Vice President Yemi Osinbajo called for better deployment of digital technology for mass education and healthcare.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement released in Abuja on Saturday, said the vice president spoke at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group Chairman’s Forum for 2022, which will take place in Abuja. is held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The Vice President said Nigeria has seen significant growth in the use of digital technology and the number of tech companies.
“Above all, among the successes we see, we have to educate a lot of people and train teachers.
“That’s going to be a major issue in all of this, especially in states where we have a lot of out-of-school kids,” he said.
Osinbajo said providing greater access to education and health services to more of the population needed to be technology driven to ensure maximum impact.
He reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2060.
The Vice President said that the energy transition was important for Africa and developing countries.
He said digitalization and climate change will largely determine Africa’s growth trajectory in the coming decades, especially since digital technology offers the most effective way for Africa to accelerate its development.
Osinbajo said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the resilience of the Nigerian public health system through the experiences of fighting Ebola and Lassa fever.
“So we have a robust healthcare system. But the problem is that there are only several million people in the nooks and crannies.
“And technology has to play a role; technology must play an increasing role in our ability to reach our people wherever they are,” Osinbajo said.
Regarding the growth of digital technology in Nigeria and the continent, Mr. Osinbajo said that the total capacity of Africa’s inbound internet bandwidth has increased more than 50 times.
“The operational fiber optic network has been multiplied by nearly four; mobile telephony, mobile cellular subscriptions more than doubled; and around 58% of the population now lives in areas covered by 4G networks.
“Africa has over 480 million mobile money accounts, more than all other developing regions combined, over 640 tech hubs are active across the continent.
“Here in Nigeria, we have six unicorns, mostly fintech companies, valued at over $1 billion. We are also leveraging digital technology in various ways,” he said.
On climate change and its impact on Africa, Osinbajo reiterated the importance of paying particular attention to African needs in the transition to net zero emissions.
According to the Vice President, the issue goes beyond climate change and concerns the existential crisis of extreme poverty in Africa.
Osinbajo said Nigeria has since developed net-zero emissions fossil fuel energy by 2060.
The event was moderated by UBA Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, and was attended by members of the National Assembly, members of the diplomatic corps, among other dignitaries.