The Bayelsa State government has pledged its preparedness to partner more with the Young Innovators of Nigeria to train and empower Bayelsans on Information Communication Technology across the state as part of efforts towards diversifying the economy, building capacity and creating jobs.
The state commissioner for labour and productivity, Collins Cocodia disclosed this in an exclusive interview with TNN at his office in Yenagoa, during the launch and verification exercise for the 2nd phrase of Bayelsa ICT eco-system training programme.
Cocodia, hinted that the exercise was a follow-up to the first phrase which was the “Bayelsa ignition week 2018” that was concluded recently, noting that this three weeks event that started with online registration is to expose young Bayelsans to the numerous benefits and advantages of the ICT world.
According to him “This is a collaboration between the state government and the group. We were successful with the first phase and that is why we want Bayelsans to benefit more from the up-coming training. Our projection is for three hundred persons but to our greatest surprise we got 1120 youths that registered online”
'We have a facility to train three hundred for a start, and we are also looking forwards having an ICT policy for the state so that we attract the federal government for collaborations'.
The president, Young Innovators of Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Abu, noted that he was marvelled at the high interest of Bayelsans who registered for the programme, adding that the group will do everything to ensure the participants are well impacted so that they can be valuable to the Bayelsa community.
He averred that the aim is to provide intellectual properties to young people in the state by promoting ICT, noting that the participants will be well groomed, a cluster will be formed and the best will be linked with multi-national companies in the country.
“We will ensure they are groomed to becoming the best, we will set up clusters and also engage them with multi-nationals, so that they can add value to the society. We feel it's important to train a lot of them so that we can create jobs and make them less dependent on government”
We have the mandate to provide intellectual properties, not just to train them but we have to still mentor them, engage them with different opportunities. Looking at this terrain, agricultural technology is also still part of the programme, it's our pleasure to see that Bayelsans benefit.
The director, business development and operation, Young Innovators of Nigeria, Mr Jeffery Udende, also disclosed that this is part of their project to prepare youths from this country to compete with their counterparts abroad, adding that the best way to promote local content is to educate our youths on ICT.
Udende, who visibly commended the Bayelsa state government for the opportunity to invest in the youths of the state, said capacity building in youths cannot be over emphasized since the economy has moved from oil base to ICT base.
He said they were in the state to add more value to many who has passion for ICT but has not touched a computer mouse before, adding that instead of government investing so much in infrastructure, it should be on ICT.
A participant, Miss, Bofamena Joseph, said she was participating because of her love and choice for ICT, adding that ICT is the new oil that will never run dry.
In his contribution, one of the instructor and an expert in web designing, Perewari Pere, said after being trained by the state government, he wants to add value and impact on others in the state.