Osinbajo: ‘Our partnership with Microsoft will benefit millions of Nigerians’

The vice president says the multiplier effect of the partnership will bring opportunities in rural and urban areas to many young people.

The President Buhari administration is partnering with tech giant Microsoft to accelerate Nigeria’s advance towards a more digital economy in line with the Economic Sustainability Plan, a statement from the presidency reads.

In a dual announcement yesterday, May 3, 2021 by the federal government and Microsoft Corporation, no less than 5 million Nigerians are set to benefit from a digital upskilling programme in locations in each of the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

These locations will also enjoy active internet connection and cloud services courtesy of the digital transformation plan.

The partnership with Microsoft Corporation is anchored on connectivity, skilling and digital transformation and it follows discussions between both parties led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Microsoft President Brad Smith earlier in the year.

Speaking in a formal video announcement of the partnership, Osinbajo said “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.”

The vice president added that, “this launch is indicative of our commitment to this and will involve collaboration with various government agencies as implementing partners, including the Ministry of Communications 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.”

On the core areas of the partnership, Osinbajo said “this partnership will focus on two pillars: Connectivity & Skilling, and Digital Transformation.

“We plan to connect under-served communities in each of the six geo-political zones with access to 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.

“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.”

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