The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has challenged youths to use technology positively for the creation of jobs and projecting ideals that enhance human capacity.
Onu gave the advice at the Enugu Tech Community and Security Town Hall Meeting held on Sunday in Enugu.
The minister, represented by Dr Arit Etukudoh, Acting Director-General, Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, noted that the use of internet-enabled computers had provided jobs for thousands of youths in remote areas of the country.
According to the minister, it has also helped in checking youths’ restiveness and rural-urban migration in the country.
Speaking, Mr Elvis Obi-Nwankwo, Special Assistant to the Enugu State Governor on Innovation, Science and Technology, disclosed that the government had created a database already with more than 200 IT professionals registered.
Obi-Nwankwo noted that the government believed that the move would help to showcase Enugu State as being ready for technological incubation.
“This event is the first attempt by any governmental body in Nigeria to intentionally safeguard remote tech workers against the incessant arrest by the security agencies.
“It is also aimed at creating an exceptional opportunity for major technology stakeholders to interact, engage and support the local technology ecosystem in Enugu State, as well as lay emphasis on the need for more partnership with the security agencies.
“This meeting is especially expected to culminate in deployable solutions such as developing a standardised database that will capture all information technology professionals in Enugu State and attract indigenous Enugu State IT gurus to launch their products and services in Enugu.
“Enugu is no doubt a unique technology and innovation destination and the Enugu State Government will do everything within the ambits of the law to secure Enugu as a safe haven for technology companies and remote workers in Nigeria,” he said.
The governor’s aide noted that “technology is now at the forefront of driving Nigeria’s economy”, bringing up startups, providing lifeline for the financial sector, supplying blood to e-commerce and giving impetus to the creative industry.
He said that technology, especially its vital IT component, “is currently producing young techpreneur (technology entrepreneur) millionaires.
Mr Idoko Etubi, Head, Cyber Crime Section, Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Enugu Zonal Command, said that securing security protocols for devices operated outside the office was herculean.
Etubi, who delivered a paper entitled “Cyber Security in a Remote World” recommended that employees should lock their screens whenever their devices were not in use, especially when working remotely in a café or public area.
He also recommended that employers should put in place a clear and concise policy for lost or stolen devices that would make their employees to quickly report missing items to appropriate officers, adding that the move would mitigate the risk of lost or stolen data.
Speaking, Country Director of UK/Nigeria Tech Hub, Adaeze Sokan, said that internet-enabled digital technology was gaining large ground, becoming an economic driver of many nations.
She said Nigeria and Nigerians must get involved and tap from these enormous benefits.
“With modern technology, African countries can solve their unemployment challenge and check rural-urban migration as youths can work in remote villages for big foreign tech-hubs or technological companies and earn big incomes that can revitalise their local economy.
“However, while we are seeking the positive derivatives from technology; we also have to balance it and ensure that no one uses it for nefarious activities and stealing what belongs to others,” Sokan said.