The Lagos State Government has begun move to equip one million youths in the State with cyber security and other digital skills, necessary for crime prevention and youths development.
This is part of the measures to protect investments of over 20 million Lagosians from cyber criminals.
Aside from cybersecurity, the state government stated that it was equally empowering youths with skills in digital marketing, entrepreneurship, Python and other programming that conformed with the 21st century Digital age requirement.
Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab who disclosed this on Tuesday while conducting journalists round various Digital Skills Centres, stated that the initiative is aimed at producing more tech-savvy Lagosians,.
He disclosed that over 5,000 youths were currently undergoing training across its 11 centres.
Tokunbo stated that the ongoing digital skills development programme was part of Sanwo-Olu’s development agenda aimed at empowering youths and young students across primary and secondary schools within the state.
The Special Adviser added that the training was the second phase of the three phases programme designed to build a system that ensured that youths did not need to wait for employment after their education, rather they become employers of labour as well as solution providers for Nigeria, especially Lagos State.
Phase one of the programme, according to him, is in-school which catered for schoolchildren in both public and private schools, second phase is for the out-of-school; the varsity education seekers, and the third phase is the in-school.
He further disclosed that during the phase one of the scheme, pupils from 720 public and private schools respectively were empowered with the required digital skills, building an army of pupils that are tech-savvy.
He said: “For next year, we are trying to do three phases. And that is the In-school (phase one), Out of school (phase two ) and the in-school (third phase). Our target is to ensure that at least 1million people benefitted from the initiative.”
On the inclusion of cybersecurity in the curriculum, the governor’s aide noted that it was aimed at deepening the entire empowerment exercise to make youths relevant in the global digital market and become solution providers for 21st century Lagos.
He noted that the government designed the training in compliance with the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) and to also provide human capacity for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in their anti-graft war.
According to him, “there is a lot that we are doing backdoor that we cannot say publicly due to security reasons. And that is why the State Government has been consistent in all its youth empowerment programmes towards a better future and crime free society.”
The special adviser hinted that plans are afoot to ensure that different agencies and firms engage anyone certified under the programme in the state.
“We have told the consultants to help engage the best of the lots and some of those that were training the new students were some that have graduated through the scheme and they are not doing this for free.
“We are also trying to ensure that some of the ICT companies engage them. We are not only going to give them that knowledge but also ensure that they could be fixed up in their chosen field”.
Earlier, Assistant Project Coordinator, LoftInc Allied Partners Limited, the organisation collaborating with the State Government on the programme, Olatokunbo Aiyenimelo, explained that the training was fully paid for by the government and that it also made the training easy for the trainees.