Digital economy, future of human existence: Osinbajo

Adejoke Adeleye,Abeokuta

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has rated business, education, health care, governance, security as aspects of human existence for the future of the Digital Economy.

Osibajo said this at a virtual meeting and official commissioning of the Ogun State Tech Hub which was held at Kobape, Abeokuta and organized by the state government.

In his words, “Digital Economy is the future of all aspects of human existence, business, education, health care, governance, security. The practice of practically every profession is either already digitally based or will become so in the coming months and years.

“Someone said digital economy is to development today what electricity was to development in the 19th and 20th centuries, so making it available to all our citizens and businesses is the most far-sighted action that any government can take today. Other technology tools become compulsory for communities that see meaningful growth for society and security.”

He also hinted that “there is massive investment in digital infrastructure in our great state so we are not just talking about the future, challenges and opportunities, we are by the launch of the Ogun State Digital Economy empowerment today taking hold of the future, and we are set to define it in our own terms.

“Indeed access to broad-band and modern technology tools have become compulsory for any community that seeks meaningful growth, security and prosperity for its people, so I will like to commend our futuristic, dynamic, innovative and digitally compliant Governor, His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun for the credible and relevant initiative by bringing broadband to homes, businesses and offices in Ogun State, you’re opening up Ogun State residence and businesses digitally not just across Nigeria but to the entire Universe.

“Your Excellency, this project is a critical component of Mr President’s objectives of broadband connectivity for all by 2023.

“This ambition as you know is now enshrined in our Economic Sustainability Plan and as part of National commitment to make broadband connectivity available to all.

“In 2017, the State Governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council agreed to harmonize a right of way charges payable by Telecommunication Companies and related public utility infrastructure on Local Governments, States and Federal Highways to encourage co-location of the companies that fibre the cables.

“In another demonstration of the Government’s commitment in this regard, the Federal Ministry of Communication and digital economy launched a National broad-band plan which is designed to deliver data downloads units across Nigeria with a minimum of 25ABPS in urban areas and 10MPPs in rural areas with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at affordable prices.

“The plan gives special attention to served and underserved areas in the distribution of telecom services as many states have already complied with the right of this policy and reduced the rate to as low as 140 Naira per meter while some states have completely removed the charges.

“We are pursuing this course because we recognize that internet access has drawn back accreditation which will become existential in future tense and would determine our competitiveness in the global economy so for the judicious investment in the right infrastructure.

“Ogun state has positioned itself to become a major global site of the emergent renovation economy, I believe that bringing the digital device in the state we also need to improve educational outcome and provide opportunities for improving access to education across the state at different levels, starting from primary all the way to tertiary education, A digital revolution that this project will bring will be a game-changer in every aspect of the socio-economic life of this state.

The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in his welcome address said “the formal launch of the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP), today, Friday, April 16, is to formally deepen the various advantages of information technology advancements into all sectors and making ICT one indispensable point of our economy.”

He also hinted that “the digital economy technology will serve as a viable platform for strengthening the economic diversification, as well as, the attainment of many key national objectives of fighting corruption, improving security, job creation and expanding the economy.

“In fact, the experience of lockdown in the heat of COVID-19 in 2020 shows that we can achieve a lot through technology. We are aware of the many advantages our people have continued to reap since the introduction of a digital economy by our administration, as an important aspect of the implementation of the Building our Future Together Agenda in Ogun State.

“That is why since our administration came on board in May 2019, we have continued to demonstrate our commitment towards developing the ICT industry for the continued growth and expansion of all sectors of the economy,” he boasted.

Abiodun’s administration is unfolding a power infrastructural project that will guarantee the stability of power to most cities and industrial clusters.

“This digital economy infrastructure is the backbone for ICT revolution in our dear state. This will further enhance the ease of doing business in our state. Recent events have even shown the various roles of digital technologies in solving many human challenges and transforming every aspect of the economy.

“Therefore, this particular effort of our administration of providing a digital economy in Ogun State will not only help to resolve many challenges, both human and economic but also provide more opportunities to improve the people’s know-how, productivity and innovations as necessary for nurturing their potentials and the continued development of our State’s economy.

“The ICT industry has continued to account for more than 21% of our dear state’s Gross Domestic Product and hence continued to provide countless job opportunities for our growing educated and creative citizenry.

“And, as we are putting efforts towards improving on our status as the Industrial Hub of the nation and the investors’ destination of choice, as well as the education capital of the country, by providing an enduring legacy in digital economy at a full capacity at this time is very apposite,” he said.

Abiodun while adding that the state cannot say it is unaware of the need to improve accessibility said the strategy of the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP) is to provide broadband connectivity to every corner of the state.

“This is a joint project, a joint effort between our administration and the state partner, 21st Century Technologies Limited (21CTL), to deliver fibre-optic cables and mechanics across all the 20 Local Government Areas within the next two years.

“This will include laying the foundation for increased broadband connectivity and the attendant opportunities the new technology will bring to all the people and our dear state’s economy, in general.

“As a matter of fact, the first phase of OGDEIP will establish a fibre optic network ring around the entire state that will ensure connectivity particularly for key educational institutions, government agencies, and residents in unconnected and under-connected areas.

“The ring design will ensure minimal downtime due to the manner in which the network can be automatically re-routed where there is a break in connection, he said.

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