The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has declared that technology is a fundamental catalyst in solving the many problems bedeviling Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of over 180 million. Osinbajo made the declaration in a not so long post on Facebook on the sidelines of the recent Google For Nigeria event in Lagos.
According to him, with technology we can grow businesses, influence good governance, connect people, and create better lives, and a better country for ourselves and for the future. He said it was imperative to harness the potentials of young Nigerians through capacity building in innovative technology to leverage the potentials of the internet and mobile technology for national development.
“In Nigeria, we cannot train our nearly 200 million young people by 2045 in classrooms alone. It is impossible! We must use the internet and even mobile technology. We must connect our young people to knowledge and innovation all over the world,” he said.
“Technology has put great power into our hands, as individuals, but more importantly as co-creators and collaborators, to positively and dramatically change the course of human existence. With it, we can solve many of the problems that confront us,” he added.
He stressed that with access to information, tools of education, business or commerce means is that gaps of inequality and exclusion will be bridged, jobs will be created and in many important respects, there will be a real chance of better quality of life for large numbers of our people.
Osinbajo noted further that for co-creation efforts of innovators and inventors there is need for broadband to be consummated. He said although, the challenge remains connectivity, extending broadband reach and making data cheaper which are the goals of the National Broadband Policy (NBP), the Government is working to deepen the penetration of broadband in the country. Broadband penetration in Nigeria is pegged at 22 percent according to the last report by the NCC. But the Federal Government has a plan to up the figure to 30 percent by year end.
He said as a first step, the Federal Government, through the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has since licensed a number of Infrastructure Companies (Infracos), who will invest in rolling out broadband infrastructure across Nigeria.
“Our goal is to create a data-driven digital economy; one that will lead the way not just in Africa, but globally as well. And I believe strongly that Nigeria is on the right path. We have the people, the talent, we have a Government that sees the potential very clearly, and is showing the determination to unlock that potential,” the Vice President noted.