Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has stressed the need to give preference to skills over paper qualifications in the recruitment of manpower in the various sectors of the economy.
The minister, who spoke at an interactive session in Abuja, noted that the world over, the emphasis is on skill.
Pantami, former Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said that the country will not make any head way if it failed to give preference to skill.
He pointed out that China has converted 600 universities in the country to skill centres, adding that in Nigeria, we are still establishing conventional universities.
The minister also said that because of the emphasis on paper qualification, there is the craze to pass out with good grades. He said that this should not be so if the country should move forward, and queried “ which university did Bill Gates attend and what class of degree did he obtain?’’
The minister said that in some climes, people are engaged not because of the school they attended or the impressive class of degree obtained, but because of the skills they possessed. He said that the country should follow the global trend, adding that in many European countries, certificates are not needed to get jobs.
Pantami noted that many people are doing very well in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector, even though they did not study ICT.