In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the National information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) through its NITDA Academy for Research and Training (NART) initiates the Learning Never Stop Programme. In our commitment to help our key stakeholders (Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)) ,students and Nigerian Citizens, we are leveraging on technology through the collaboration of our partners such as CISCO Systems Incorporated, Huawei Technologies and others that are preparing to join this partnership for massive training of our people who are currently adjusting to the new realities.
In December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia cases from an unknown virus surfaced in Wuhan, China. Based on initial laboratory findings, the disease named Coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19), was described as an infectious disease that is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The COVID-19 outbreak has since spread to about 196 countries and territories in every continent and one international conveyance across the globe. While there are ongoing efforts to curtail the spread of infection which is almost entirely driven by human-to-human transmission, it has accounted for over 2,000,000 confirmed cases with over 100,000 deaths worldwide.
Consequently, there is no known cure for this disease and the only preventive measure to curtail the spread of the virus is mainly isolations and lockdown. This method has resulted in economic loss to government, corporate entity and individuals. Also the tragic health hazards and human consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic uncertainties, and disruptions that have resulted come at a significant cost to the global economy. The United Nations Trade and Development Agency (UNCTAD) put the cost of the outbreak at about US$2 trillion in 2020.
The Nigerian economy is not insulated from these consequences. The emergence of COVID-19 and its increasing incidence in Nigeria has called for drastic review and changes in the earlier revenue expectations and fiscal projections.
The key objectives of Learning Never Stop include the following:
i. To promote continuous learning in support of business continuity during disasters such as COVID-19 pandemic using Online platforms;
ii. To support training and capacity building of MDAs employees in the development of digital skill to improve the delivery of government services;
iii. To create a pool of Nigerians Youths with digitally marketable skills needed to drive 21st Digital economy;
iv. To bridge the gap between the academia and industry; and
v. To lower the access to learning barrier using technologies;