The computer ssytems in the netwok hub. Techpoint

American ICT giant IBM on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kaduna State Government to train one million residents in the state on digital skills over the next four years.

The company’s Country Technical Leader, Omotayo Idowu, who signed on behalf of IBM in Kaduna explained that the training would be conducted for free as part of given back to the Nigerian society.

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According to him, the training is open to everyone who wants to key into the global digital economy.

He explained that the training would mainly focus on digital literacy, start-ups and digital entrepreneurship among others.

“We want to ensure that Nigerian citizens are equipped with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills to get them ready for the digital economy, so that no one is left behind.”

Idowu added that the training would be conducted under the IBM Digital Nation Africa, an initiative designed to produce a new set of digitally empowered citizens across the continent.

He said that 60 per cent of Nigerians and 25 million other Africans would benefit in the programme in the next few years.

“KAD ICT Hub, a state-backed IT innovation hub is driving the process in Kaduna state and the first phase will cover about a million residents in the next four years. We may scale it up from there.

“We are partnering with state governments, private organisations and educational institutions to deliver digital literacy skills to 60 per cent of Nigerian population.

“Our goal is to use our platform to ensure that people get the right capacity building and digital skills needed to tap from the booming global digital economy,” Idowu said.

On his part, Malam Yusuf Bashir, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of KAD ICT Hub, who signed on behalf of the Kaduna State Government, described digital literacy skills as “key to everything.”

Bashir noted that a many Nigerians cannot access the global economy because they do not have digital literacy skills.

According to him, the country must ensure that all citizens are equipped with digital skills for the nation’s economy to develop to the desired level.

He described the partnership with IBM as the key to getting Kaduna state residents to the world of digital economy.

“They are number one in artificial intelligence, number one in block chain and number one in Internet of Things (IoT).

“Therefore, there is no doubt in my mind that the partnership would yield the desire result.

“For example, we can use IoT in agricultural sector to ensure better yield and efficiency in the entire agricultural production system.

“We can equally use artificial intelligence in the health sector to enhance health care service delivery,” Bashir said.

He said that interested resident can sign up for the training via www.kdsgdigitalskills.com