The Federal Government calls it a special economic project, and the plan is to create hundreds of thousands of jobs through technology clusters across Nigeria.

This is according to Femi Edun, who is the Special Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade And Investment.

For Okechukwu Enelamah, the tech hubs; more of a tech a cluster, is part of two broad initiatives that is intended to address youth unemployment in the country.

“In addition to old economic value manufacturing clusters that we are creating, we are also creating ICT clusters. You will see, over the next three to ten years a huge technology hub emerging in the country, like the Lekki Free Trade zone, where all the major technology companies are coming and building campuses.

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“All of those are being planned and they are real projects that are being sponsored by real private investors who put money on ground. Those facilities will employ hundreds of thousands of young people,” said Mr Edun while addressing a forum organized by the Nigeria-South African Chamber of Commerce in Lagos.

Partnership With Siemens

Siemens is a German conglomerate company and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe.

Edun revealed that he was part of a team that went to Germany to have a conversation with the company on building world class skills centres in Nigeria.

“Last week (two weeks ago), we were in Germany talking to Siemens about getting them to come and help us coordinate the development of world class training and vocational centres,” he said.

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Now, here is the plan. Wherever the government develops a free trade zone, there will also be a world class technical and vocational centre that is preparing people for the workplace too.

“It is not theoretical at all. It is a job-readiness training and it is a handshake between the training centre and the workplace. So, that is going to train tens of thousands of people as well and we are developing them in six locations,” disclosed Mr. Edun.

According to him, “the idea is that when investors that are coming into Nigeria, yes, we are offering them infrastructure and all of that, but we also want to offer a workforce that is as highly skilled as you will find anywhere else. That will create jobs.

"And one of the reasons that we have focused on labour intensive industries like textile and garment is because we have a challenge with job creation.”

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