In a heartwarming event that highlighted the importance of fostering digital literacy and innovation among young minds, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has emphasised the agency’s unwavering commitment to empowering the youths to shape Nigeria’s destiny through technology.
Inuwa said this during the closing ceremony of NITDA STEM Bootcamp for Kids organised by the Agency in collaboration with Future Map Foundation, which brought together enthusiastic students between the ages of 12 – 16 from various schools across Jigawa State.
He said, the 10-day Training Programme held simultaneously in Rivers, Jigawa, and the FCT, is to nurture children’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, while exposing them to the endless possibilities that digital technology offers.
Inuwa acknowledged the significance of STEM in today’s world, noting that technology had become the driving force behind global innovation and economic growth, underlining the urgency for young Nigerians to embrace digital literacy to secure a prosperous future.
“Today, the world is driven by technology, and those who possess the knowledge and skills to harness it will lead the way. Nigeria has an abundance of talent, and by investing in STEM education from an early age, we can unlock our country’s potential and compete on the global stage,” said Inuwa.
The DG also shared personal anecdotes and insights from his journey as a technology enthusiast who eventually became the head of a prominent IT agency. He encouraged the students to dream big and take advantage of the digital resources available to them.
“I started as a young enthusiast like you, with a passion for technology. I became a millionaire while doing my mandatory youth service. Today, I have the privilege to lead NITDA, an agency dedicated to shaping the nation’s digital future. The power of technology is in your hands, and I implore you to explore it to the fullest,” he said.
The NITDA boss further stressed the importance of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving, which he deemed essential skills for the future workforce, adding that the STEM Bootcamp offered a range of hands-on activities and workshops. Students had the chance to explore robotics, coding, and virtual reality, sparking their interest in the world of technology.
Meanwhile, at the similar STEM Bootcamp for Kids closing ceremony in Abuja, Inuwa, who represented by Acting Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy, Dr. Aristotle Onumo stated that with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools available kids’ fingertips, they will prepare to change narrative and break barriers that hinder them from making progress towards actualising their dreams.
He said the training will enable the children to be conversant with emerging technologies, enhance creativity, innovation and the intellectual capabilities to be great in proffering solutions to problems, especially now that digital technologies have no barrier in age, gender, and experience.
Inuwa noted that programmes like this, which falls under the digital literacy and skills pillar of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024), intervene in the development of digital technology by supporting, promoting, and facilitating digital skills and literacy.
According to him, these programmes also develop innovative solutions for adoption and use in every facet of national life. By 2030, the agency aims to achieve 95% of Nigerians digitally literate population.
The event received praise from parents, educators, and local officials who recognised the value of such initiatives in equipping young Nigerians with the skills needed to succeed in a digital world.
Participants who demonstrated remarkable dedication and exceptional skills throughout the rigorous training program were rewarded with Computers and Tablets as tokens of recognition for their outstanding performance, while Certificates of achievement were bestowed upon 790 beneficiaries, irrespective of their individual performance levels.