Osinbajo pledges FG’s support for Google’s Next Billion Users Plan

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The vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said that the federal government will support Google’s Next Billion Users plan intended to ensure greater digital access in Nigeria and around the world.

The vice president gave the assurance during a meeting with Google executives at the headquarters complex of Google and its parent company, Alphabet Inc., California at the start of the investment road show he is leading to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Osinbajo said government will partner with Google in the area of localization of content and content creation to make content cheaper and more accessible to Nigerians.

He also discussed other areas for partnership with Google, including the establishment of Google Artificial Intelligence Centres in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and the establishment of a Youtube Creator space to support Nigeria’s digital content producers and enable them make money with their craft leveraging on Youtube and Google Tools as well as the expansion of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme in Africa.

In his remarks, the chief executive officer of Google, Sundar Pichai who welcomed the vice president said Google was interested in the policy environment in Nigeria and formulation of policy to encourage partnerships and investments from Google global with companies in Nigeria’s technology space.

At the meeting held on Tuesday in Silicon Valley, the Vice President also interacted with scores of Nigerians working with Google.

He later met with a series of key technology investors and also visited the headquarters of LinkedIn where he was the special guest at the firm’s Fireside Chat with a packed full room of Nigerians in Diaspora.

Nigeria has been identified as one of the major countries where the latest generation of internet users will come from, and the next billion users are said to be already changing the internet in three key ways: the prominent use of smartphones to access the Internet, an instinct for universal computing, and a demand for localized content.

The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users, as the global technology company has noted, and it is reckoned that the latest generation of internet users will come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. For Nigeria, the Google Next Billion Users plan is expected to provoke innovation on an unprecedented scale.

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