With 45% of occupations requiring digital skills, Nigerian workers are under increased pressure.

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In about seven years, Nigerians without digital skills may become stranded, as research has revealed that 45 percent of jobs would require one form of digital skills or another.

Digital skills are defined as the ability to find, evaluate, use, share, and create content using digital devices, such as computers and smartphones.
The cloud company, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which revealed this in its commissioned research, said that 30 percent to 45 percent of jobs in Nigeria will require digital skills by 2030.

The Vice President of Global Services at AWS, Uwem Ukpong, who was in Nigeria recently to meet with Nigerian government officials, disclosed this during a media roundtable in Lagos.

Ukpong said the findings indicated that Nigeria would need to build more capacity in digital skills by training more people. Speaking on his meeting with the Nigerian government officials, he said it was centred on how the country can be part of the AWS global plans to train 29 million people globally for free by 2025.

Ukpong noted that AWS’ investment in Nigeria encompasses not only technological infrastructure but also a strong commitment to human capital development.

Recognizing the importance of skill-building in the digital age, AWS has made significant strides in training and upskilling the Nigerian workforce.
With AWS’ readiness to be deeply involved in Nigeria, he said the meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima would be pivotal in its scope and potential impact and would lay the groundwork for a collaborative effort towards digital transformation in Nigeria.

He disclosed that Shettima provided invaluable insights and reaffirmed the Federal Government’s strong commitment to not only strengthening Nigeria’s economy but also embracing new investment opportunities in technology and innovation.

Ukpong said: “We have seen that 30 percent to 45 percent of the jobs in Nigeria will require digital skills by the year 2030, and that means that capacity development, training, and preparing people for this are going to be key.

“The discussion I had with the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, was about what programmes the government is putting in place here in Nigeria and how AWS can invest because we have the charter to support and invest in up-and-coming economies as they look to develop talent interoperability.

“And so that was the discussion we had, and we’ve now set up a forum or a session where we’ll come together in January 2024. We call it an executive briefing session, or executive visioning session, to sit down with the Minister and say, What are the key items in your five-point plan that you want to see executed in 2024? And how can AWS as an organisation support you in that sense?”

Ukpong, leveraging his Nigerian heritage and extensive experience in spearheading technological initiatives across Africa, expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Hadejia, and the entire team.

He emphasised the significance of this high-level engagement as a major step forward in working closely with the Nigerian government to deliver on its promise of a renewed and hopeful future.

“It was a privilege and honour to meet the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, and discuss strategies around digital transformation. The Vice President shared some key insights and reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening the economy and welcoming new investment opportunities in this dispensation. I would like to thank the Deputy Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Hadejia, and the wider team for their hospitality, and I look forward to working closely with the Nigerian Government to deliver on its renewed promise,” said Ukpong.
Further, the AWS chief said the economic impact of AWS’s cloud technology in Nigeria is significant and far-reaching, saying a study by Telecom Advisory Services, sponsored by AWS, indicated that cloud adoption contributed an impressive N82.9 billion to Nigeria’s GDP in 2021.

According to him, this impact is not confined to direct users of AWS’s technology but extends across the broader Nigerian economy, illustrating the transformative power of cloud computing.

“AWS’s investments and innovations in Nigeria are indicative of a strategic shift towards a cloud-first future. Key developments, such as establishing Nigeria’s first cloud-front edge location and the launch of Amazon Q, highlight AWS’s long-term vision and commitment to Nigeria. These initiatives are not merely responses to current digital requirements but are strategically designed to shape Nigeria’s future technological landscape,” Ukpong stated.