The Head of Business Operations, International Education Business, Emerging Markets, NIIT Ltd, Sanjay Tickoo, has said that with ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 which is geared towards creating two million jobs by 2020, the current trend will reverse and unemployment will shrink. He made this statement in an interview with Hi-TECH

Commenting on some of the trends shaping the global employment domain, he said: “ According to the World Economic Forum, disruptive changes to business models will continue to have profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. With global spending on Digital Transformation (DT) technologies expected to cross USD 2.1 billion by 2019 and by 2020 almost 50 per cent of IT budgets getting tied to digital transformation initiatives, it is obvious that DT will become a major driver of jobs. Furthermore, a research carried out by Gartner predicts that more than 40 per cent of all Data Analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience by 2020.”

When asked if Nigeria is being impacted by these changes, Tickoo said Nigeria is in the process of pulling out of a debilitating economic downturn and is getting back on the growth track. According to recent research, Nigeria is currently the number one economy in Africa, with a growth potential of over seven per cent, which is expected to send it to the “economic stratosphere” by 2050.  The country’s ICT sector is also experiencing blazing growth owing to growing Internet penetration, which has, in turn, become the platform for Digital Transformation.

Commenting on how the digital phenomenon impacting Nigeria and its people,  he said “digital disruptions are altering the manner in which Nigerians are living and working and how its businesses are operating. Nigeria is embracing the digital revolution with companies leveraging high-tech to transform the workspace, uplift customer service and the client experience.”

Asked whether there challenges that can affect the success of the digital revolution in Nigeria, Tickoo said the fact is that for the ICT and digital revolution to succeed in Nigeria, the nation needs a large pool of highly skilled people, who are hour one, day one industry-ready owing to their knowledge levels in technology.

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With education being a key focus area and growing number of IT training schools in the country, Nigeria is attempting to bridge skills shortages and create the manpower that will fuel its digital wave.

Speaking further, Tickoo said job creation and capacity building are key in the digital age, adding that Nigeria has laid out an ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 which is geared towards creating two million jobs by 2020! The roadmap is aimed at enabling the implementation of ICT-centred policies, ensuring that the sector achieves its potential.

While speaking on the nature of NIIT’s engagement with Nigeria, particularly in the area of skills and talent development, Tickoo revealed that NIIT established its presence in Nigeria by setting up an education centre in Ikeja, Lagos as far back as 1999. Since then, it has been enabling the nation’s youth to build lucrative careers within the ICT sector. Since its inception, NIIT has been involved in the creation of skilled ICT workforce and has launched several initiatives in Nigeria. At present, NIIT is cooperating with 20 education centres across various cities in Nigeria.

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