Tech Skills ‘ll Solve Youth Unemployment, Says Expert 

Amid a high unemployment rate in Nigeria, a Cybersecurity Analyst, Anuoluwapo Olawuyi, has suggested that acquiring technology skills could be the solution for the teeming youth.

Olawuyi stated that it would take at least three to six months for a focused individual to develop basic technology skills and potentially secure a paid internship position.

Addressing the pressing issue of youth unemployment, he asserted that while the situation is concerning, it presents a surmountable challenge for those willing to chart a course in the technology sector.

The analyst stated, “There are lots of available tools to acquire some of the necessary tech skills for free. Most of the knowledge I have today, I learned from Youtube. Even at the early stage of my career, I was always on YouTube.

He confirmed that there is a high demand for certain tech skills with good financial rewards. New technologies like AI will create more jobs for engineers, managers, and healthcare workers, potentially offsetting job losses in other areas.

“Cybersecurity is my specialty now. It was web development many years ago but I needed to evolve and add more skills to my bank. The idea is that no youth should just fold their arms. There are sacrifices to be made at the initial stage,” he noted.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the unemployment rate in Nigeria was reported as 4.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2023, which was a decrease from the 33 per cent recorded in 2020.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Nigeria is actively promoting the acquisition of technology skills.

Under the leadership of Kashifu Abdullahi, NITDA has trained close to a million Nigerians in digital skills, with initiatives such as the NITDA Coursera scholarship cohort, which aims to train about 8,000 Nigerians in high-demand digital skills.

Additionally, NITDA has launched the ‘Digital For All Challenge 2.0’ to promote digital literacy across Nigeria.

The agency is also focused on developing a talent strategy to address the demand and supply of technology skills, with plans to train 1 million software developers in 18 months.

Olawuyi advised that youths must position themselves to take advantage of certain initiatives by the government to promote tech skills acquisition.

He advised that individuals can explore various government initiatives and programs such as the IDEAS project, the #3MTT program, and the NITDA Coursera scholarship cohort.

He added that the initiatives aimed to enhance technical and vocational education and training and to train millions of technical talents in high-demand digital skills.

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