Launch Of Partnership With Microsoft To Accelerate Nation’s Efforts In Becoming A More Digital Economy
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON LAUNCH OF PARTNERSHIP WITH MICROSOFT TO ACCELERATE THE NATION’S EFFORTS IN BECOMING A MORE DIGITAL ECONOMY, 3rd MAY, 2021
Today, I am delighted to announce some initiatives that the Nigerian government will be embarking on with the Microsoft Corporation over the next few months.
These initiatives, which cover areas of intersection between technology and governance, and which will deliver value to our people, have come as a result of discussions I held in January 2021 with the Microsoft Corporation President, Mr. Brad Smith. I am very pleased to see that within a very short time, we have moved from ideas to implementation.
Our government is committed to leveraging innovation and technology to bring better outcomes across a wide area of governance concerns. Indeed, it is with this in mind that we have sought constructive partnerships that bridge the knowledge, skills, and technology gap that exist in most of our communities. Microsoft’s extensive experience in the utilization of technology as an enabler for the delivery of public and social good makes them an ideal partner.
This launch is indicative of our commitment to this and will involve collaboration with various Government agencies as implementing partners, including the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian Institute of Cultural Orientation, and various other local partners. We intend that these initiatives become institutions in their own rights and make a real impact in the lives of our citizens going forward.
This partnership will focus on two pillars: Connectivity and Skilling, and Digital Transformation. We plan to connect under-served communities in each of the six geo-political zones with access to the internet and cloud services. This project is a critical component of our objective of expanding broadband connectivity, which is by itself, a major pillar of our Economic Sustainability Plan in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Expanded broadband connectivity will help to deliver content in online education, electronic healthcare delivery, financial and other services in the communities.
Working with Microsoft, we intend to upskill 5 million Nigerians through this increased internet access over the next three years in various digital skills which will increase both employability and entrepreneurship. The multiplier effect will bring opportunities in rural and urban areas to many young people and will help us deal with unemployment problems made worse by the pandemic.
In the area of Digital Transformation, we will pioneer innovative approaches in the fight against corruption, a major priority of this administration. Leveraging Microsoft’s technology tools which can be deployed to minimize governance risks and block loopholes, working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), we will seek to use cutting edge analytical and case management tools to plug holes in our public sector system as well as confront white-collar criminality efficiently.
This pillar will also serve a vital social function by using Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence technology and resources to preserve and promote our major languages so we can revitalize these important aspects of our culture.
Our focus is of course the Nigerian people, with over 80 million regular internet users, there is no question that Nigerians have fully embraced technology, the internet, and their various uses. But there is still so much to be achieved; we want to bridge gaps, strengthen connections and ensure that no one is left behind.
Partnerships like this are crucial to achieving these objectives and I would like to especially appreciate and thank our friends and partners, the Microsoft team for the hard work and diligence, and commitment that has made this partnership come to fruition so quickly.
I look forward to this exciting journey of bringing great value to the Nigerian people.
Thank you very much and God bless you.