By Staff Reporter
THE Federal Government has called for support from multinational organisations including Elon Musk owned Space X, search giant, Google and the World Bank for Nigeria’s digital agenda.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of Nigeria, Prof. Isa Pantami, made the call on behalf of the Federal Government on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders’ Forum (USALF), in Washington DC, United States of America.
Pantami had meetings at Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (Space X) headquarters in Hawthorne, California, as well as a meeting at the World Bank Headquarters and another meeting with Google Corporation in a bid to strengthen partnerships for the development of Nigeria’s digital economy.
In a statement yesterday, signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Reuben Muoka, Pantami was received at Space X by Samuel (Chad) Gibbs IV, the Vice President of Business Operations, on behalf of Musk.
At the visit, both parties discussed how Space X could expand its presence in Nigeria, following their entry into the Nigerian market through the Starlink broadband service.
The minister also asked the Space X team to consider sourcing some of its engineers from Nigeria’s digital talent pool. The minister and his team had a personalised tour of the SpaceX Rocket Manufacturing Facility, Starlink Assembly Line, and Product Development Facility. He also witnessed the live Space X rocket launch of two telecoms satellites into orbit.
On the invitation of the World Bank Group, the Pantami had a meeting with top officials of the Bank, including Vyjayanti Desai, the Practice Manager for the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) and Digitising Government to Person Payments (G2Px) Programs.
Also at the meeting were Franz Drees-Gross, Director of Infrastructure, World Bank West African Region and Michel Rogy, World Bank’s Digital Development Practice Manager for Africa and the Middle East.
The World Bank team commended the minister for his leadership, which they claimed has led to significant development in Nigeria’s digital economy sector. The meeting also discussed how the Bank could further partner with Nigeria to strengthen the digital economy ecosystem in areas such as infrastructure, skilling, cybersecurity, and digital identity.
Prof. Pantami also had a meeting with Vice-President, Government Affairs, and Public Policy at Google, Karan Bhatia.
Bhatia appreciated the minister for the significant progress that has been made in the digital transformation of the Nigerian economy.
He also commended the minister for Nigeria Startup Act, noting the potential of the legislation to serve as a catalyst for rapid development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
The Google Vice-President, who discussed the company’s growing focus on Africa, said the firm looks forward to expanding partnerships with Nigeria in areas such as skilling, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, among others.