Nigeria’s minister of communications, innovation, and digital economy, Bosun Tijani, formally launched a plan to train 3 million technical talents over the next four years on Wednesday. If successful, the initiative could help achieve President Bola Tinubu’s goal of creating a million tech jobs in the first two years of his administration. It’s a critical goal because Nigeria’s unemployment rate is projected to cross 40% this year from 33% in 2020.
“I believe, based on data that LinkedIn has projected, Nigeria can fill about 23% of the current global shortage in technology talents,” Tijani said. The minister hopes that Nigeria’s young people—about 60% of the population—can grow the country into a net exporter of technology talents to the rest of the world.
The 3MTT program will be run based on a 1-10-100 model. According to the minister, the idea is to test a prototype with 1% of the target—30,000—for the first three months. Around 2 million applications were received in less than 30 days for the first cohort.
The second cohort will focus on 30,000 people and begin in February 2023. Lessons from these batches “will help scale the program to achieve the 3 million target,” Tijani said.
For the first batch, selected participants will be trained on twelve technical skills, namely software development, UI/UX design, data analysis & visualisation, quality assurance, product management, data science, animation, AI/machine learning, cybersecurity, game development, cloud computing, and Dev Ops.
Fola Olatunji-David, a member of the 3MTT team, explained that the teaching method will be hybrid: participants will learn through selected online content providers and applied learning clusters in their communities.
“We don’t want people to learn and sit down in their house alone. We want them to learn and be able to apply what they have learned,” he shared, adding that there will be job placements for participants.