As the 2019 general election campaigns begin, President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is committed to granting increased internet access to the poorest in the society.
The information is in the President Buhari and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo’s Next Level Campaign Guide for 2019.
According to the guide, the efforts of government in the past few years enabled internet access and promoted local content, especially among Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government.
It stated that “following the Vice President’s visit to Silicon Valley, U.S., where he visited the headquarters of some leading global technology companies, he met Google officials.
“He met with Google Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, and its top executives in July and the global tech company now provides free Wi-fi access in several public places in Nigeria.
“This initiative will bridge societal gaps by providing free internet access to some of the poorest in the society.
“It will grant access to information, tools of education, improved business and job opportunities and expansion for many Nigerians.”
It further said that the free internet access was in line with the administration’s plan to improve the country’s technology sector and leverage on the gains that a data-driven digital economy could offer.
It added that Information Communication Technology, ICT, was the new oil, adding that oil revenues were no longer sustainable.
The guide indicated that the first free Wi-fi sites were rolled out in some parts of Lagos State.
Corroborating President Buhari’s achievements, Mrs Titi Akinsomi, Google Nigeria Public Policy Lead, said “Google is highly committed to granting internet access to Nigerians.
“We are here to develop to make the promise of the digital economy a reality in Nigeria.”
Akinsomi recognised that internet access was like a venture and the company was targeting 200 free Wi-Fi sites in the country in the next one year.
Akinsomi further said that “we are being deliberate about going to where there is need: we have been doing a lot of training in digital skills and development training skills, we follow the people.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Vice President Yemi Osibanjo in July embarked on a three-day tour of the world’s technology capital, the Silicon Valley in the U.S., to learn and to boost the country’s new investments in evolving technology and entertainment sectors.