Vice President Kashim Shettima has made it known to the executives of Google, a leading global technology company, that Nigeria had missed industrial and other revolutions in the past and will not be left behind this time, in knowledge-driven age.
“We missed the agricultural age; we missed the industrial age and we are now in the knowledge-driven post-industrial age.
“We have the potential and a unique opportunity to fill the anticipated global talent deficit.”
Shettima, who spoke today, August 15, while playing host to the executive members of the global technological experts at the Presidential villa, Abuja, expressed happiness at Google’s proposed N1.2 billion grant initiative for one million jobs for Nigerians.
He said that the proposed grant of N1.2 billion to support the Tinubu administration’s digital jobs initiative is commendable and worthy of emulation by other companies.
He stressed the desire of the government to create more job opportunities, saying that there is need to walk the talk.
“It is easy to pontificate but very difficult to bring all of the ideas to fruition. I want to assure you that this administration is ready to partner with you.
“Nigeria is ready for business. The President that we have now wants to leave a legacy that Nigerians will be proud of many years after.”
The Vice President spoke about the potentials of Nigeria’s young population, saying: “we have a unique opportunity to harness the potentials of our huge youth population to create millions of jobs in the digital sector.
“We have more English-speaking people than many countries in Africa and beyond.
“Access Bank is doing a lot in terms of digital skills, training 1,000 youths in digital skills to create employment opportunities.
“We are working with Wema Bank, the Bank of Industry and other partners on this project. We are willing to partner with Google, we will work closely with you for the good of our nation.”
This was even as the Director of Google in West Africa, Olumide Balogun said that the company is excited about the Tinubu administration’s vision of creating one million digital jobs and is committing over N1.2 billion in grants to support the initiative.
He said that the company, through the programme, would provide digital skills to over 20,000 youths and women to enhance and improve their lives and livelihoods, and also enable several startups grow and create thousands of jobs in the sector.
Also, the Google Africa’s Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, Charles Murito, said that the company remains committed to investing in digital infrastructure across Africa, and that digital transformation in the continent can be the driver of the targeted technology jobs.
He spoke about the potential in Africa, saying: “Google cannot achieve its vision and objectives if it doesn’t cover Nigeria effectively.”
The Google initiative is designed to train 20,000 Nigerian women and youth in digital skills.
The programme is facilitated through a grant from Google’s philanthropic arm to “Mind the Gap” in partnership with Data Science Nigeria and the Creative Industry Initiative for Africa. This initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s commitment to increasing the participation of young Nigerians in the digital economy by creating 1 million digital jobs.
The delegation from Google also includes, Programme Manager, Google Africa, Ms Oluwatamilore Oni; the Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Mr Adewolu Adene and Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Google West Africa, Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, among others.