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Nigeria ripe for partnership with global tech giants, says Osinbajo


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo  with the Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, during a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that Nigerians’ creativity and resourcefulness in the technology space present great opportunities for partnerships with global technology giants. Professor Osinbajo spoke yesterday when he received a delegation of Chinese techpreneurs led by co-founder of AliBaba Group, Jack Ma, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mr. Ma was in Nigeria on the behest of the vice president as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to promote technological innovation among young Nigerians as a means of job creation.

Osinbajo said, “Just as you said, Nigeria represents an incredible opportunity and potential, and we had spoken a few minutes ago about how Nigeria will, in another two decades or so, become be the third largest in terms of population in the world.

“Those who make up the largest segment of that population are young people, under 25, who will be over 60 per cent of that population.

“I think you will find very energetic, creative group of young men and women and older men and women who are increasingly interested in entrepreneurship, especially digital entrepreneurship.”

According to the number two citizen, the potential is tremendous and incredible, adding: “So, we are at a point, and your coming is very strategic, in our trajectory and in the progress of our country.”

The vice president spoke on some of the steps already taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to support young Nigerians in the technology space, in building skills and capacities as well as creating opportunities for themselves and others.

“But just as I said earlier, one of the critical things for us is that with a huge population and so many people living in the rural areas, we have major issues around financial inclusion for large number of our people.

“So making payment or doing financial transaction across the country presents a challenge which we have to meet.“The point you made is important, namely, that government must provide the infrastructure to enable the entrepreneurs do more effective business,” he added.

In his remarks, Mr. Ma said he had always looked forward to visiting Nigeria.He said his company was working on promoting technological innovation in the areas of e-frastructure, entrepreneurship, e-governance and education in Nigeria and other African countries.Four Nigerian technology entrepreneurs were among top 10 African entrepreneurs to be supported by the AliBaba Group, he added.


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Jack MaYemi Osinbajo
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