UK Reiterates Support for Technological Development in Nigeria

The United Kingdom has reiterated its commitment to promoting Nigeria’s technological ecosystem to bridge the country’s digital sector gap.
The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, OBE, made this known in Lagos yesterday during a virtual technical conference organized by the UK’s Digital Access Programme on Digital Inclusion for Underserved/Unserved Communities and Persons Living with Disabilities PLWDs.
The commission said it would support the Federal Government in its inclusive digital economic plan, which will help confront the country’s challenges.
Llewellyn-Jones noted that: “As our fight against the pandemic goes on, our focus is on supporting a sustainable and resilient recovery across Nigeria,” he told participants at the conference.
“Tech can help us tackle some of the most significant social challenges of our time – from protecting our environment and reducing carbon emissions to transforming health systems, saving lives through diagnosing diseases earlier, to aiding economic inclusion by deepening access to underserved populations.
“To drive this growth, Nigeria needs a combination of increased access to faster and better quality internet connectivity infrastructure, an upskilled tech talent pool, a vibrant start-up ecosystem, access to investment, and partnership opportunities both regionally and internationally.”
The UK further said the virtual technical conference aimed to raise views and develop quick-win strategies to settle the issues of populations without access to digital to bring poor and excluded people into the digital economy, reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.
At the event, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Pantami, delivered a keynote address on ‘Optimizing and Prioritizing Digital Inclusion in the Face of COVID-19.’
According to him, the Federal Government’s priority is developing a strategy and policy that will provide an enabling environment that will support the private sectors to end the digital divide.
He added that the government was giving its support to ensure the sector’s growth, which contributes 14.70 per cent to the GDP in Q4 of 2020 and would continue to do more.
Pantami further said, “On behalf of President Buhari, I want to thank the UK Government for their continued support for Nigeria’s digital sector, including the development of the national broadband plan which has led to 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration in Nigeria since it was launched a year ago .”

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