Kaduna Govt., World Bank train 900 youths on virtual economy
The Kaduna State Government in Partnership with Digital Naija on Tuesday commence a three-day training of 900 youth on the use of digital platforms to earn income. Muhammad Abdullahi, the Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, said during the opening ceremony in Kaduna that the training was supported by the World Bank.Abdullahi explained that the training tagged “Click-On Kaduna” was one of the state’s initiatives to drive job creation. He said that the training was specifically designed to tackle unemployment while providing youth access to the virtual economy. He described the Virtual Economy as a space that allows for the exchange of virtual goods, currencies, digital labour and professional services for a corresponding fee. “Over the next three days, 900 of you from Kaduna, Kano, Plateau states and the Federal Capital Territory will be trained on how to utilise digital platforms to promote businesses and earn income. “The idea was for the youths to earn incomes in the virtual economy from the comfort of their homes. “You will learn how to identify, negotiate, execute and receive payments for jobs on leading Elance, an online employment platform which allows businesses to easily find, hire, manage and pay workers. “You will be guided to set up your own shops on online job marketplaces; and you will have the opportunity to network with local platforms. “We have also invited small and medium enterprises to ensure that the demand-side for the skills you are acquiring enables you to tap into the opportunities that abound, “he said. He said that at the end of the workshop, the top 15 per cent of the participants would be inducted into a pilot programme called “Upwork”, one of the world’s largest Elance platforms. “Participants with the best profiles will be given tasks which when successfully completed will attract ratings and payments, and increase their prospects of winning jobs on digital platform, “he added. The commissioner noted that despite Nigeria’s potential as the largest economy in Africa, unemployment remains a big challenge. “This is evident with National Bureau Statistics 2017 record which put national unemployment rate at 20 per cent and youth employment ages 15 to 24 at 33 per cent. “Similarly, a survey carried out in 2016 showed that almost 50 per cent of university graduates in Nigeria could not find jobs aligned with the degree they read, because they were obsolete, “he said. He said that the world is currently in the age 4th Industrial Revolution in which Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays a significant role in growth and development. According to him, it is of utmost importance that Nigeria position itself to leapfrog into the future by ensuring that youth are equipped with the tools required to reap the economic gains that this era offers. The commissioner advised the participants to take advantage of the rare opportunity to commence a journey to a successful career online. The participants thanked the Kaduna State Government, the World Bank and other partners for the training, describing it as a huge opportunity for a digital career. One of them, Amina Aliyu, said that the opportunity would enable her tapped the economic gains of digital platforms.