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NITDA Unveils Digital Literacy Framework, Set to Create 1m Digital Jobs

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In its ambitious target to achieve 95 percent digital literacy by 2030 and aligning with the vision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to create over one million jobs for youths in the digital economy sector, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has officially launched the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF) for achieving a digitally literate citizenry.

The framework is aimed at providing a clear and consistent definition of digital literacy and to develop a national curriculum for digital literacy capacity building training to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or location, has the opportunity to learn the digital skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy.

Kashifu Inuwa, director general of NITDA, while making his remark during the unveiling at the Digital Economy Complex, Mbora in Abuja, said the framework is going to set the stage for the review of curriculum from the kindergarten to universities.

He said under the objectives of the Framework, there is Universal Access, which means every Nigerian should have access to digital literacy and also, will help the country develop youth’s skills.

The second objective, according to the DG, is Skill Development, which he said will help in building digital offerings locally.

“Thirdly, Inclusive Participation means everybody should be carried along to achieve this, we are developing digital gender inclusion as well, to ensure that the Nigerian women are not being left behind and we also have the workforce readiness,” he added.

Inuwa also stressed the need for Nigeria to strategically position itself to fill 85 million talent deficits gaps with 8.5T USD unrealised annual value, which Korn Ferry projected that the world would experience by the year 2030.

“By the year 2030, the way we work will completely change” the DG said, while citing McKinsey’s research that said automation will displace between 480 million jobs; Microsoft’s which said that by 2025, there is going to be more than 190 million new IT jobs.

“If we position ourselves, we can capture this value and become the global talent factory. We have a more competitive advantage over India in terms of our young population, English-speaking people, our geographic location, and many more,” the DG said.

He stated, “to create jobs, you need to have the literacy and skill, you need the literacy for the consumers to consume the digital services, and you need skills for the developers to build the digital services. So, this framework is setting the tone and is setting the direction.”

He asserted that more work will be done, as NITDA has already done the IT Skills Gap Assessment and is currently working on the digital talent strategy that will help in building the talent pipeline; not only training people, but connecting them with jobs, either local jobs or global in other to be part of the global value chain.

Tunde Fasanya, DG SMEDAN Mr Olawale, during his goodwill message assured NITDA that the Agency will key in by including digital skills in its training curriculum to impact a lot of people. As he said the impact of digital skills on Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises is enormous.

The highlight of the event was the official signing of the NDLF by the special guest of Honour and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr William Alo OON and the DG of NITDA.

In attendance were the DG/CEO National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr Aliyu Aziz; CEO, National Commissioner, Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), Dr Vincent Olatunji; representative from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Education, MTN Foundation, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and many more.


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Subscribers Decry Poor Service Delivery by Telcos, Accuse NCC of Playing the Ostrich

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Telecommunications subscribers have waxed angrily at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for pretending that everything was fine while subscribers grapple with unreliable internet and call services.

Subscribers Decry Poor Service Delivery by Telcos, Accuse NCC of Playing the Ostrich

They want the regulator could do more by compelling Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), also known as telcos, to improve their service.

Some of the major complaints are connection failures, poor data service, fluctuating network, data roll over challenges, illegal credit deductions and uncompleted calls.

Experts said that the drop in service quality has been attributed to the fact that three out of the four mobile network operators failed to meet the industry standards for network service.

In separate calls; Association of Telephone, CableTv, and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS-Nigeria) and National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOM) urged the NCC to live up to its responsibility of protecting subscribers.

Sina Bilesanmi, president, ATCIS-Nigeria, accused the NCC of pretending that everything was fine while subscribers groaned.

He said that ATCIS-Nigeria members have not only complained about drop calls and inability to originate calls, but they are also unable to access their airtime balance after recharging.

Bilesanmi argued that now that service quality has nosedived, there was no ground for telcos to justify any demand for a tariff increase.

He said that “ I have been inundated with complaints about low service quality from my members.

“ It is worrisome and the NCC is pretending that all is well. This low service quality is coming at a time when the MNOs are asking for a hike in tariff and our members were beginning to show understanding because, quite frankly, the tariff has remained the same for over a decade.

“The operators should tell us if they have any challenges.”

Elsewhere, Deolu Ogunbanjo, national president, NATCOM, said the service rendered by the MNOs had become  ‘’so bad’ that subscribers now lament openly.

He added that the telcos, on their part,   complained about their constraints to expand capacity.”

He said: “It(service delivery) has been so bad. It was one of the issues raised last Thursday but the telcos complained about their constraint to expand capacity and the need to raise tariff.”

Ogunbanjo said he supported the demand for an increase in tariff because it was overdue.

He, however, said an increase must be marginal in order not to asphyxiate the industry.

 

 


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Meta Disagrees with $220m Fine, Sets for Appeal

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Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp and Facebook, is preparing to appeal a decision by Nigerian regulators to impose a $220 million fine against it for alleged market power abuse and privacy violations.

Meta Disagrees with $220m Fine, Sets for Appeal

The company said that “We disagree with this decision as well as the fine and we are appealing the decision,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not specify where and when the appeal will be lodged.

It will be recalled that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) published the fine last week, capping a three-year investigation.

The inquiry focused on data sharing practices on WhatsApp, the most widely used messaging service in Nigeria.

The commission claimed it found evidence of “multiple and repeated, as well as continuing infringements” of the country’s data protection and competition laws and imposed the fine as a final resolution.

Meta was ordered to “immediately reinstate the rights of Nigerian users to self-determine and control” data sharing, and stop sharing WhatsApp users’ information “with other Facebook companies and third parties” without users’ active consent.

It was also required to pay $35,000 to cover the cost of the commission’s investigation, in addition to the $220 million penalty. Both amounts are to be paid within 60 days from July 18.

Nigeria began looking into WhatsApp, which has an estimated 51 million users in the country, in May 2021.

That was four months after the app updated its global privacy policy on messaging between individuals and businesses, and how users’ data may be shared with Facebook.

Meta began responding to concerns detailed in Nigeria’s report around March this year, pledging to cooperate towards “reaching an amicable resolution,” according to the commission.

A “remedy package” proposed by Meta and sent mid-April proved unsatisfactory to the commission, however, its report said.

It is not clear what this package is — an email for comment to the commission was not responded to. Nigeria still expects Meta to implement it and publish it on WhatsApp’s website within two weeks, in addition to the fines.

Beyond complying with its laws, Nigeria’s aim with the penalties is to get Meta to “cease the exploitation of consumers and their market abuse,” the commission said.

 

 


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WATRA Says Digital Economy Contributes $30Bn Annually to W/African GDP

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The West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) has said that the digital economy currently contributes around $30 billion annually to the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

WATRA Says Digital Economy Contributes $30Bn Annually to W/African GDP

WATRA also called for lower cost of internet access to enhance the digital economy for the respective countries in the region.

Mr Aliyu Aboki, executive secretary, WATRA, who disclosed this during a virtual press conference at the weekend also said the West African telecommunications market is now valued at $63.17 billion with over 400 million mobile subscribers.

However, Aboki said WATRS is working on initiatives to facilitate infrastructure sharing among West African countries to lower the cost of internet for telecom subscribers across the region.

According to him, infrastructure such as gateways, and data centres are facilities that could be shared by countries in the region.

Admitting that the cost of internet across West African countries is still high, Aboki said a lower cost of internet access would enhance the digital economy for the respective countries in the region and increase the consumption of data by the citizens, which in turn generate more revenue for the telecom operators.

“We are exploring regional initiatives to share infrastructure and reduce cost. For example, we have infrastructures like gateways, data center servers, and so on. These are infrastructures that can be shared and used by different countries without necessarily having everyone building the same infrastructure.

“So, we are collectively looking at these rich regional initiatives that enable us to share infrastructure to bring down the cost of Internet ultimately,” the WATRA scribe said.

 

 


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