Microsoft Corporation has disclosed plans to partner with the federal government for the benefit of the Nigerian people, especially the youths, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Microsoft would be following in the footsteps of technology giants like Google Inc., HUAWEI and Facebook who have shown ample interest in the Nigerian project in recent times.
Specifically, Microsoft is offering to support the digital transformation pillar of the federal government's Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) in furtherance of its investment in Nigeria after the establishment of an African Technology Development Centre in 2020.
During a virtual meeting with Microsoft Corporation team led by its President, Brad Smith on January 7, 2021, Osinbajo said 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 in engaging them productively.
“It seems to me that there is just a wave of general anger around the world and people are generally impatient. Impatient with government, impatient with practically all of the formal structures there are," Osinbajo said.
"So, we are really talking not just about the youth population but the Nigerian populace because that is the majority.
"So, whatever it is that we are able to deploy to be more inclusive, to engage even more, is really a solution for the entire populace as opposed to a solution for just a segment of our population especially given the fact that young people constitute 70% or even more", he added.
Speaking on the government's efforts in developing the technology space especially in boosting viable sectors of the economy, the vice president noted that “we have a digital innovation initiative which we hope will be the foundation for doing far more in the digital space than we are doing at the moment.”
On the the partnership with Microsoft, especially the establishment of the development centre, the vice president said: “I have always wondered how Microsoft can just be a much more effective partner with us as a country.
“Beginning with the African Development Centre which I think is excellent, I think it shows the commitment of Microsoft in developing the digital centre here in Nigeria. And it also shows the company’s confidence in the sort of talents that we have and the commitment of government to ensuring that we develop that talent in the best possible ways that we can.”
In July of 2020, Google announced plans to establish its first Google Launchpad Space outside the United States in Lagos.
In September of 2020, Facebook announced its decision to open an office in Lagos as part of its planned expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
And last November, HUAWEI promised the vice president that the company will position Nigeria as a technology center for the African continent.