revolution.
Mallam Abdullahi observed that with what is happening today and how COVID 19 is fast forwarding the industrial revolution, it has become imperative to increase “our level of preparedness and develop capacity in the area of emerging technology.”
The NITDA boss disclosed this today when he played host to the Vice Chancellor, Sule Lamido University, Duste, Jigawa State, Prof Lawal Sani Taura who led the management staff of the Institution to the NITDA Corporate Headquarter to seek for the Agency’s interventions.
He said, “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 the 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.”
While citing some scholarly research from Microsoft, Mallam Abdullahi noted that according to the research, by 2030, 800 million jobs would be lost unless people up-skill and re-skill and 149 million new jobs would be created through Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies.
Mallam Abdullahi who was fascinated about the progress the school has made to include agriculture, Information and Communication Technology, Innovations and Entrepreneurship in its programmes, said he saw potentials that can facilitate the nation’s drive to digital economy in those courses.
“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.”
While noting the place of Jigawa state in its agricultural contribution’s to the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) of the country.
Mallam Inuwa stated that with the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture, (NAVSA) the Agency and University will have a lot to do together. “The best way we can partner is in agriculture and ICT innovations and Entrepreneurship,” he added.”
Earlier in his remarks on the purpose of the visitation, the Vice Chancellor made case for the Agency to support the institutions with some interventions saying that the introduction of new programmes the school is planning to commence on 2020/2021 academic session has made the intervention imperative.
The VC said, “We are introducing new courses. We need these interventions and any other gesture we can get from the Agency would be appreciated.”
While appreciating the DG and the NITDA management staff for the donation of 120 computers to the school, Prof Taura advised the DG to continue in the same direction he started as people outside are saying good of him.