By Correspondent in Abuja.
Global Wissen Consult, a Sweden-Nigerian firm says it is partnering with education experts in Nigeria to boost digital education and enhance skills acquisition for youths through digital programmes in the country.
Oscar Nwokeji, Co-founder of the firm, said this at a stakeholders’ roundtable that its goal was to address digital illiteracy in the country and digitize the Nigerian economy through the deployment of its products.
Nwokeji, at the meeting hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in Abuja, said that Global Wissen Consult, a social development enterprise, was established to pass the light of digital literacy to youths through modern ways of learning.
He said that the firm, which believed in bridging the gaps in digital learning for youths in Nigeria, also poised to provide individuals with everything needed to survive in today’s digital world.
According to him, the firm offers and runs digital entrepreneurship and skills members clubs in universities. This club provides students with the knowledge, tools and skills needed to leverage the digital space.
The programme is with the theme “why digital literacy is crucial for your child’s future.”
The programme, which is designed for students as a platform that offers everything needed to leverage the digital space, brought together students, parents, the university community and education experts.
“The ongoing digital evolution in Africa has prompted us to ensure that the youths are at the forefront of this change.
“We are aware that there is still a huge percentage of ignorance and digital literacy as opposed to the number of people who have caught up with the digital transformation and have equipped themselves with the right skills.
“That is why we have taken it upon ourselves as an organization to ensure that the digital light is being passed on to our vibrant youths and the general public.
“Our goal is to ensure that Nigeria economy is digitized by ensuring that the youths have the right skill through various means,” he said.
According to him, the digital economy is actually achievable that is why the firm is also putting more effort to achieve this goal.
He said that was why the firm organised such an event like this, where parents and university officials could meet and fashion a way forward.
He said that the event was to sensitise stakeholders about countless opportunities in the digital space, create awareness among guardians on the benefits of ensuring their children are digitally literate and skilled.
He said that from findings, Nigerians have digital skills with competent entrepreneurs, hence the development of the digital economy would not be a problem.
“The Swedish government is supporting the project 100 per cent. We are making things also attractive to other Swedish companies to come into Nigeria,” he said.
Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Carl Michael Grans, lauded the initiative of the firm which he said would help Nigerians take advantage of digital space for skill development.
The ambassador believed that the operations of the enterprise would also increase the employability rate among young people.
“One of our main targets is to work together with universities to ensure that all students are digitally literate and equipped for the world, and for the future.
The envoy stressed the importance of skill acquisition, especially in the digital field to help the youth and address the problem of unemployment in the country.
“You need to reach out, and the pandemic has really shown us the solution of digital, so you need the skills to learn. And you need digital skills to get employed. It is really the future of Nigeria and Nigerian youths,” he said.
The ambassador hinted that the Swedish government had been trying to support its companies that are working in Nigeria, in many different ways and with the focus now shifting to the digital field.
“Global Wissen Consult is one of such companies, there others as well that we are trying to help them introduce their services,” he said.
Former Minister of Labour and a Corporate Lawyer, Adetokunbo Kayode, at the occasion, stressed the importance of skill acquisition to make a graduate employable.
Kayode, an International Arbitrator, said that skill was very important and very much more important than the certificate obtained at the age of 16 or 17 more important than the certificate we take around.
“I see that the theme of the programme is focusing on the opportunity in digital skill; it is very apt because that is what is driving the world.
“So, I like to say that having something with your certificate is very important.”
The Tax Expert said that there should be a change of narrative in the education community.
“All schools, higher or tertiary institutions, whether polytechnic or university must or should insist that every student acquire additional skill in addition with what they studied in school.
“I want to encourage parents that a certificate is not enough to make the student what he is supposed to be.
“It is discovered that many of the graduates we have today may not be employable unless they have something in addition to the knowledge acquired in school,” he said.
According to him, there is a skill divide and it is something that we need to bridge through digital knowledge.
Kayode said that “the skill acquisition is a must to acquire either before or after graduation.
“I challenge all our students to learn additional skills to become employable. If you have a degree certificate and you are not employable you will not be fulfilled.
“I want to urge the universities to include skill acquisition in their curriculum and I want the NUC to also work closely on this.
“Before you get to university or finish your programme, endeavour to acquire a skill, there is no need to hurry about the certificate,” he said