MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A leading digital company Microsoft, is set to train five million Nigerian youths across the country, sequel to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed with the Federal Government and Microsoft.
Microsoft also and the Lagos State Government have agreed to partner for digital training of youths.
Country Manager of Microsoft in Nigeria, and Ghana, Mrs. Ola Williams, said Microsoft was set to train five million youths in Nigeria.
He made this disclosure at the weekend during a dinner hosted by Art of Technology (AOT) Lagos 4.0 with a Theme: “Talent Acceleration and a Smarter Lagos” at Landmark Hotels, where some people were honoured for their contributions to technology and ecosystem and others rewarded with cash gift.
She said Microsoft as a company, signed MoU with the Federal Government to train and empower youths with digital skills that will help them to participate in digital economy.
“Due to the number of population of Lagos State, the bulk of the youths to be trained would be coming from Lagos, and other parts of the country. No part of the country would be left out of the training because we have trainers in every part of the country.
“Aside from the training we are also in partnership with the federal government to provide airbag technology, and provide people with Internet connectivity ,so that those who live in the rural areas would have access to Internet and would be able to participate in the training.
“We are working with federal government and to ensure that every youth takes part in the training. We are going to the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).
“The MoU we signed with (AOT), is basically to work with the Lagos State Government to digitalize the state and provide access to different technologies, artificial intelligence and empower Lagos State government employees with the right to modernize their working environment, also to ensure securing all their digital technology in the state, in line with the state Government aspiration to make it a digital state”.
Earlier in his welcome address, The Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Science and Technology, Mr. Olatunbosun Alake ,said the meeting was all about AOT 4.0, one of the ecosystem bridge between policy makers and the ecosystem talents.In 2019 when our administration came into being, we thought it was important to lay focus on science and technology, hence my office was created and named Innovation and Technology, since then,we have been trying to build bridges with ecosystems and cooperate with so many dimension solutions across all sectors.
“To desire the values and one of the platform of exchange then, was AOT and from AOT 4.0, we have Lagos State Science and Technology Masterplan that had seven pillars which includes; Infrastructures, Talents, Funding, Advocacy and Communication, Policy, Data Access and many more ideas and over the past two days ,we have been debating on specific pillar called Talents which is the bedrocks on other pillars, because without talents the ecosystem will not produce values.
“My focus is on what areas to explore on the ecosystem talents and how to reverse the ‘Japa’ syndrome and sadly three out of five ICT experts in Nigeria are either planning to leave or had left already. We want to reverse the trend of ‘Japa’ and how do we regain our ecosystem to encourage talents from leaving that was why we are giving Awards to those who leverage on the Talents we have in Lagos and those entities creating values in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.”
One of the lucky winners in the competition by Eko Innovation Centre, Jane Ekeh, said she was highly impressed with what the Lagos State Government and the founder of the organization were doing to assist the startups and bringing talented youths out of joblessness ,” Lagos and Eko Innovation Centre,are doing wonderfully well.
With the MoU signed today by the state and Microsoft, the sky will not be their limit, but a stepping point. I am happy because many people are going to be pulled out of poverty.
” Lagos is a pacesetter and I know that other states will soon key into the programme. I will like the FG and other states to emulate the Lagos State Government and begin to pull people out of ignorance, poverty and begin to embrace digital trainings. I want to advise the youths to keep trying and put in for competition, they may not know what will come out of it. Today, my team is happy with the Award given to us . I want to sincerely thank Eko Innovation Centre for bringing us out to limelight”.
Another winner,Adedeni, whose team went home with N5 million reward, also praised the Lagos State Government and Eko Innovation Centre for their contributions to the society,” Our Company is interested in training teachers. We want to change the narrative. We want to discourage students from cramming, but encourage them to be more critical and technical in handling issues. We organize programmes for students after school and during holidays. It will take time to get it right in Nigeria,but we have to start from somewhere.We use different concepts, including music to train our students. We discovered that the best solution to impact knowledge on the students, is to train 500 teachers who in turn will also transfer knowledge to other teachers and students. We are going from school to school. This will go a long way to train thousands of people.
” If you are observant, you will understand that employers are complaining about graduates who come for employment. They have certificate, but no skills. You can’t blame the students,but their teachers who believe much of teaching students who will download everything the teacher gave them as notes. The teachers prefer the students to write exactly what they gave to them as notes.
We want to discourage it, by teaching students and teachers about doing things practically and stop cramming things. You will be more productive if you don’t just cram, but do it practically”