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PRESIDENT TINUBU SAYS HIS ADMINISTRATION IS SUSTAINING INVESTMENTS IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                            20-03-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                         President Bola Tinubu says his administration is sustaining investments in digital technology to enhance the sustainability of small businesses, expand opportunities across sectors, and propel Nigeria to become the lodestar of information and communications technology in Africa.

The President stated this in Abuja while receiving a delegation from Meta Platforms Incorporated, led by a former UK Deputy Prime Minister and Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Sir Nick Clegg, which called on him.

He said Nigeria could not afford to be left behind in this age of technological advancements, stressing that his administration is opening up channels of opportunities in information and communications technology, deepening capacity, and fostering partnerships.

In view of his administration’s 3MTT programme, which is training three million Nigerian youth in digital technology and essential skills before deploying them to innovation hubs across the nation, the President emphasised that Nigerian youth were the most critical asset in Nigeria’s crave for achieving digital economic expansion.

“For us in Nigeria, we have a vibrant, gifted and resourceful youth population. Recognizing that the future is most likely to be All-enabled, we have to prepare our youths and make them ready to compete and participate in the global economy.

“I can assure you that Nigeria is open for business. We want to lead the African continent in digital technology. Data is valuable to our development. We are ready to cooperate on technological advancements. It is the only way to go. We need a collaboration that will be a win-win for all,” President Tinubu said.

Underscoring the importance of technology in driving small businesses, the President said he was committed to ensuring that technology was deployed, adapted, enhanced, and used to catalyze growth across a vast majority of micro businesses, spurring mass prosperity down the line.

“What interests me is the use of technology in the development of small businesses. We need to make the business environment more conducive for you and more profitable for us as well. I hope we can collaborate and continue to promote our mutual interests,” President Tinubu told the delegation.

The leader of the delegation, Sir Clegg, had thanked the President for an executive order he issued, which has enabled the landing of the Meta-backed deep-sea cable in Nigeria.

“It is an extraordinary infrastructure project. When it comes on stream in the first quarter of 2025, it will be twice as much as the capacity of all subsea cables that exist. We buried the cable 50 percent deeper than any other subsea cables under the seabed. It is more powerful and more extensive in terms of its geographical connectivity. It could yield up to 37 billion dollars worth of increase in economic activity in the next two or three years across the African continent,” he said.

Sir Clegg also said Meta would introduce in June 2024 a feature on its Instagram app that would allow Nigerian creators to monetize their content to enable them earn a living using the app.

“We have a lot to do with Nigeria to deepen partnerships,” he added.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, also said Meta platforms were critical in Nigeria, adding that opportunities for partnerships and engagement are essential to promoting development in the digital economy sector.

“We must continue to engage to create opportunities for our people so they can also share in global prosperity. Digital technology is an opportunity to connect Africa to contribute to the development of the world,” the Minister said.

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