By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA–The federal government yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with a Chinese technology firm to provide 2000 Information and Communication Technology, ICT trainee jobs to young Nigerians in 2016 under the “Huawei’s Seeds for the Future program.”
Speaking at the signing of the MoU performed by the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and that of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, on behalf of the federal government and witnessed by the Chinese Ambassador Mr. Gu Xiaojie, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo stated that “ICT is one of the quickest ways people can get decent jobs, so we think this is absolutely important.”
He further said that the Programme was part of the change agenda of the president Mohammadu Bihari’s administration to create jobs for the youth.
“In the change agenda, how to grow the economy is important, and we want to create ICT hubs and support existing ones. We thank Huawei for this initiative of advancing technology in Nigeria, apart from the job creation itself”, he said.
Osinbajo revealed that in the face of the current poor rating of Nigeria in the global rankings of business environments, president Buhari has already given the Trade, Industry & Investment Minister the task of addressing the challenges of doing business in the country.
He remarked that the relationship between Nigeria and China is a strategic one, urging Chinese investors and business leaders to consider Nigeria for manufacturing plants.
He said the Chinese investors “should encourage not just the selling, but also the manufacturing of products in Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chinese Ambassador,Xiaojie, stated that China was in partnership with the Buhari presidency in the “change” agenda, especially in areas like Agricultural modernization, industrialization, infrastructure, trade and investment, poverty alleviation, and peace and security among others.
Meanwhile, Mr. Richard Cao, the Vice President of Huawei West Africa signed for the Chinese Information Communication and technology firm.
The 2000 trainees would be selected and supervised by Ministries of Labour and Communications.
Commending the initiative, Labour and Employment Minister, Ngige said that “China has blazed the trail,” with the job creation MOU with the Buhari presidency.
This was as his counter-part in Communications, Shittu also hailed the Programme, urging the firm to consider setting up a technology institute or polytechnic in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Vice President of Huawei West Africa, Cao said that “Huawei has long been committed to developing Nigeria’s ICT sector, and is working hard to build a Better Connected Nigeria. At the same time as delivering cutting-edge ICT technologies and services to Nigeria, we are also committed to fostering a skilled local ICT workforce.”
He added that “as a leading global supplier of ICT products and solutions, Huawei will continue to share its global experience in the development of the ICT industry with the Nigeria government. We hope to become a strategic partner to the Nigeria government in the future ICT planning and development, and will continue to expand our contributions and training programs in Nigeria.”