Capacity Building: DBI partners NLC to train Labour leaders, affiliate unions in digital/ICT

A strategic move to train the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), its affiliate unions and members of trade unions across the country have commenced with a partnership between the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Nigeria’s foremost International Centre of Excellence in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training and education, and the NLC.

The partnership was cemented when the President of DBI, paid a courtesy visit to the President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, at the Pascal Bafyau Labour House, Abuja.

The President/CEO of DBI, Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, commended the NLC, especially its President, Comrade Wabba, for its efforts at improving the working condition of Nigerian workers, and also ensure that they are trained to fit in, into the emerging world of work driven by ICT.

Specifically, Prof. Ajiya applauded the leadership quality of Comrade Wabba, for placing Nigeria name at the global stage due to his emergence as the Global President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), representing 200 million workers across the world with 332 national affiliates.

The DBI President, who was represented by the Head, Business Development and Client Services, DBI, Mrs Ngozi Nwoche, informed the NLC leadership that the DBI was established in 2004 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and charged with “building human capacity in the ICT/ Telecommunications sector,” after exponential growth within the sector created a shortage of suitably qualified and trained human resources.

On the capacity of DBI, he pointed out that the institute has the capacity to train professionals and people from all sectors of the economy and at all cadres and levels, adding that DBI has operational centres in Abuja, with campuses in Lagos and Kano, with two campuses currently under development in Enugu and Asaba.

Prof Ajiya said: “In addition to DBI’s mandate to build capacity within the ICT sector, the Institute is also charged with building ICT capacity and digital literacy within all sectors in the nation.

“Today, DBI is the foremost government-affiliated training and human capacity development organization in ICT in Nigeria, training more than 14,000 participants every year.

“During the 8th Regular meeting of the National Council on Communication and Digital Economy NCCDE) held in Owerri from 27th November to 2nd December 2020, the Council approved that Digital Bridge Institute should be the de facto ICT Training Institute for all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“Digital Bridge Institute offers IC3 Digital Literacy Certification, is fully accredited by the Centre for Management Development (CMD) and is a leading ICDL Accredited Training and Testing Centre in Nigeria.”

Responding, Comrade Wabba commended the DBI leadership, led by Prof. Ajiya first for the visit to NLC, and his foresight in believing that the NLC and the Nigerian workers are very relevant on the issue of national development and growth.

The NLC president stated that access to ICT in Nigeria is still limited as people are not fully aware of the need to acquire the required skills for the fast-emerging world of work. He added that there are a lot of job opportunities but unfortunately, the required skills are not there for the majority of Nigerians.

According to Wabba, there is the need for the digitalization of the entire economy, but the skill required to achieve this is presently limited. He, therefore, charged the DBI to engaged in wide publicity to ensure that Nigerians, especially those in the private sector of the economy key into their training.

He pointed out that he brought Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), for training at DBI when he was the union’s National President some years ago, adding, “that was the first time I see such facilities you have in DBI, and such level of human resources at your institute.”

The NLC President said a committee comprising the experts from the DBI and the NLC would be set up immediately to design the best training modules for the leadership of the congress and also the affiliate unions.

Comrade Wabba said: “We can do packaging and encourage those unions to also utilize this wonderful opportunity. We also have membership across the states, and at the zonal level, we can begin to encourage our states to be able to key into it.

We can then look at the package and we will identify four persons, we will have a team of small committees to go and interact with you, identify the needs of our unions and the needs of our people here and the various package we can put together. We can have a seamless process of these training modules.”

He also advised, “maybe you need to do more of public enlightenment, maybe those bigger government agencies are aware but we have a lot of opportunities out there … Even with the Organized Private Sector, NECA, because I know that a lot of IT issues are coming up now.”

Also speaking, the NLC Acting General Secretary, Comrade Ismail Bello, said: “It is heart-warming that DBI is present in the six geo-political zones.

“Two years ago, we set up an in-house Future of Work Group in that area and we have been brainstorming, if not for the setback we have with COVID.

“The Congress president has been keen in empowering our affiliates and ensuring that we embrace the digital platform in our training, in our meetings, and to be ICT driven.

“First, we want to upgrade our infrastructure to be able to build the capacity of our people, and we are already thinking on how do we look at bigger states like Kano, like Lagos as hubs for training to ensure that all our affiliates have that opportunity. So, I think it is something that our people will find very useful.

“We will form a committee, to focus on the future of works, we will make arrangements on how to start the process. We can come up with a package to start the process and fast track it.”

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Capacity Building: DBI partners NLC to train Labour leaders, affiliate unions in digital/ICT

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