- Company to deploy Microsoft Airband to provide cheaper internet services to six regions
Software giant, Microsoft has announced a joint partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria which will see the tech giant implementing strategies to build a strong foundation for a digital economy in Nigeria in three areas: connectivity, skilling and digital transformation.
Following the agreement, high speed internet infrastructure will be developed in six regions of the country. This will be achieved through the Microsoft Airband Initiative, a cheaper and faster technology. Secondly, it will be training five million Nigerians over the next three years with 1,700 trainers already penciled down to offer a blended online and in-person training courses to the youths as well as government workers
The Federal Government will also be given the tools to digitally transform skilling, education, and employment methods to match job seekers with the right employers. By doing this, the company says it hopes to create over 27,000 new digital jobs in the next three years.
With internet penetration put at around 50% and with the pandemic increasing the pace of digitisation, it says much still needs to be done to empower citizens to take advantage of the opportunities of a digital economy.
Speaking on the partnership, Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith says, “We believe in the future of Nigeria, and we are excited as a company to add to our investments.”
“Together, we have an enormous opportunity to put technology to work, create jobs, to foster the technology ecosystem across Nigeria, and to use technology to preserve the best of the past and take us into the future.”
On his part, Vice President Osinbajo says he is very happy to see that this is being implemented not so long after he opened discussions with the company’s President.
“These initiatives, which cover areas of intersection between technology and governance will deliver value to our people. This is the outcome of the discussions I held in January 2021 with the Microsoft Corporation President, Mr. Brad Smith.
I am very pleased to see that within a very short time, we have moved from ideas to implementation. “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,” he concluded