A total of 935 federal civil servants have been trained in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by the Federal Government in partnership with the Chinese telecommunication giant, Huawei Technologies Company.
The training which was conducted in batches and which began in January 2017 is an offshoot of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the federal government and Huawei Technologies in 2015.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the closing and award ceremony of the second phase of the programme titled “ICT for Change”, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, said the programme is part of government’s Public Private partnership (PPP) drive to improve the capacity of civil servants in ICT and improve the quality of their service delivery.
According to Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Mr. Olusegun Adeyemi Adekunle, the programme will tremendously increase the knowledge of participants in the areas of: Human capacity building in ICT developing trends; Innovative ICT, Building a Smart City; Everything Connected Internet of Things (IoT) Trends and Solutions; Software-Defined-Networking (SDN) Development Trend and Basic Knowledge; Cloud Cutting-edge Technology and Trends; Big Data Cutting-edge Technology and Trends; E-Government for the Future We Want; Web Design and Maintenance Training; Microsoft Word Training; and Tour of Galaxy Backbone ICT Facilities.
Also, the Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami, noted that Huawei technologies have indirectly helped the communications ministry in delivering part of its core mandate.
While commending the programme, he admitted that the challenges facing the country cannot be tackled by the government alone, hence the need for private sector intervention.
“We always clamour for digitalization; but if we digitalize and our civil servants are not up to date with ICT, then the aim would have been defeated. It is necessary for civil servants to improve on ICT to meet up with changing trends. Nothing can be achieved in government if the capacity of civil servants is not developed,” Pantami said.
In his goodwill message, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian, stressed the need to keep up with the trend of the fourth industrial revolution and seize opportunities created by digital technology.
He reiterated China’s commitment to cooperating with Nigeria in the area of ICT. He urged both private and public sector in the country to upgrade to modern levels.
“I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the
Federation (OSGF) for its deep trust in Huawei, an integral part of Nigeria’s ICT ecosystem and a leading ICT giant of the world which we Chinese are very proud of.
“The efforts made by the OSGF in partnership with Huawei to enhance ICT training are highly commendable, as capacity building initiative is one of the eight major initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit last September,” the ambassador added.
He assured a good working relationship between the both countries stating that “China remains committed to enhancing exchanges and cooperation between competent authorities of China and Nigeria, sharing good practice in each other’s ICT development, seizing the opportunity presented by the digital economy, encouraging companies to carry out cooperation in ICT infrastructure, the internet and the digital economy, and working together to narrow the digital divide and promote the building of an information society in Nigeria and China.”
Huawei Technologies Vice President, Mr. Chen Zhijun, stated that “In Nigeria, ICT has played a crucial role in providing the requisite tools that support the diversification of the economy. ICT has
contributed over 10% of Nigeria’s GDP.
“Furthermore, World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, some 1.9 million jobs and $20 billion in additional GDP will accrue to Nigeria as technology continues to offer people new opportunities to engage in online platform work and transition from informal to formal jobs.
“The ICT for Change program is a part of Huawei Nigeria’s efforts in skill transfer and talent fostering. At Huawei, we believe that people are the most important and valuable asset.
“Investment in people is investment in future. Huawei Nigeria is determined and committed to walking this journey with Nigerians to boost availability, accessibility and affordability of ICT services to turn digital inclusion into social and economic inclusion, with our vision and mission to bring digital to every person, home, organization for a fully connected and intelligent world.”