FG plans tech hubs in 7 states, empowering 1m youths, 500k MSMEs

By Damilola Adeleke

The federal government has teamed up with Wema Bank to establish digital hubs for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in seven states. Vice President Kashim Shettima, in a statement by his office’s Director of Information, Olusola Abiola, revealed the plan to empower one million youths with digital skills through these hubs. The initiative emerged after a meeting between the vice-president and representatives of Wema Bank.

This move is part of the government’s commitment to generating digital jobs for the youth. The digital and SkillNnovation Hubs, known as FGN/ALAT Digital, will first launch in Lagos and Borno states, followed by Katsina, Cross River, Anambra, Oyo, and Kano.

The collaboration with Wema Bank aims to empower young entrepreneurs with tailored financial products, training, and support to build sustainable businesses and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth. It will also support tech-savvy youths in driving technological advancements by offering financial solutions, training, and strategic partnerships. Furthermore, the initiative aims to integrate young employees, including those deployed through the NYSC, into the Nigerian workforce.

Through the FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub, one million youths will receive training in software engineering, product design, and other digital skills, while 500,000 SMEs will benefit from mentorship on business development.

The program’s strategy revolves around promoting entrepreneurship, skills development, and the integration of young employees into the workforce, ultimately aiming to employ one million youths in the digital economy and upskill SMEs to add value to the country’s economy.

The specialized curriculum designed for the FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub will offer training in software engineering, product management, business analysis, cloud computing, and product design.

Moreover, expert mentorship will be provided to 500,000 SMEs across Nigeria, while coaches will train and upskill them to foster business growth. The federal government and WEMA Bank will collaborate on grants, with N500 million set aside for SMEs and techpreneurs under this scheme.

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