FG hails Microsoft’s plans to support Nigeria’s digital transformation

Microsoft has joined other top United States-based technology firms in offering to lift Nigerians, especially the high technology savvy youths out of poverty, by supporting the Digital Transformation pillar of the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan.

The development which is a direct result of the virtual meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with Microsoft Corporation team led by its President, Brad Smith has been applauded by the Nigerian government

Osinbajo sees the development as capable of addressing issues affecting the youths, especially by engaging them productively.

With the development, Microsoft Corporation has joined other global giants including Facebook, Google, HUAWEI focusing more on Nigeria’s tech space which is seen as most viable in Africa.

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The project is billed to take off within the next three months, barring any administrative hitches.

Osibanjo said the project would not only be used to engage youths, but it would also address issues affecting the people

Google Inc. had in July 2020 announced plans to establish its first Google Launchpad Space outside the United States in Lagos, while Facebook, in September of the same year made public its decision to open an office in Lagos as part of its planned expansion in Sub-saharan Africa.

HUAWEI had also in November 2020 promised to position Nigeria as a technology centre for the African continent.

Speaking on the need to constantly engage with the youths, Osinbajo noted that Nigeria’s case was peculiar given that the youths constitute a larger percentage of the country’s population, hence the need for all stakeholders to pay more attention to that demography.

“It seems to me that there is just a wave of general anger around the world and people are generally impatient. Impatient with government, impatient with practically all of the formal structures there are.

“But I am open and happy to hear what views there might be on trying to engage and engage even more with young people ( and in our case, that is 70 percent of our population, if not more). So, we are really talking not just about the youth population but the Nigerian populace because that is the majority. So, whatever it is that we are able to deploy to be more inclusive, to engage, even more, is really a solution for the entire populace as opposed to a solution for just a segment of our population especially given the fact that young people constitute 70 percent or even more.”

Speaking on the government efforts in developing the technology space especially in boosting viable sectors of the economy, Osinbajo noted that “we have a digital innovation initiative which we hope will be the foundation for doing far more in the digital space than we are doing at the moment.”