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Buhari Welcomes $200m African Development Centre By Microsoft, Says Nigeria Ready To Lead In Digital Technology

President Muhammadu Buhari has on Friday said Nigeria stands poised to welcome more initiatives and investments in digital technology, while appreciating Microsoft for an engineering hub, African Development Centre, worth $200 million.

Receiving the President of Microsoft Corporation, Brad Smith, at the State House Abuja, accompanied by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Isa Ali Pantami, the President said he has been informed of the Microsoft’s first engineering hub in Africa.

He explained that “I have also been informed of Microsoft’s skilling initiative that aims to train five million citizens and provide 27,000 jobs over the next three years.  These initiatives are commendable and I urge you to expand them and continue to prioritize Nigeria as you roll out your global initiatives.’’

The President added that Nigeria was positioned to play a strategic role in the global technology ecosystem and seek the right partnerships to harness the potential.

“Our emphasis on the development of our Digital Economy has also positioned the sector as a prominent factor in the Nigerian economy.  As the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy in 2020, the Information and Communications Technology sector played a very important role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are keen to build on the momentum as we continue to implement our National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, along with other related policies.’’

“I believe that this meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss how the Nigerian government can support the growth of your business here and how Microsoft can contribute to the growth of our economy through the active support of our policies and programmes,’’ he added.

The President commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and all industry stakeholders for their support for the sector.

The President of Microsoft and Vice Executive Chairman said the company will keep creating jobs to help build technology that will change the world, noting that the multi-tasking approach also stretches to digital infrastructure.

He said Microsoft pledges to train five million Nigerians in the future, stating that 60,000 people had already enrolled for courses while 300,000 had completed various courses.

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