Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said the country could overtake India in the technology and innovation talent market.
He spoke during the flag-off ceremony of Google Digital Training for Youth Empowerment at the State House, Abuja.
According to him, the administration will continue to explore creative ways at empowering the youths.
He said: “We intend to create a reservoir of human capacity in technology that can be exported internationally. Nigeria can lead India as a market for technology and innovation talent.
“This year, we are establishing technology hubs across the country, two super hubs in Lagos and Abuja and six regional hubs in the six geo-political zones. In partnership with several major technology companies, the hubs will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building tools.
“Each hub will be designed to produce relevant innovative technology solutions to a wide range of business, commercial and government problems. For example, alternative energy solutions, creative technology, public services delivery in health, education and government processes, import substitution and others.
“Several major technology companies are partnering with us in the provision of infrastructure and opportunity in the hubs. Also starting this year, we have budgeted for the training of 65,000 young Nigerias in hardware and software services and more sophisticated software and hardware such as animation.
“This would mean that we would be building more local capacity to build, assemble hardware and write innovative programmes; we will also be focusing on technology for media and entertainment.”
While the empowerment initiative is targeting 400,000 youths at a start, Osinbajo said the government is determined to give every opportunity to younger generation to ensure they excel through the use of modern technology.
He said a special initiative on innovative technology and start-ups’ presentation of prospective participants have already been done in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
“This Friday, 30 of the best start up ideas will be exhibiting their inovations at the Presidential villa at the first Annual Aso Villa Demo Day.
“The 30 winners will be arriving here in Abuja today and they will participate in an innovation growth camp for the next two days.
“And this is why what Google has offered to do in collaboration with the Federal Government, the Google training for youth employment, the training of 400,000 young people is a monumental contribution to the national plan and in particular to economic development.
“Everyone of the 400,000 young men and women to be trained is a potential creator of Facebook, Uber, Jobberman, Iroko Tv or something that we haven’t even imagined yet. The exciting prospect of this training is that it unleashes the creativity, innovation and the boundless imaginative of the most productive segment of our society, the youths.
“For any student today, I think that we must appreciate that this is the age of multi-tasking; you cannot just be an economist, an accountant, a lawyer or a graduate of international relations, or mass communication or performing arts and just remain that way. Multi-skilling is crucial today, multi-tasking is the order of the day; you can’t just be one thing.
“You must learn to be a man of affairs, a versatile operator not a mono skill graduate.”
To achieve this, he said there are many opportunities as practically anything can be learned online today.
“All of these business reviews and business journals, many of them are free online. Everyone has a right to be rich; age is not a barrier to great wealth as we have seen from all the examples of great men and women who have done so many incredible things,” the Vice President said.
According to him, there are also important opportunities for those in the performing and film arts, which goes beyond actual performing to effective management of talents, their programmes and projects.