The Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said that major international smartphone industries would soon establish Assembly plants in Nigeria.
Sylva said this on Monday, in Kano, at the graduation ceremony of 600 youths trained on GSM phone repairs, maintenance, software and hardware specialisation.
The training was a collaboration between the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Nasiru Ali-Ahmed, House of Representatives member, representing Nasarawa constituency in the state.
The minister, who spoke via Zoom at the programme, noted that Nigeria had the largest GSM market in the whole of the African continent.
“It is no longer news that GSM is not a luxury but an essential commodity, therefore the training of the youths will boost the nation’s economy and local content development”, he said.
According to the minister, training of the youths was part of an agreement reached to boost local content development and one of his ministry’s designed priorities to improve local content development, with youths taking the center stage.
Sylva said that out of the 1,000 youths, 600 had fully graduated and the rest 400 would graduate before Jan. 1, 2021, adding that already, 2,800 youths had been trained in Yobe, Bauchi and Cross River states as Smartphone repairers and technicians.
In his remarks, Ali-Ahmad said the training on GSM repairs and software maintenance was part of his zeal to ensure that idle youths were fully engaged economically.
“Everyday thousands of youths are graduating from the universities and other higher institutions, and the government was doing its possible best on them. But the government alone cannot provide employment to all the youths, which is why it is desirable to train them on self-reliance,’’ Ali-Ahmad said.
He further said that they had designed to train 5,000 more youths in 2021, and all those that have graduated would be provided with shops, tools and starter packs to start their businesses.
Also, in his speech, the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, advised the trained youths against using their acquired skills in carrying out criminal activities.
Some of the youths that spoke during the event commended the federal legislator and the NCDMB for their gesture, and assured of their readiness to make proper use of the skills they had acquired.