Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that improved access to high-speed Internet would make Nigerians more productive and competitive among its peers globally.
He said this virtually during the official launch of the Ogun State digital economy infrastructure project “Ogun TechHUB,” under the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
The state project was done in collaboration with the 24 Century Technologies.
The Federal Ministry of Communication had launched the digital technology strategy which it hopes to achieve by 2023.
The ministry launched the National Broadband Plan between 2020- 2025 designed to deliver data download speed with a minimum of 25 megabits per second in urban areas and 10Mbps in rural areas.
But the government following recent clamp down on fintech and other tech based solution providers have been accused of stifling innovations linked to the digital tech space.
The VP said, “Nigeria is blessed with some of the brightest and blessed minds in the global innovation economy and improving access to broadband provides an opportunity for them to take on their peers from across the world on a more level playing field.”
Osinbajo who has positive sentiment for innovation had in March, disagreed with Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to ban crypto currencies after the apex bank banned the digital currency from the official banking channels.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigerians have begun to adopt more digital ways of performing transactions.
He said, “Today is one of my proudest days as a citizen of Ogun State, because today Ogun State has taken the leadership in digital economy in Nigeria by building first of its kind massive investment in digital infrastructure in our great State,
“We are not just talking of the future and its challenges and opportunities, we are by the launch of the Ogun State’s digital economy empowerment project taking hold of the future and we are set to define it in our own terms.”
Osinbajo pointed out that digital technology is the future of all aspects of human existence: business, education, healthcare, governance, security and the practice of practically every other profession.
He noted that the country must keep pushing on its quest to democratise access to the internet.
The VP said, “Making it available to all our citizens and businesses is the most far sited action that any government can take today. Indeed access to broadband and other technology tools have become compulsory of any community that seeks meaningful growth, prosperity and security.”
He revealed that the Muhammadu Buhari led administration keep on its push for wider broad band penetration to prepare Africa’s largest economy for the future.
Osinbajo said, “We are pursuing this cause because we recognise that internet access and broadband penetration will become existential in a few short years and will determine our competitiveness in the global economy.
“So, through the judicious investment in the right infrastructure, Ogun State has positioned itself to become a major global site of the emergent innovation economy.
“I believe that bridging the digital divide of the state will also improve educational growth and provide opportunities to access to education across the state.”
He added that the digital revolution that this project would bring expected to be a game changer in every aspect of the socio- economic life of the State.