Officials in Plateau State are working to raise at least 200 millionaires by 2022 through technology innovations. So far, over 100 youths have been trained and are currently earning from diverse Information Communication Technology jobs in the State.
The Plateau Information Communication Technology Development Agency, a newly created Department in the State Ministry of Information and Communication Development, headed by a globally reputed software engineer, David Daser started by training 50 candidates in 2019 and has since raised several more unconquerable IT armies working in different sectors of the digital economy.
Presently, aggressive campaigns and negotiations are ongoing with telecommunication service providers, international IT firms and solution developers to train rural youths in the State in different IT jobs. Content monitoring, content development, digital solutions, digital marketing and software engineering are among diverse options being considered by the State for rural youths.
The negotiations might take few more months to complete, but IT parks might be established for the first time in the State in few weeks as a start. The State is currently the only State to have waived levies accruing from laying telecommunication fibre optic cables. This is a first step to achieving understanding and mutuality with the companies toward raising the earning capacity of youths in the State.
Understanding and acquiring technology skills is however not enough. This must be mainstreamed in all facets of governance. Government processes crucial to economic development are often delayed by manual solutions. Plateau is currently 26th out of 36 States with favourable business environments in Nigeria. The top 25 are largely states that have mainstreamed ICT in their operations. Removing existing barriers therefore is crucial to achieving the present State Governor’s vision of raising 200 millionaires by 2022.
Of course, this is where the world is headed. Global economies are increasingly driven by technology innovations. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Monday released Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), report for in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), showing 17.83 per cent contribution by the Information, Communication and Technology sector. With its temperate weather and vast tourism potentials, Plateau might be limiting its potentials if it fails to adopt the right practices in its operations.