The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, has said Nigeria is challenged by both unemployment and un-employability.
The minister said this during the World Creativity and Innovation Day/Expo 2022 in Abuja.
Pantami stressed the need for Nigerians to develop employable skills rather than gathering paper qualifications.
He added that the issue of un-employability the country currently faces is more worrisome than the issue of unemployment.
The minister said, “Today, in the world, skills are more important than paper qualifications that are empty.
”Particularly in Nigeria, we have the challenge of unemployment on one hand, and the challenge of un-employability on the other because our challenge is not only unemployment. Rather, we have a very serious challenge of un-employability, which is even more worrisome particularly in a situation where we are more inclined to theories rather than practice, whereas students graduate without any hands-on training.”
He further said that the Federal Government was championing innovation and entrepreneurship to promote skill acquisition among Nigerians.
“It is because of this that this administration has discovered that innovation and entrepreneurship are the two prerequisites to developing an indigenous digital economy,” he added.
The minister further urged Nigerians to not just discuss the challenges in the country but also provide practical solutions.
He said, “We are more interested in discussing problems rather than proffering solutions. We enjoy criticising. However, what is important today we are to learn is if we criticise, let us propose a solution. ”
The event featured an innovation pitch competition between five startups, which all ended up with varying cash prizes. One of the startups called Green AI won N2m, while another, Fuel Intellisense, won N1.5m. Another startup won N1m while the remaining two got N500,000 each.