=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === The Federal Government and Microsoft Corporation are collaborating to speed up Nigeria’s move towards a more digital economy, in line with the Economic Sustainability Plan of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, the spokesman for the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
According to the federal government and the tech giant, via a recent dual pronouncement, approximately five million Nigerians are expected to benefit from a digital upskilling programme, with locations in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country expected to enjoy active internet connection and cloud services courtesy of the digital transformation plan.
The Vice President, Professor Osinbajo, speaking via a formal video announcement of the collaboration with Microsoft, said that the federal government was committed to exploiting innovation and technology to bring better outcomes across a wide area of governance concerns.
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“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,” he said.
Speaking further, Osinbajo said, “This launch is indicative of our commitment to this and will involve collaboration with various government agencies as implementing partners, including the Ministry of Communication 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.”
The partnership with the tech giant anchored on connectivity, skilling and digital transformation, followed discussions between both parties led by the Vice President and Microsoft President, Brad Smith, earlier in 2021.
PROJECTED IMPACT: Apart from bridging the knowledge, skills and technology gap that exists in some Nigerian communities, the collaboration will result in the employment of over 200 software developers and engineers by the end of 2021 – people who would be creating technology and Microsoft products to serve not only the people of Nigeria but the global community. Also, approximately five Million Nigerians will acquire digital skills over the next three years from the partnership, alongside the creation of 27,000 new jobs during the same period.