Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says there is the need to meet the growing demand for technical skills and develop a workforce that would speak a universal digital language, to solve socio-economic problems confronting the society.

Ambode, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said this at the unveiling of ‘Code Lagos’ computer programming initiative for public and private school students in Lagos.

The initiative is aimed at making coding curriculum accessible to one million students in Lagos State by the year 2019, and meeting the 21st century technology requirement for  state and national development.

Ambode said with the development, Lagos State had joined the league of technology-compliant nations that recognised the need to harness the power of technology for the success of their nations and nation-states.

”The 21st century world is becoming increasingly reliant on technology.

”Also, forward-looking governments and policy makers, social impact organisations, and profit-driven institutions are taking proactive stance by investing in technology education for the future workforce, ” he stated.

Ambode said that the state government, in the next three years, would commit funds to setting up over 1,000 coding centres across the state, to ensure the success of the programme.

He said that coding computer programming would be introduced to the Lagos State schools’ curriculum from January 2017 to enable students learn the new skills.

”The new initiative, aimed at making coding curriculum accessible to One million students in Lagos State by the year 2019, will prepare them to create and take advantage of the opportunities that will arise as the state’s technology capacity increases over a period of time, ” he said.

Ambode said in the long term, the programme would bridge the gap with respect to employment and business opportunities in the technology space, thereby enhancing global competitiveness of the residents of the state.

He said the government’s expectation was that the programme would enhance the participants’ ability to create value as job creators.

The governor said it was also expected to help meet the growing demand for technical skills and develop a workforce which speaks a universal digital language.

In his remarks, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, Special Adviser to Governor Ambode on Education, said that the new initiative would use technology to drive the economy and infrastructure development in the state.

According to him, the new initiative is envisioned to make Lagos the technology frontier in Africa.

”When this new concept fully becomes functional, it will place the state at par with other technology developed countries of the world.

”Technology is one of the areas that can quickly bail out the country from its current economic recession because some countries like Japan relied solely on technology to build their economy, ” he said.