Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, unveiled a comprehensive plan on Wednesday to train three million technical talents within the next four years. This ambitious initiative, if successful, could significantly contribute to President Bola Tinubu’s vision of generating one million tech jobs in the initial two years of his administration. The urgency of this goal is underscored by Nigeria’s unemployment rate, projected to exceed 40% this year, up from 33% in 2020.
“I believe, based on data projected by LinkedIn, Nigeria can address approximately 23% of the current global shortage in technology talents,” emphasized Minister Tijani. He envisions that the country’s youthful population, constituting about 60% of the total populace, will propel Nigeria to become a net exporter of technology talents globally.
The program, dubbed the 3 Million Technical Talents (3MTT) initiative, operates on a 1-10-100 model. Minister Tijani elaborated on the strategy, outlining that the first phase would involve testing a prototype with 1% of the target—30,000 individuals—over the initial three months. Astonishingly, over two million applications flooded in within the first 30 days for the inaugural cohort.
The subsequent phase, commencing in February 2023, will concentrate on another 30,000 participants. Minister Tijani expressed his confidence that insights gained from these initial batches would inform the program’s scalability, ultimately reaching the ambitious three million target.
The curriculum for the first cohort is extensive, covering twelve technical skills, including software development, UI/UX design, data analysis & visualization, quality assurance, product management, data science, animation, AI/machine learning, cybersecurity, game development, cloud computing, and DevOps.
Fola Olatunji-David, a key member of the 3MTT team, detailed the hybrid teaching approach. Participants will learn through curated online content providers and applied learning clusters within their communities. Olatunji-David emphasized the program’s emphasis on practical application, stating, “We don’t want people to learn and sit down in their house alone. We want them to learn and be able to apply what they have learned,” further highlighting that job placements would be facilitated for successful participants. This comprehensive strategy aims not only to address the pressing issue of unemployment but also to position Nigeria as a global leader in technology talent export.