Okwe Obi, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has given reasons why Nigeria must increase its spending in data capturing, which, according to him, would help the government know its population strength and also know other areas of importance to harness its investments and lure more foreign investors.
Osinbajo stated this at a conference organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and the Digital Economic Forum with the theme: Africa-China Coorporation in Information Technology and Digital Economy: Prospects and Challenges, in Abuja, on Thursday.
He maintained that the country would ensure absolute digitalisation of government processes to help tackle corruption headlong.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Lanre Osibona, Vice President Osinbajo added with the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China, the youths would be employed.
His words,”It is important to digitalise government process which enables the ease of doing business and tackling corruption.
“We need to understand that we are going into digital economy because of the inherent benefits that comes with it. And the collaboration we are having with the People’s Republic of China is to deepen bilateral ties.”
Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, explained that access to telephony services by Nigerians had increased and had provided over $32 billion in foreign direct investment over the last 15 years.
He further noted, “This truly impressive development has been underpinned by rapid investment and significant deployment of digital mobile infrastructure by telecommunication operators in many African countries, most especially by Chinese companies- Huawei technologies.
“As part of that ICT ecosystem and guided by the recognition of the boundless potential of our great nation within the digital economy, Chinese companies have invested over $16 billion to date in fixed assets and facilities nationwide to build and support most network operators in the country.
In his remarks, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, said that China would continue to share its development strategies with African countries.
Pingjian admitted that much progress had been made between the two countries in the area of ICT, giving the December 2015 Forum on China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC) Action Plan held in Johannesburg, in South Africa.
He also said with the upcoming FOCAC Beijing Summit, potential areas would be harnessed to boost development.
According to Pingjian, “Both sides will endeavour to combine the theme of the summit with the joint construction of the ‘Belt and Road between China and Africa, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, the 2063 of the African countries like the Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to make new planning for win-win cooperation.”