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Thursday, 2.12.2021
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Sigma Pensions and Junior Achievement Nigeria recently partnered to equip 100 youths with digital skills. Chiemelie Ezeobi and Nume Ekeghe report that the five-day digital boot camp was organised to add value and improve their employability while creating businesses and, by extension grow the economy

For Sigma Pensions, in partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), the recent five-day digital boot camp held in Abuja aimed to add value and improve employability while creating businesses and, by extension, grow the economy.

About 100 youths were trained in digital marketing, web development, and graphics design at the boot camp.

As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), Sigma Pensions, one of Nigeria’s leading pensions funds administrators in Nigeria, noted that training youths on digitisation is due to its experiencing the power of digital technology and its exponential impact on growth.

Through the boot camp, Sigma Pensions is bent on equipping young Nigerians with relevant digital skills, which will serve as a springboard for a career in any preferred field in the teçh industry.

On her part, Unit Head, Branding and Marketing Communications, Sigma Pensions, Yetunde Adebiyi, said one of the company’s core values is to provide innovative solutions, particularly digital skills.

Training

The beneficiaries aged 18 to 25 converged on John Centre Hall, Abuja, for the free training and went through five days of insightful training. The participants were trained on data analysis and digital marketing fundamentals and financial literacy, web development, and graphics.

The graphics sessions covered the technical know-how of graphics design, visual hierarchy, page layout techniques, design use and typography. Web development classes covered the practical and theoretical aspects of web development, which involved developing a website for the Internet and also Content Management System (CMS).

At the end of the training, participants showcased their ideas, websites and designs at an exhibition, and the most outstanding group was rewarded with a cash prize of N200,000.

Digital Transformation

Going down memory lane on why they ventured into training youths on digitisation, Executive Director, Operations Sigma Pensions, Afolabi Folayan, said the company leveraged technology to overcome the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added, “Our business had little or no negative impact during the pandemic as we were able to seamlessly service our customers without any interruptions. “In 2016, we embarked on a digital transformation journey which has resulted in a radical transformation in our business and service delivery to both internal and external customers.”

He explained that the company currently has the highest number of digital channels to service customers through its digital innovation drive.

“Through this digital innovation drive, Sigma Pensions has the highest number of digital channels to service customers – IVR, USSD, web login, live chat, mobile app, IVR, and the latest Virtual Pension Assistant Nafi,” Folayan noted. “We have experienced the power of digital technology, and its exponential impact on growth further emphasizes the importance of digital skills amongst young people. in extension grow the Nigerian economy.”

He added that in line with its CSR commitment and through strategic partnership, the company has been able to impact over 1.3 million youths across the country to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

Folayan also stated that CSR has focused on financial literacy for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 (corps members and young graduates).

He said: “We have empowered young entrepreneurs in NYSC camps by funding their business ideas and sponsoring their community development projects. Since 2019, we have partnered Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) and delivered three CSR projects targeted towards financial literacy and entrepreneurship.”

On the training, he said 50 per cent of the students registered for a web development track while others took lessons in the graphics and animations track, adding that “participants were split into 11 groups from the different track to foster collaboration. The exhibition on the final day was mind-blowing. The ideas, websites and graphic designs exhibited were beyond our expectations.”

STEM

Given the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Folayansaid through the empowerment programmes, the company aims to equip young Nigerians with web development, graphics and animation skills, thus contributing to STEM education.

He explained: “The lack of jobs and well-trained specialists inhibit value creation and economic growth in Nigeria. Improving education and vocational training structures are crucial for creating individual prospects and economic growth with sustainable productivity.

“Investment in STEM education has been identified as important for the growth and development of nations. There has been an increase in the demand for young people with digital skills, relevant enough to empower businesses and the nation as a whole.”

At the end of the training, he stressed that it was obvious that participants stretched themselves to build on their skills to proffer creative ideas and solutions to real problems.

He also hopes participants continue to collaborate and build on their ideas and designs to deliver a complete product or service to end-users and build businesses, contributing their quota to add value to society.

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Quelle/Source: This Day, 21.09.2021

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