President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is ready to lead in digital technology and is poised to welcome more initiatives and investments in the sector.
The President said this on Friday at the statehouse in Abuja when he received the President of the Microsoft Corporation, Mr Brad Smith, in the company of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Mr Isa Pantami.
Buhari also appreciated Microsoft for the $200 million African Development Centre set up in Lagos.
Giving his remarks, the Microsoft President said the company plans to train five million Nigerians in the future, noting that 60,000 people have already enrolled for the courses while another 300,000 have completed some courses.
“I have been informed that the African Development Centre in Nigeria is Microsoft’s first engineering hub in Africa as the current investment stands at about $200 million.
“I have also been informed of Microsoft’s skilling initiative that aims to train five million citizens and provide 27,000 jobs over the next three years. These initiatives are commendable and I urge you to expand them and continue to prioritize Nigeria as you roll out your global initiatives,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
President Buhari told the visiting Microsoft team that as the largest economy and most populous country in Africa, Nigeria was positioned to play a strategic role in the global technology ecosystem and seek the right partnerships to harness the potentials.
He said one of such key partnerships was in the area of capacity building.
This administration, according to the President, has shown great commitment in providing a conducive environment for investors and the massive jump in the Global Ease of Doing Business Ranking was proof that the efforts were yielding positive results.
“Our emphasis on the development of our Digital Economy has also positioned the sector as a prominent factor in the Nigerian economy. As the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy in 2020, the Information and Communications Technology sector played a very important role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are keen to build on the momentum as we continue to implement our National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, along with other related policies,” the President said.
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