Says Each Can Create 50,000 job in Few YearsBy Emmanuel Elebeke
Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami
The minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has challenged Nigerian scholars to learn from the story of China and how the country struggled to become super power and come up with big ideas, that will completely change the world.
He also challenged the youth to stop thinking of how to become employees but think about becoming potential employers of labour, saying that the youth being a digital generation must aspire to be the agents of digital economy Nigeria desperately desires now.
The minister gave the charge at the weekend during a formal presentation of 10 Nigerian students selected for scholarship in China by the Huawei Technologies from top universities in Nigeria after tests and interviews.
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They include: Ugwu Obinna from University of Ibadan; Udochi Young from Covenant University; Akingbola Oluwapemisin, University of Ibadan; Onuora Chiamaka, University of Lagos; Ihenyen Joy, Igbinedion University; Fatima Rabiu, Ahmadu Bello University; Kolade Joseph, Cloud Exchange Technical School; David Kemdirim, University of Port Harcourt; Abdussamad Musa, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University; and Abdulrrahman Aliyu, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
He commended Huawei for sustaining their Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR in Nigeria and most importantly for keying into the capacity building of our younger ones.
Pantami further charged the awardees to think of how to employ 50,000 people after in the next few years after their training in China and to bridge gap between Academia, Industry by
He said: ‘‘You should come up with big ideas, that will completely change the world. This trip for us is part of the mentorship program we have started enrolling. Throughout the trip 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 perceiver the challenges that may come ahead, being digital personalities.
‘‘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 each and every one of you should think of how to employ 50,000 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.’’
The Digital minister, who described the scholars as Mack Zukerberc and Steve Jobs of Nigeria congratulated them on the success they have recorded so far.
He also challenged 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 of Nigerians.
“As far as I am concerned, this is the beginning of the journey and not the end of it. In life, if you want to be successful, you should challenge your previous success. Make sure that your success this year is better than your success last year and your success next year is better than your success this year. Any digital person who fails to challenge his previous success, will hardly be successful. You can ridicule your success through exploration, whatever you achieved today, that success must be challenged and must be ridiculed 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’’, he added.
Earlier in his speech, the Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited,Zhang Lulu said Huawei has been part of the success story of Nigeria’s ICT sector in the past 20 years.
He said the company believes that people are the most valuable asset, and investment in people is the most important investment.
For Huawei, it is more an obligation than an option to join hands with government and other partners increasing Nigerian youths’ ICT competence. With this belief, Huawei he said has been investing strongly in digital skills in Nigeria.
‘‘We are here today to plant 10 seed for the future this year. I would like express my congratulations to all of you for being selected. You are the best of the best.
‘‘In the past 20 years, there have been great progress in the Nigerian ICT field. Based on
NCC’s latest report, the nation’s mobile subscribers in Nigeria has reached 176 million, making Nigeria No.1 mobile user country in Africa. 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.
‘‘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 man who lost an opportunity because he lacked data analysis skill. With this belief, Huawei has been investing strongly in digital skills in Nigeria.
‘‘Over the years, we have implemented various programs, including training 500 immigration officers in 2016, renovating our training center in 2017, sponsoring ICT Competition in 2018, empowering 1000 civil servants in 2019. We have so far established Huawei ICT Academies with more than 20 universities. We have upskilled more than 20,000 ICT professionals in the
industry during last 20 years.’’
He then challenged the scholars to: show how good they were at what they were doing, how brave they were chasing their dream, and how capable they were to turns ideas and thoughts into reality.
‘‘Your thought will be carefully listened to, your opinions will be seriously considered and your stories will be told. When you return, your stories will inspire your classmates
and friends at home to embark on a journey filled with unlimited possibilities and opportunities
‘‘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’’, he added.
The scholarship is the fourth edition of Huawei’s Seeds for Future Program, this time held in Nigeria. It brings the total of beneficiaries to more than 40 students who have benefited from it.
This year marks Huawei’s 20th anniversary in Nigeria and the 10 scholars will be representing Nigeria on a world stage with students from other countries.
During their visit in China, they 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.
Responding, the representative of other awardees, Obinna Ugwu of University of Ibadan thanked the Huawei and federal government and promised that they would do the country proud in China and bring home the skills acquire from the training.