By Hillary Asemota
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, over the weekend expressed optimism that the attainment of gender parity in Nigerian will rake in additional $299 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.
The NITDA boss, while quoting from the well documented research by Mckinsey Global Institute, said the figure is derivable from the institute’s global $18 trillion target as a result of the attainment of gender equality, stressing that the $299 billion represents about 50% of Nigeria’s GDP.
Fielding questions at the sideline of the closing ceremony of the Digital Capacity Development Programme with theme: Gina Mata, Gina Al-umma, for 200 young women drawn from the 6 geopolitical zones, he acknowledged that NITDA is consistent in its empowerment programmes and initiatives to bridge the gender divide in the country, even though this is coming in commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
He said one of the agency’s mandates as part of the government’s implementation of the National Digital Policy and Strategy which is one of the initiatives that NITDA is being bankrolled by the World Bank and Natview Technologies as implementing partner.
According to him, NITDA is working on achieving 95% digital literacy before 2030, stressing that the aim is to position Nigeria as global talent hub.
Inuwa, said NITDA is also concerned on research which showed that by 2030 there will be 85 million talent deficit globally which will amount to $8.5 trillion unrealized annual revenue, adding that with proper positioning of Nigeria, the country can tap and be part of the GIG economy which entails working remotely from Nigeria for European, U.S and Asian companies.
The DG, acknowledged that since November 2022, the agency has trained over 226, 000 young women based on its digital inclusion initiatives, explaining: at NITDA we are working on gender digital literacy inclusion, because we do a lot in terms of training for example from November last year till date, we have trained 226,000 young Nigerians but women are just 28%.
“That means only about 64, 000 from that 226,000 that we have trained are women. We also have other initiatives which are opened for Nigerians especially the young people, but you see that the participation of women is less than 30% and that is why NITDA is coming up with other initiatives that are women specific that will help NITDA achieve the gender parity and gender equality as well.”
He advised the 200 women who have acquired skills in digital ecosystem to use social platforms like Whatsapp, facebook and Instagram to work remotely and to promote their brands, products and services across borders while making especially as freelancers.
“Our expectation is that you the participants will go back home and be empowered digitally to succeed in today’s digital world and my personal expectations is that you will now be able to have access to information and job opportunities globally because of the skills that you have acquired today using the digital tools and the empowerment from the World Bank.
In a remark, the CEO of Natview Technologies, Mr. Nurudeen Maidoki, said the 4-day digital capacity programme is in line with the International Women’s Day (IWD) is geared towards empowering young Nigerian women to connect to the digital space and the GIG economy and also to equip the women folk with soft skills that will make them more competitive globally in a digital economy space.
Maidoki, explained that ‘Gina Mata’ is about building women and empowering communities with the latest digital programme designed to identify and connect young women to the digital economy to connect to the GIG economy and also to equip them that will make digitally globally competitive stressing that the programme is being implemented by Natview Technologies partnering with World Bank and working with NITDA to ensure that government deepen digital literacy as part of the national digital ecosystem which is to ensure that 95% Nigerians get into the digital ecosystem stream by 2030.
Adewumi Adegoke and Ajara Usman while sharing their experience, appreciated NITDA, the World Bank and Natview for putting up the programme to empower women to become global shapers using latest digital skills. Now we can use social media platforms to make money, Usman, said.