Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become integral to modern life and are transforming various aspects of our society. Be it at work places, business, education, interaction, entertainment and even the way we manage our social lives, ICT plays salient roles. In fact, governments, individuals, and organizations recognize ICT as a catalyst for positive change, as it has the potential to drive economic growth, improve access to education and healthcare, enhance communication and collaboration, and address various global challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic indeed accelerated the adoption and reliance on ICTs worldwide. With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, people turned to technology to work, learn, communicate, and access essential services. This shift highlighted the critical role of ICT in maintaining continuity and ensuring that essential functions of society could continue, even in challenging circumstances. And ever since then, governments around the world have recognized the importance of ICT and taken several actions to support and further invest in this sector.
In the case of Benue too, it is evident that the administration of Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, has embraced ICT as a significant part of his administration. The governor understands that investments in digital literacy, infrastructure, and digital services will not only help the population navigate lifetime challenges, but also contribute to long-term economic development, education, governance, employment and healthcare. The governor knows that continued investment in ICT will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the state and the nation as a whole.
This is why the administration of His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, in a calculated move to create job opportunities for the teeming youths, is organizing an ICT training for 10,000 youth in the state, tagged Benue Tech Skills or Benue Go Digital training, to enable the youth function optimally in the ICT world, and above all, to progressively become self-reliant.
The Benue Tech Skills for Jobs or Benue Go Digital ICT training, is a revolutionary program designed to empower the youth and build a digitally inclined community in the state. The benefits of this program are manifold; affecting individuals, economy, and the overall governance of the state, in a positive way.
First, the ICT training will empower and equip the youth of the state with the needed digital skills to compete on the global stage, as diverse programs such as Digital Marketing & e-commerce, Software Development, UI/UX (User Interface/ User Experience), Advanced Data Analytics, Data Science & Analysis, Graphics Design, Infographics, Backend Development, Frontend Development, and Smart Videography will be taught. These will provide a wide range of career options for the young people, reducing the unemployment rate in the state.
The training will also be beneficial to the general public because by fostering a digitally conscious society, the public can benefit from more efficient and innovative services. Everyday tasks will become simplified; businesses can flourish, and locally-founded digital products and services can improve the quality of life.
The training will equally give rise to economic growth in the state because as soon as the trained youth establish their businesses or get employed, it will boost local economic activities. This will also encourage entrepreneurship development, foster innovation, and open Benue as a tech hub, thereby attracting investments.
The Benue Tech Skills for Jobs or Benue Go Digital ICT training will also have a great impact on government savings. This is because a digitally skilled workforce enables smooth adaptation of e-governance. The transition to digital administration reduces the cost of governance by lessening paper usage, faster task completion, reducing travel costs, and minimizing bureaucratic procedures.
Again, the Public Service sector too will benefit from the outcome of the initiative because given adequate training in ICT, public service employees can deliver faster, more efficient, and innovative services to Benue residents, increasing citizen satisfaction and trust in the government.
Furthermore, the Benue Tech Skills or Benue Go Digital ICT training program, has a considerable potential for job creation, as the digitally skilled individuals are equipped to start their own businesses, creating job opportunities for others. Again, existing organizations may employ these skilled youths, increasing job creation. In the long run, as Benue becomes recognized as a tech hub, more tech companies might choose to establish here, thereby multiplying job opportunities in the state.
Lastly, the range of skills taught will give the youth the opportunity to choose their career path in the digital world, as they will become Software Developers, Digital Marketers, Data Analysts, Graphics Designers, etc. The wealth of choices also enable the youths to choose the best fit for them, giving them control over their careers and ensuring job satisfaction. This then leads to quality outputs and continued productivity, ensuring that Benue consistently generates top-tier tech professionals.
It is important to note that His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia’s commitment towards the digitalization of Benue State, extends beyond job creation. He is working tirelessly to enhance digital infrastructure, ensuring that the people of Benue have access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity. This connectivity is not only vital for remote work, but it is also important for e-commerce and educational opportunities, allowing Benue residents to bridge the digital divide and tap into a world of endless possibilities.
With these relentless efforts, H.E Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia is not only transforming the ICT sector but also instilling a sense of innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth. By this, the Governor will be nurturing their talents and providing them with the right support and resources, empowering a new generation of tech-savvy individuals who can secure a prosperous future for themselves and the state.
As an ICT loving person, the governor is also fostering a technologically proficient workforce that is capable of attracting investments, which will boost economic growth in Benue state in no distant time. He understands that an influx of tech-based companies and startups will provide ample employment opportunities for the skilled workforce, thus reducing unemployment rate thereby, improving the overall standard of living.
Finally, His Excellency Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, has demonstrated his love and knowledge of the importance of ICT in the society and he is already making remarkable strides in the sector. Through the Benue Go Digital Skills initiative, the governor is creating 50,000 jobs and propelling Benue towards a digital future. His dedication to digitalization, infrastructure development, and youth empowerment is already revolutionizing and fostering a vibrant Tech-ecosystem in Benue State.
Sir Kula who is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, wrote from Makurdi.