Nigerians have commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for his contributions to the promotion of tech opportunities for the Nigerian youth.

Global technology giants - Google Inc., HUAWEI, and top social networking companies like Facebook and Microsoft Corporation, have disclosed plans to partner with the federal government for the benefit of the Nigerian people, especially young people.

Osinbajo has embraced the initiative, noting in a virtual meeting with Microsoft Corporation team led by its President, Brad Smith, that the company’s interest in supporting the efforts of the federal government is a welcome development and could be leveraged to address issues affecting the youths, especially as it pertains to engaging them productively.

Osinbajo had also invited Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria, which culminated in Zuckerberg’s first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa when he arrived Lagos, Nigeria in August 2016.

Vice President 'Yemi Osinbajo (L), President Muhammadu Buhari (M) and Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (R) taking a selfie in 2016 (Presidency)
Vice President 'Yemi Osinbajo (L), President Muhammadu Buhari (M) and Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (R) taking a selfie in 2016 (Presidency)

While in Nigeria, Zuckerberg visited the nation's capital city of Abuja for the Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD), which was put together by the federal government. He also visited Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and Andela, where he held a townhall meeting with entrepreneurs and developers in Lagos.

Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria yielded some fruit a year later, when in October 2017, Facebook launched its first African SME Council in Nigeria in order to support small and medium sized businesses throughout Africa.

In May of 2018, NG_HUB was launched in Yaba, Lagos, as the training aspect of Facebook’s Nigeria Initiatives also promised to train and support 50,000 students, SMEs and entrepreneurs across Nigeria through a series of digital skills training in partnership with hubs across Nigeria.

The vice president's office say his visit to Silicon Valley and Facebook Campus in 2018 has helped to boost the federal government’s digital drive, while leading to significant improvement in the country’s digital space.

They add that it has also facilitated Google's launch of free public Wi-Fi service in Abuja, an initiative expected to create more economic opportunities for Nigerians through bridging societal gaps by providing free internet access.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN in a virtual meetings with OPTS and IPPG stakeholders on the Petroleum Industry Bill at The State House,Abuja. Photos; Tolani Alli
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN in a virtual meetings with OPTS and IPPG stakeholders on the Petroleum Industry Bill at The State House,Abuja. Photos; Tolani Alli

In the last few years, Nigerian tech entrepreneurs have also raised millions of dollars in investment, and there has been an increased interest in Africa’s tech space.

Microsoft has opened an engineering office in Nigeria, Google has started an accelerator programme, while IBM has launched the Digital Nation Africa project.

Osinbajo at Silicon Valley, discusses partnership with Google executives
Osinbajo at Silicon Valley, discusses partnership with Google executives

The Chinese billionaire Jack Ma had also visited Nigeria and is said to be working on an Africa wide investment project.

All of the interests in Nigeria's tech space have had the imprimatur of the vice president. On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Nigerians took to Twitter to hail Osinbajo for being open to the idea of developing Nigeria through digital technology.

"Google Inc. announced plans to establish first Google launchpad outside US in Lagos, Facebook made decision to open office in Lagos, HUAWEI promised to position Nigeria as a technology center for the Africa continent. Osinbajo is bringing fortunes to Nigeria," one Thomas Blessing wrote on Twitter.

@bisuclef, said, "#MicrosoftNaija is promising some bug tech investment in #Nigeria thanks to VP Osinbajo's new feat in ensuring young Nigerians benefit in more ways than one in ICT generally."

@lollylarry1, wrote: "Vice President Yemi Osinbajo posed with tech gurus ready to invest in Nigeria. My essential Osinbajo is always contributing to the development of d country."

Another, commenting via @CityMayo, said: "It seems to me that it's is only Prof Yemi Osinbajo that truly appreciates and understands the many job opportunities that come with developing our digital economy. Guessing that's why he is at the forefront of attracting most of the world digital marketing executives coming to Nigeria to invest."

@Yakubu_Prince1, said, "Osinbajo has done greatly in the aspect of technology. One of the benefits of his visit to Silicon Valley is the collaboration of Microsoft with the FG. All these are happening and coming to reality because #ESPisWorking #MicrosoftNaija."

For @abegnovex; "On behalf of my inborn children and grateful Nigerian boys and girls, we want to commend Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for attracting big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Huawei and others to the country. God bless you sir."