Following the many cyber-attacks and various issues faced by many organisations, the Lagos State Government has begun the empowerment of one million youths in the State with necessary digital skills to prevent cyber-crime and enhance the knowledge of youths in online security.
According to the blog post on the website of the Lagos State Government, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, while addressing journalists on the commencement of the second phase of the Eko Digital programme spoke about the development stating that aside from cybersecurity, the State government is equally equipping youths with skills in digital marketing, entrepreneurship, python and other programming languages that are relevant in the 21st Century digital age.
He explained that the initiative is aimed at producing more tech-savvy Lagosians and that the ongoing training of over 5,000 youths at 11 centres is also part of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s development agenda aimed at empowering youths and students across primary and secondary schools within the State.
Additionally, Wahab noted that the ongoing training was the second phase of the three-phase programme designed to build a system that ensures that youths do not need to wait for employment after their education, rather they can become employers of labour as well as solution providers for Nigeria, especially Lagos State.
He pointed out that the government designed the training in compliance with the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) to provide human capacity for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in their anti-graft war.
Ms. Olatokunbo Aiyenimelo, the Assistant Project Coordinator of LoftInc Allied Partners Limited, the organisation collaborating with the State Government on the programme, stated that the training expenses were fully borne by the government in order to attract more youths and remove the financial burden on the trainees and laptops, internet connection and android phones would be made available for effective at the accredited libraries to aid learning. Aside from providing an online skill acquisition programme, the government also created an avenue for the trainees to get computers, internet connectivity, and other materials that would aid learning.
Ms. Aiyenimelo disclosed that “It is a self-paced programme, meaning that the ability to assimilate will determine the students’ duration to learn the programme. This is the second phase of the programme, and so far, we have over 5,000 people registered for this phase two of the programme in the State. We have two sessions for them daily, the first session starts at 9:30 am and ends at 11 am while the second session kick-off at noon.
While there are other reasons why these skills are taught, a significant reason is to make Lagos youths relevant in the global digital market, as this would not be possible if they do not align themselves to skills that are in high demand and relevant.
It is hoped that this training would open up boundless opportunities, improve cybersecurity awareness, and position Lagos on the map of technologically advanced societies.