“Sixty-five per cent or one hundred and seventeen million Nigerians are under the age of 25 years. These bright minds are the drivers of this emerging digital sector.
‘‘Today, Nigeria has close to ninety technology hubs and every day, new ones are coming up and they are all developing solutions for Nigerian, and indeed global problems.
The Nigerian leader spoke today, Monday, in keynote speech at the 2019 Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Dubai. The theme of the summit is: ‘Mapping the Future of Foreign Direct Investment: Enriching World Economies through Digital Globalization.’’
The President reflected on the digital revolution in Nigeria, which was buoyed by impressive statistics on mobile phone penetration, technology hubs and the advent of young entrepreneurs.
“In Nigeria, our mobile phone penetration exceeds eighty per cent. This means the majority of Nigeria’s one hundred and ninety million citizens are fully connected to this new digital world; especially our youth.
“As many of you from this region are aware, Nigerian start-ups always have a very impressive outing at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX). Many have won prizes.’’
President Buhari told the investment summit that as leaders in the public and private sector it was their responsibility to create the enabling environment for young people to flourish and reach their full potential.
He shared the Nigerian experience:
‘‘When we came in 2015, we immediately agreed that any future economic growth must be inclusive. As the Nigerian youth population is fully digitalised, it is clear that the idea of having an inclusive economy cannot be achieved without digital inclusion.’’
The President announced that Nigeria was working on creating the largest digital database in Africa, with over thirty million Nigerians and legal residents already captured in the country’s digital identity system.
Also, the President highlighted that Nigeria’s public sector reform programmes, from procurement to payroll to revenue collections, focus on digitising key operations.
He said the recourse to technology and digitisation reinforces the administration’s objectives of improving efficiency, accountability and transparency in governance.
On cybersecurity, President Buhari said Nigeria has taken the lead in cyber policing in West Africa, working with regional and global partners.