To protect the investments of over 20 million Lagosians from cybercriminals and boost Nigeria’s global cybersecurity index, the Lagos State Government has begun equipping one million young people with cyber security skills necessary for crime prevention and youth development.
In addition to cybersecurity, the young ones would also be exposed to digital marketing, entrepreneurship, Python, and other programming that conform with the 21st century digital best practices.
Special Adviser to Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, said during a tour of various state-run digital skills centres that the initiative was aimed at producing more tech-savvy Lagosians.
Already, he said over 5,000 youths were undergoing training across 11 centres.
He said the training was the second phase of a three-phase programme designed to ensure that youths do 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 programmes 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 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 one million people benefit from the initiative”
On the inclusion of cybersecurity in the curriculum, Wahab said the government designed the training in compliance with the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) and to also provide human resources for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to boost their anti-graft war.
“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 aide said there were plans to ensure that different agencies and firms engaged anyone certified under the programme in the state.
“We have told the consultants to help engage the best of the lot. And some of those 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,” he said.
We are not only going to give them that knowledge but also ensure that they could be fixed up in their chosen field,” he said.
Assistant Project Coordinator, LoftInc Allied Partners Limited, the organisation collaborating with the 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.