NABTEB, FRCN Partner Imo State on Youth Digital Employment Initiative
The National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) are partnering the Imo State Government towards advancing the State’s implementation of its youth digital empowerment programme, the SkillUpImo Project.
The new partners will work with the Senator Hope Uzodimma’s administration in Imo State to ensure that the state achieves its agenda of positioning Imo as the leading digital economy-driven state in the Federation by training 300,000 youths in the State in digital skills over the next years.
The new partnership will see NABTEB working with Imo State to ensure that the digital skills acquired by the 300,000 targeted youths in the skillUpImo project are effectively assessed and certified for sustainable wealth creation and economic self-reliance while the FRCN will ensure effective coverage and broadcast of the successes recorded on the project.
The foundation for NABTEB’s collaboration with Imo State government was laid during a recent working visit by its Registrar and Chief Executive, Prof. Ifeoma Abanihe, to the Hon. Commissioner for Digital Economy and E-Government, Imo State, Dr Chimezie Amadi in the latter’s office.
Abanihe, who was accompanied by NABTEB’s Coordinator in Imo State, Mrs Christianna Okey-Ogwumba, during the visit, extolled Amadi on his successes in communication and advocacy of the ministry’s mandates, especially as they relate to the digital empowerment of youths in the state.
“Having copiously read in the media, the efforts of the Imo State government at transforming Imo from an analogue to a digital economy, I came to see and verify for myself and I’m truly impressed,” Abanihe said. During the visit, she also witnessed the massive work ongoing to equip Imolites with relevant digital skills towards making them relevant in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Highlighting that her coming was of dual purpose in addition to paying her solidarity to the outstanding performance, Abanihe proposed partnership and collaboration with the Ministry to ensure the digital skills acquired by the 300,000 teeming Imo youths in the SkillUpImo project are assessed and certified by NABTEB for sustainable wealth creation and economic self-reliance.
In the same vein, the Hon. Commissioner recently received in his office, the General Manager, FRCN, Heartland FM Owerri, Mr. kenechukwu Ndulewe Anyanwu, who promised to work with the State Government to create robust awareness of the good work being done by the state in the area of youth digital empowerment through its SkillUpImo Project.
“Since the commencement of your stewardship as Commissioner for Digital Economy and E-Government for Imo State, we, at FRCN, Heartland FM Owerri, have observed the vigour which you have exhibited and the milestones you have achieved in such a short time in carrying out the task of re-tooling the skills of the youths of the state through digitization.
“It is on this premise that we feel that there is a need for the success story so far recorded in the implementation of SkillUpImo State by our Ministry, to be spread all over the nooks and crannies of the state and beyond. As the broadcast network of choice, we are here to partner with you in this regard,” Anyanwu added.
Amadi, in his response to NABTEB, appreciated the Board for its kind gesture of developing a special and enhanced module for learners in the SkillUpImo project. He further pledged that the good works by the Senator Hope Uzodimma’s administration to place Imo State on the digital world map will be actualized.
“Also, there is an oasis in the desert. Something good is happening in Imo. We need the narrative of the stories told in Imo to reflect this great change, and partnership with you fits into the 4th and 6th cardinal pillars of our Imo Digital Economy Agenda (I.D.E.A) 2022-2026 policy thrust” Amadi told the FRCN team.
According to the Commissioner, the fourth pillar of I.D.E.A 2022-2026 focuses on ‘Advocacy’ while the sixth pillar is anchored on ‘Partnership and Collaboration’. He said in keeping with the mission of the Ministry, partnership and collaboration with the private sector, corporate bodies, agencies among others, is salient in building smart cities, leveraging digital technologies to drive governance, innovation, entrepreneurship, value creation and prosperity for all.
Imo State Government, through the Ministry of Digital Economy and E-Government, has trained 5,000 youths in the Cohort 1 of the SkillUpImo project and has embarked on the training of an additional 15,000 youths in the ongoing Cohort 2 training.
By combining hard technical skills with soft employability skills, SkillupImo Project will groom well-rounded professionals who can ply their trade at any level in the local and global digital economy. It covers entry and advanced-level digital skills such as computer appreciation, device repairs and maintenance, content creation, web design and development, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analytics, Cybersecurity et cetera. IT has, so far produced 5,000 beneficiaries in the first Cohort with 15,000 being targeted in the second Cohort until the 300,000 target of the project is achieved.