Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Saturday said that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the country to come to terms with the reality of migrating to a full IT driven economy.
The governor made the call when he joined the government-backed virtual digital training for youths in the state amid a call on participants to compete to evolve with homegrown technological solutions to local problems.
At least 3,195 young people are involved in the digital training which is supported by the Grow with Google and Wootlab Foundation. Called K-Power, the initiative is a component of the four-layer state social investment programme.
AbdulRazaq said the lockdown arising from the COVID-19 pandemic again confirmed that the country must come to term with deploying technology in all facets of life, including in agriculture, manufacturing, and education.
He said the gradual resort to virtual meetings and online lectures for school children points at a future with decreased physical activities, charging the young people to develop IT solutions to make life better for the people.
He said: “Going to two months now our civil servants have been at home and that shows that the physical aspect of getting up to go to work is going. Work is going on and government activities are moving. Our schools have been shut and we can see that most of the students are doing online learning.”
“Yes there are difficulties to that because some people complain that they do not have data to go online and so on, but when we keep talking amongst ourselves we would find solutions to that. We would find solutions like live streaming and offline training.”
“It doesn’t have to be physical training in school; eventually we would come to a solution. The future is bright, it is just for us to plan ahead and know what we want to do, what we are going to do, what our targets are, and create a new environment for technology, which is to say those that will go to farm will farm, those that will do manufacturing will manufacture and those that will do IT will do IT, but there should be a synergy between all of them in order to see how you would get the farmers’ produce to the market and those involved in agro processing.”
“The Civil Servants should be able to work properly from home using the tools (of technology) available to them. That is why we are here; we would want to invest in what you do and partner with you. The government is ready, and our doors are open to partner with you to put Kwara on the map of technology in Nigeria, in Africa and the world”.