By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for improved deployment of digital technology for mass education and healthcare.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the Vice President spoke at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group Chairman’s Forum for 2022, held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The Vice President said that Nigeria had experienced significant growth in the use of digital technology and in number of technology companies.
“Beyond all, of the successes that we are seeing, we need to educate a large number of people and train teachers.
“That’s going to be a major issue in all of this especially in states where we have a large number of out-of-school children,” he said.
Osinbajo said that providing more access to education and healthcare services to a larger number of the population had to be technology driven to ensure maximum impact.
He restated Nigeria’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2060.
The Vice President said that energy transition was important to Africa and developing countries.
He said that digitisation and climate change would largely determine Africa’s growth trajectory in decades ahead especially as digital technology offered the most effective way for Africa to fast-track development.
Osinbajo said the COVID-19 pandemic showed the resilience of Nigeria’s public healthcare system have gained from experiences in tackling Ebola and Lassa fever.
“So we have a robust health system. But the issue is that there are just several millions of people out there in the nook and crannies.
“And technology must play a role; technology must play an increasing part in our abilities to be able to reach our population everywhere they may be,” Osinbajo said.
On the growth of digital technology in Nigeria and on the continent, Osinbajo said that Africa’s total inbound international internet bandwidth capacity increased by more than 50 times.
“The operational fibre-optic network extended by almost four times; mobile telephony, mobile cellular subscriptions more than doubled; and about 58 per cent of the population now live in areas covered by 4G networks.
“Africa has over 480 million mobile money accounts, more than all other developing regions taken together, over 640 tech hubs are active across the continent.
“Here in Nigeria, we have six unicorns, most of them fintech companies, valued at over a billion dollars. We are also leveraging digital technology in various ways,” he said.
Read also: Electoral bill, testament to electoral process – Osinbajo
On climate change and its impact on Africa, Osinbajo reiterated the importance of placing premium consideration on African needs in the transition to net-zero emissions.
According to the Vice President, the issue goes beyond just climate change to the existential crisis of extreme poverty in Africa.
Osinbajo said Nigeria has since developed a fossil energy to net-zero emissions by 2060.
The event was hosted by the UBA Group Chairman, Mr Tony Elumelu, and was attended by some members of the National Assembly, members of the diplomatic corps, among other dignitaries. (NAN) (nannews.ng)
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By Chijioke Okoronkwo