By DAVID IORJA, Abuja –
President Bola Tinubu has expressed the willingness of the Federal Government of Nigeria to support global tech giant, Google Incorporated, to create one million digital jobs in Nigeria.
The President gave the assurance at the State House, Friday evening during the visit of Google Global Vice President, Mr. Richard Gingras, to his office.
President Tinubu told the visiting Google executive that Nigeria had creative and talented young people who are ready and motivated to learn especially at this age of Artificial Intelligence, stressing that the tech giant has the capabilities and tools that the young people need to excel.
“I am glad that Google is ready to partner with us. You have answered our call on digital innovation and to help our youths. You are supporting our efforts to promote digital economy. We are ready to work with you on your commitment to create 1 million digital jobs in Nigeria.
“We will give you all the support you need to have a beneficial corporate responsibility. We have started our economic reforms, even though tortuous.” He said in a statement by his media aide, Mr Dele Alake.
On Google’s promotion of free speech, freedom of the press and democracy through its platforms, President Tinubu declared that it is in public interest that free speech and press freedom should not be impeded.
“It is in public interest to continue to defend free press and free speech. We are committed to supporting a free society,” the President said.
In his address, the Google Vice President had earlier told President Tinubu that he was in Nigeria for West Africa Journalism Innovation Conference.
He said he had been inspired by the creativity and talent of young people in Nigeria who are embracing technology and digital tools to expand access to information and promote democracy.
Mr. Gingras told President Tinubu that his organisation has deep interest in Nigeria and stands ready to support the Federal Government.
He listed the many capabilities of Google to include areas of Artificial Intelligence and other digital innovations that are empowering young people to become digital entrepreneurs, adding that Google subsea cable, Equiano named after Nigerian slave abolitionist that will significantly impact future internet connectivity demands landed in Nigeria in April 2022.
He also promised that Google would help to secure Nigeria in the age of disinformation and fake news, saying that his organisation seeks to continue its partnership with the Nigerian government.
“Google has deep interest in Nigeria. We want to support the government’s efforts to create 1 million digital jobs. We have all the tools and capabilities to make this happen. We will also help ro secure Nigeria and we have discussed that with your National Security Adviser.
“I came to Nigeria to learn. I am going back home very impressed with what I saw. You have very vibrant, creative and talented young people who are embracing innovation.
“We will continue to support your programmes to expand your digital economy,” Mr. Gingras said.
He was accompanied on the visit by Mr. Adewolu Adene, Government and Public Affairs Manager for Google in West Africa, Mr. Adewolu Adene and Premium Times Publisher, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi.