Dr. Vincent Olatunji, the Acting Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Thursday said girls proficient in Information Communication Technology (ICT) would never be out of a job.
Olatunji said this at the International Girls in ICT Day Celebration organised by IBI Training Centre in collaboration with other ICT stakeholders in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the celebration was “Expanding Horizons, Changing Attitude.” It was designed to awaken the interest of girls in ICT.
Highlights of the celebration included presentations on the benefits of ICT to girls from secondary schools across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Olatunji, who was represented by Tariundu Ndoni, Assistant Chief Scientific Officer of the agency, said that ICT had become the integral part of daily life, adding that it has huge potentials of job creation.
We all know that ICT has become an integral part of our daily life. ICT has huge potentials for job and wealth creation, high increase in quality and standard of living and better service delivery. Girls with ICT skills will never be out of work and will have much more flexibility in their work choice too. ICT skills are highly transferable, which means you will be able to work almost anywhere in the world you want,” he said.
According to him, there is a paradigm shift in the global development agenda towards the proper positioning of ICT as a driving force for virtually every sector of the economy. The acting Director-General said that ICT constituted more than 80 per cent of job components globally. He said that ICT had improved the lives of people in every sector such as healthcare, education, environmental management, better communications and governance.
Olatunji challenged the girls to develop interest in engineering and ICT, adding that his organisation would encourage them to pursue a better career. Pius Ode Pius, Assistant Director, FCT Secondary Education Board, said the board was ICT compliant.
He said that ICT had improved the economy of countries across the globe, adding that Nigeria should not be left out. Ode urged the girls to take advantage of the information they would be exposed to in the course of the presentations to set career goals for the future.
One of the organisers of the programme, Ayo Olagunju, said they were promoting ICT in the country as a means of diversifying the economy.
“ICT is a multi-billion dollar industry and when you have ladies motivated and inspired to go into ICT companies, we are creating a future for this country,” he said.
According to him, the proportion of women’s participation in ICT across the country is quite low.
He said that the stakeholders were engaging professionals in the sector to mentor girls in building careers in ICT with specifics to any part of the sector.
“We are looking at going to schools to initiate IT clubs to work with the schools and see areas of deficiencies, like enhancing teachers’ competence in IT,” Olagunju said.
He said that the International Girls Day in ICT was celebrated with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) since 2011 in over 150 countries with over 200,000 girls in participation.