Nigerians have commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on his contributions to the promotion of tech opportunities for the Nigerian youth.
The global technology giants – Google Inc., HUAWEI, and top social networking companies, Facebook, Microsoft Corporation, had disclosed plans to partner with the Federal Government for the benefit of the Nigerian people, especially young people.
Vice President Osinbajo, who embraced the initiative had noted in a virtual meeting with Microsoft Corporation team led by its President, Brad Smith that the company’s interest in supporting the efforts of the Federal Government is a welcome development and could be leveraged to address issues affecting the youths especially in engaging them productively.
Earlier before their latest meeting, VP Osinbajo, had invited Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria, which culminated in Zuckerberg’s first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa when he arrived Lagos, Nigeria on August 2016.
While in Nigeria, Zuckerberg visited Abuja to attend Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD), organised by the Nigerian federal government, while he also visited Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and Andela, where he held a town hall meeting with entrepreneurs and developers in Lagos.
The Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria, began to yield good results exactly a year after, when in October 2017, Facebook launched its first African SME Council in Nigeria in order to support small and medium sized businesses throughout Africa.
Then, the company chose 15 Nigerian business owners across various industries and locations in Nigeria, who use the Facebook platform effectively, and provides them with digital tools to drive customer growth.
In November 2017, Facebook announced Nigeria Initiatives to help further drive innovation, skills development and economic impact across Nigeria.
Afterwards, in May 2018, NG_HUB was launched in Yaba, Lagos, as the training aspect of Facebook’s Nigeria Initiatives also promised to train and support 50,000 students, SMEs and entrepreneurs across Nigeria through a series of digital skills training in partnership with hubs across Nigeria.
It was that year 2018, precisely in July, VP Osinbajo, led a government delegation to the US where he visited Silicon Valley, regarded as the headquarters of some leading global technology companies, where he met with Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, and other top executives.
During the visit, Osinbajo met with investors and CEOs and showcased the progress made in the country’s technology, innovation and creative space, as well as the country’s tech sector’s potential, which attracted significant interests from investors in Nigeria’s tech space.
The VP’s visit to Silicon Valley and Facebook Campus in 2018 has helped to boost the Federal Government’s digital drive while leading to significant improvement in the country’s digital space.
It has also facilitated the Google’s launch of free public Wi-Fi service in Abuja, an initiative expected to create more economic opportunities for Nigerians through bridging societal gaps by providing free Internet access, which will improve access to information, tools of education, opportunities and expansion for many Nigerians.
In the last few years Nigerian tech entrepreneurs have also raised millions of dollars investment, and there has been an increased interest in the African continent’s tech space.
Likewise, Microsoft has opened an engineering office in Nigeria, and Google has started an accelerator programme, while IBM has launched the Digital Nation Africa project.
To help Nigerian women start and grow their own businesses, Facebook also launched #SheMeansBusiness in March 2018. Earlier in February of same year, Facebook partnered with over 20 non-governmental organisations across Africa to launch the Safer Internet Initiatives in order to raise awareness of emerging online issues and explore ways to make the Internet safer for users.
Also, in partnership with African entertainment streaming platform Afrinolly, Facebook launched Facebook for Creators in July 2018, with plans to train 3000 creators and 2000 journalists across Nigeria on how to leverage Facebook products to showcase their work, increase awareness and engage audiences online. The programme pilot held in August 2018 in Lagos.
The Chinese billionaire Jack Ma too had visited Nigeria and is said to be working on an Africa wide investment project.
Following Osinbajo-led FG delegation’s visit to Silicon Valley in 2018, the Facebook plan to open an office in Lagos, as its Nigeria office, will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.
The Lagos office, expected to become fully operational in 2021, will support the entire Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Facebook, the “office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.”
As a result of all these achievements, Nigerian, who took to the social media on Tuesday, praised Osinbajo for welcoming the idea to develop Nigeria with digital technology, which ultimately is seen as a golden opportunity for the Nigerian youth to be gainfully engaged.
They also lauded the tech giant for being the digital transformation pillar of the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), which it was said, would also help in the continuation of the technology company’s investment in Nigeria.
Generally, responders, expressing their views on Twitters, said, “Osinbajo had done so much in the aspect of technology, tracing the background for this to the VP’s visit to the Silicon Valley, where it was said the the deal, which is today manifesting had been sealed.
Others, who also lauded the latest move of the tech giants in expanding their investments in Nigeria, pointed to the resilience of VP Osinbajo in promoting a youthful agenda, said to now be yielding results.
“Google Inc. announced plans to establish first Google launchpad outside US in Lagos, Facebook made decision to open office in Lagos, HUAWEI promised to position Nigeria as a technology center for the Africa continent. Me; Osinbajo is bringing fortunes to Nigeria,” one Thomas Blessing, wrote on Twitter.
Another, who twitted from his Twitter handle, @bisuclef, lauding Microsoft on its initiative, said, “#MicrosoftNaija is promising some bug tech investment in #Nigeria thanks to VP Osinbajo’s new feat in ensuring young Nigerians benefit in more ways than one in ICT generally.”
Also, a Nigerian, who tweeted from his handle, @lollylarry1, wrote: “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo posed with tech gurus ready to invest in Nigeria. My Essential Osinbajo is always contributing to the development of d country, unlike one ex-vice president thay posed with a cyber fraud guru and was also ready to use our money to enrich his friends.
Another, commenting via @CityMayo, said: ” It seems to me that its is only Prof Yemi Osinbajo that truly appreciates and understands the many job opportunities that come with developing our digital economy. Guessing that’s why he is at the forefront of attracting most of the world digital marketing executives coming to Nigeria to invest.”
One, who tweeted via @Yakubu_Prince1, said, “Osinbajo has done greatly in the aspect of technology. One of the benefits of his visit to Silicon Valley is the collaboration of Microsoft with the FG. All these are happening and coming to reality because #ESPisWorking #MicrosoftNaija.”
Likewise, another Twitter user tweeting via @abegnovex, said:
“On behalf of my inborn children and grateful Nigerian boys and girls, we want to commend Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for attracting big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Huawei and others to the country. God bless you sir.”
Categories: UTV POLITICS