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Tinubu to Meta: Nigerian youths poised to actualise national vision, lead Africa in digital technology

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (centre); Sir Nick Clegg, former UK Deputy Prime Minister and President of Global Affairs at Meta (l); and Dr. 'Bosun Tijani, Honourable Minister for Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy at the Meeting in the State House, Abuja

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu informs the visiting Meta Platforms Incorporated team that Nigeria can’t afford to lag behind in this era of technological advancements, stressing his administration is opening up opportunities in Information and Communications Technology, deepening capacity, and fostering partnerships

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has informed the Meta Platforms Incorporated that his administration is sustaining investments in digital technology to enhance the sustainability of small businesses, expand opportunities across sectors, and propel Nigeria to become the lodestar of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Africa.

Tinubu stated this when he received a delegation from Meta Platforms Incorporated, led by Sir Nick Clegg, former UK Deputy Prime Minister and President of Global Affairs at Meta, Thursday, March 21, 2024, in the State House, Abuja, FCT.

The President said Nigeria could not afford to be left behind in this age of technological advancements; hence, his administration is opening up channels of opportunities in information and communications technology, deepening capacity, and fostering partnerships.

ConsumerConnect reports the Tinubu administration’s 3MTT programme, which is being activated majorly by the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat), is currently training three million Nigerian vibrant, gifted and resourceful youths in digital technology and essential skills before deploying them to innovation hubs across the West African country.

The Nigerian President emphasised that Nigerian youths are the most critical asset in the country’s arsenal as it moves to achieve digital economic expansion.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential Spokesman, stated President Tinubu told the Meta team: “For us in Nigeria, we have a vibrant, gifted and resourceful youth population. Recognising that the future is most likely to be AI-enabled, we have to prepare our youths and make them ready to compete and participate in the global economy.

“I can assure you that Nigeria is open for business. We want to lead the African continent in digital technology. Data is valuable to our development.

“We are ready to cooperate on technological advancements. It is the only way to go. We need a collaboration that will be a win-win for all.”

As regards the importance of technology in driving small businesses, the President averred his commitment to ensuring that technology is deployed, adapted, enhanced, and used to catalyse growth across a vast majority of micro businesses, spurring mass prosperity down the line.

“What interests me is the use of technology in the development of small businesses. We need to make the business environment more conducive for you and more profitable for us as well. I hope we can collaborate and continue to promote our mutual interests,” President Tinubu told the delegation.

Earlier in his remarks, Sir Clegg had thanked the President for an Executive Order (EO) he issued, which enabled the landing of the Meta-backed deep-sea fibre optic cable in Nigeria.

He also noted: “It is an extraordinary infrastructure project. When it comes on stream in the first quarter of 2025, it will be twice as much as the capacity of all subsea cables that exist. We buried the cable 50 percent deeper than any other subsea cables under the seabed.

“It is more powerful and more extensive in terms of its geographical connectivity. It could yield up to 37 billion Dollars worth of increase in economic activity in the next two or three years across the African continent.”

According to Sir Clegg, Meta will introduce, in June 2024, a feature on its Instagram app that will allow Nigerian creators to monetise their content and enable them to earn a living, using the app.

“We have a lot to do with Nigeria to deepen partnerships,” he added.

Also speaking at the forum, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, Honourable Minister for Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, affirmed that Meta platforms are critical platforms in Nigeria, and as such opportunities for partnerships and engagement are essential to promoting development in the digital economy sector of the economy.

Dr. Tijani stated: “We must continue to engage to create opportunities for our people so they can also share in global prosperity. Digital technology is an opportunity to connect Africa to contribute to the development of the world.”

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