The Federal Government of Nigeria will avail itself of the opportunity being provided by global organisations like Google to train the teeming technology savvy youths in various level of ICT capacity development deployed by Google, as this will further open up the accessibility of turning around the nation’s economy and making ICT the mainstay.

Communications Minister, Alhaji Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu in a goodwill message delivered at the event closing of Google For Nigeria held at the Landmark Centre, Eti-Osa, Lagos on Thursday, said that Nigeria as a nation has so much more to learn and gain from the digital revolution being championed by Google.

The minister commending the commitment of Google Nigeria to implement ambitious reforms and bring about macroeconomic stability in the context of the country’s ongoing Smart Digital Nigeria transition process stressed that the efforts are bearing tangible results and have laid the foundation for a credible path to fiscal sustainability and collaboration.He added that Google, being one of the tech giants in computing and the web, has been at the centre of this digital penetration, with the popularity of its open platforms, powering lots of smartphones with android and other digital tools. “A lot has changed in Nigeria since the huge wave of Internet and mobile adoption globally. Today, access to smart phones and the web is growing. Indeed, there are about 149 million mobile subscribers and 97 million internet users, 76 per cent of them can access the internet on their phones.

“The growth in adoption of these trends amongst Nigerians presents huge opportunities for businesses which is important for Government’s ambition on economic diversification. However, only a small number of Individuals and enterprises are currently taking full advantage of new digital opportunities available.’’

“It is also worthy to note that through critical partnerships and collaborations, support of Government and leveraging on Google’s strong community relationships, the goal to train one million people in Nigeria and Africa at large has reached its target. The plan to train more Africans in digital skills in the coming year is therefore commendable.

“It is also instructive to note that the web is a driver of economic growth, and is transforming society as a whole. People must be equipped, through training and re-skilling to make use of the tools and take advantage of it for entrepreneurship, employment and e-inclusion.

The minister said there is no better time to collaborate with Google Nigeria and to harness the benefits of ICT than now when the Nigerian economy is in dire need of diversification, adding that ICT is strategic in driving productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy and that virtually all sectors leverage ICT for optimal performance. To this end, I charge you to key into the ministry’s mandate and collaborate with my Ministry.

“It is only logical that Government is determined not only to create policies and incentives but also collaborate with global tech leaders like Google to ensure smart digital Nigeria initiative and to make technology more accessible and useful to drive more businesses and in turn, contribute to a richer and diversified economy.”, he said.