Stanbic IBTC Bank says it is collaborating with Google to train youths and Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) operators in Nigeria on digital skills.
A statement issued by the bank on Saturday said that the collaboration would facilitate capacity-building for SMEs in the country, adding that beneficiaries would be trained on skills and value of digital marketing.
It said that the training would also help entrepreneurs to strengthen their businesses and support digital education initiatives geared toward job creation.
"By organising the capacity building sessions in different parts of the country, the partners hope to build critical mass of businesses through increased adoption of digital technology and enhance their contributions to economic development,'' it said.
The bank added that the programme scheduled to kick-off in Lagos and Kaduna on July 19, would also hold in seven other states across the country.
It said that the initiative aimed to digitally empower no fewer than 1,000 SMEs operators in one year.
The statement quoted Mr Obinna Ukachukwu, Head, SME Banking, Stanbic IBTC, as saying that digital technology on empowering youth and stimulating growth of SMEs was imperative for diversification.
Ukachukwu said that the bank had embarked on several capacity-building initiatives in various sectors of the economy, including transport and logistics, trade and finance "to support individuals and businesses''.
He pointed out that SME was pivotal to economic growth of any nation, and that Nigeria should not be an exception.
He stated that the bank's collaboration with Google would expose the youth and SME operators to modern and innovative marketing, financial and management skills, using digital technology.
This, according to him, will help them to achieve successes in their endeavours.
"We are quite pleased to partner with Google on this strategic initiative.
"Our ultimate goal is to cause, in the long- term, an exponential growth in the digital technology space, knowing that this is the path to the future, with the youth and SMEs as the main anchors," he stated.
Mrs Bunmi Banjo, Head of Digital Education, Google Africa, according to the statement, said that the company was happy to collaborate with Stanbic IBTC to provide free digital training to local entrepreneurs.
"With over 97 million online subscribers, Nigeria continues to be one of the highest online populations in the world, and this presents big opportunities for the small and medium business sector.
"We believe that when these SMEs have the right digital skills, they can better leverage the Internet to grow their businesses, create more jobs and boost economic growth in Nigeria,'' Banjo said.
She added that the collaboration entailed further training focus on general digital skills for proprietors of SMEs, who were between 18 years and 35 years of age.
According to her, the curriculum would address such issues as e-payment and online banking, using digital platforms to grow businesses and hiring and retaining third parties.