President Bola Tinubu says the federal government is willing to support Google, the multinational tech giant, to create one million digital jobs in Nigeria.
Tinubu gave the assurance in Abuja on Friday evening during the visit of Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google, to his office.
The president told the visiting Google executive that Nigeria had creative and talented young people who are ready and motivated to learn.
“I am glad that Google is ready to partner with us. You have answered our call on digital innovation and to help our youths,” a statement issued by Dele Alake, special adviser to the president on special duties, communications and strategy, quoted Tinubu as saying.
“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.”
On Google’s promotion of free speech, freedom of the press and democracy through its platforms, Tinubu declared that it is in the 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,” he said.
On his part, Gingras told 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.
He added that Google subsea cable, Equiano, named after the Nigerian slave abolitionist, will significantly impact future internet connectivity demands.
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 to secure Nigeria and we have discussed that with your National Security Adviser,” Gingras said.
“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.”