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UDOM TO TRAIN 500 YOUTHS IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

By Darlington DAVID

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who recent signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a foremost Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company, Hotel Booking Limited, has announced his administration’s plan to train 500 young men and women of the state origin in software development and design.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr Nse Essien, the Governor made this known on Wednesday at the Ibom E-Library, venue of the training programme to be undertaken by Hotel Booking Limited.
The Governor, said the world’s economy is driven by ICT, maintained that “it is only through ICT that the state and the country can realize and attain sustainable development and realize its full potential by creating more jobs for our youths which will lead to poverty alleviation, reduce youth restiveness as well as boost the state’s internally generated revenue.”
He said the training, which is scheduled to start on 1st of September 2017, is expected to last for three months and “would have Ibom E-Library as centre and other remote areas as the trainings would be done online.”
“The programme, which is mainly for software development and visual designers, will last for three months. It will provide participants the opportunity to gain valuable experience on real world software projects. The best 50 participants who have gone through the three months internship will be given automatic employment in the private sector. This is so because the objective of the programme is to enhance self engagement and employability ot the trainees as well as provide a pool of experienced persons in ICT skills for both public and private sector within and outside the state,” he said.
While challenging participants to make best use of the opportunity before them to enhance their living standard, the Governor further explained that “Registration and participation for the programme can be done remotely through www.hotels.ng provided the intended person fulfilled the basic requirement which include basic skill to computer, a smart phone or a computer and those who cannot participate remotely can make use of the centre at the Ibom E-Library. Trainees will be given certain task to do every week and by the end of the duration, successful participant would be vested with adequate exposure in software development. There will be some incentive from the Akwa Ibom State Government to enable participants take care of transportation, feeding and internet connection.”
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Booking Limited, Mr. Mark Essien, thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel and said the initiative by the State Government was apt, adding that it will make a huge different.
In his words: “I really want to thank the Commissioner for his support and his initiative in actually driving this forward. We believe that over the space of three months, we will be able to create at least 50 people that will be world-class software developers and they will immediately start generating revenue for themselves, for the people around them and for the state inn form of tax. And the remaining 450 people that will be left, we will plant that interest in them to know the path they will toe in the industry.”
“The objective of the programme we are starting and what we hope to get out of it is tied to the fact that software development and developers represent the future of our economy. Software development is one of the few industries that require a minimal capital to start. With a little bit of hard work, a laptop or a smart phone with internet connection, you can become self-sufficient and employ other people. For instance, I founded Hotels.ng in 2013 and since then we have raise over $2million in investment capital and has happened over the space of four years. Right now the company employs 120 people in Lagos and 30 in Akwa Ibom. Our constraint today is that we do not have enough software developers to employ. So, we decided to put people through a programme that will make them employable and fill the gap that we have in our company and other ICT companies,” Mr. Essien explained.

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