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Osinbajo lists gains of FG, Microsoft partnership

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The Federal Government says it is partnering with Microsoft Corporation to advance the country’s digital economy in line with the Economic Sustainability Plan.

Announcing this yesterday, the partners disclosed that not less than five million Nigerians would benefit from a digital upskilling programme, and that each of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria would also enjoy active internet connection and cloud services, courtesy of the digital transformation plan.

The government said it was leveraging Microsoft’s experience in the utilisation of technology as an enabler for the delivery of public and social good.

Nigeria’s partnership with Microsoft anchored on connectivity, skilling and digital transformation followed discussions between both parties led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Microsoft President Brad Smith earlier this year.

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Osinbajo had, in the virtual meeting with Smith in January, discussed issues covering areas between technology and governance to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.

In a formal video announcement, 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.

“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, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Institute of Cultural Orientation (NICO) and other local partners.”

We intend that these initiatives become institutions in their own rights and make real impact in the lives of our citizens going forward.”

On his part, Smith said: “We believe in the future of Nigeria and we are excited as a company to add to our investments. It is a country we have had the opportunity to get to know better over the last few years.

“In 2018 we partnered with tech experts to create a Customer Support Centre, a centre in Lagos that employs over 1,600 people. Then we had another opportunity to broaden our investment even more by creating our African Development Centre. By the end of this year, it will employ over 200 software developers and engineers, people who are creating technology and Microsoft products to serve not only the people of Nigeria but the people of the world.”

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