Imo state ministry of digital economy and e-government has rolled out plans for the digital Imo project. They include the training of 100,000 young adults, women and citizens living with disabilities in modern core skills in software and game development, block-chain and other technical and vocational skills. The ministry said it would also facilitate broadband penetration in all local government areas of Imo state.
Dr Chimezie Amadi, the commissioner in charge of the ministry which has already gained reputation as the first of its kind in Nigeria, said the ministry was also positioned to improve broadband penetration and coverage, increase e-government activities and also improve digital inclusion and literacy levels. Dr. Amadi said: “The ministry will pull 100,000 young people from across the local government areas of the state and educate them on digital skills and competencies. The ministry will be an enabler and a one-stop shop for the acquisition of digital knowledge for the entire state operation.”
According to him, the ministry is poised to train staffs from other ministries on technical skills for the new Imo state that would run operations on technology with the aim of maximizing resources for development. The ministry will work as part of the governor’s over all transformation agenda for Imo state. This, he said, would be achieved by building smart cities which leverage digital technology to drive governance, innovation and entrepreneurship and also promote value creation and prosperity for all.
The commissioner said the governor would be making a giant stride with the state being the first to establish such a ministry in Nigeria, making Imo the digital capital of Nigeria. The bold steps the state government would take, he said, include creating a hub of fitting digital skills set for jobs of the future, training and capacity building of MDA staffs to promote the use and adoption of the single windows portal, identification, automation and digital integration of revenue generating MDAs in the state. He also said the ministry of digital economy and e-government under his watch would animate the Startup Ecosystem by creating an enabling environment which would facilitate groundbreaking innovations that would, in turn, address societal challenges, enhance efficient service delivery and plug the holes in government budget for revenue assurance.
He gave the instance of government ensuring crowd-source broadband penetration and efficiency across all towns, villages and local government areas in Imo state and also facilitating broadband penetration to underserved and unserved locations in the state via private sector partnerships, deployment of state-owned fibre highway for interconnection of business districts, communities and local government areas.
Dr. Amadi eulogized Governor Hope Uzodinma saying he had set himself up to become the digital governor in Nigeria by this establishment. History, he said, would be kind to him for placing Imo state on the global digital map.
The commissioner on whose shoulder the responsibility to sustain this digital innovation in the state rests is a digital revolutionist, a silent achiever who has led digital mapping in Nigeria through the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC. Amadi is a young, energetic and highly talented son of Imo state. He was an assistant director at the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). He has an impressive educational portfolio. He attended several training programmes on 5G: the path to the next generation; digital transformation; unlocking the potential of IoT; enabling the full value of wireless technology: game changing technology for the digital age and ethics intelligence, among others.
At the NCC, Dr Amadi worked in various departments which included: administration, procurement, south-west zonal operations where he headed the enforcement, licensing and consumer affairs units as well as in research and development department where he headed the emerging technologies research unit. Being a very detailed man, Amadi has already mapped out what his actions would be in the new ministry within a year. His documentations include Action Steps, Timelines, Deliverables and expected outcomes. If there’s anyone befitting to head the new ministry, Dr Amadi is the one. He comes fully prepared for his new job as the commissioner for digital economy and e-government.
Skillup Imo began in December, 2022, with cohort 1, offering digital skills training to Imo young adults, women and disabled citizens in 3 stages: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. Imo citizens are being equipped by the state government with essential digital skills to thrive in today’s economy. Training covers web design, digital marketing, mobile app development and much more. The project aims to position Imo state for growth in the digital landscape.
Cohort 1 of Skillup Imo graduated in February and received kits like CCTV cameras, laptops, solar installation kits, phone repair kits, etc. These tools are designed to empower Imo state young adults to apply their digital skills, create new opportunities and thrive in today’s economy. Skillup Imo invests in digital skills and tools for a competitive state economy.
The Skillup Imo project recently completed exams for its second cohort, with 15,000 participants. The project equips the young adults with essential digital skills such as web design, coding, and social media marketing. The Imo state government remains committed to supporting the project and empowering citizens for a more competitive state economy.
In a related development, the Governor Hope Uzodimma administration has said it will soon employ at least 10,000 primary school teachers and extend the same gesture to post-primary schools.
The state commissioner for education, Johncliff Nwadike, who dropped the hint, said the state government would establish more technical schools and promote academic competition among male and female students.
He also said that principals had been directed to reintroduce inter-house sports competitions in their schools to promote athletic competitions among students. The commissioner assured Imo citizens that Education was free in all government schools in the state.
Nwadike, who disclosed this to newsmen in his office while speaking on the activities of his ministry said that the state government would equally establish more special schools for the physically challenged individuals, equip them with modern teaching and learning facilities and also establish more adult education centres.