VP Osinbajo says 120 million Nigerians now use telecom services
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that telecoms penetration in Nigeria is one of the deepest in any developing country.
According to the Vice President, close to 120 million Nigerians now use one telecom service or the other.
He stated this on Monday at a bilateral meeting in Vietnam, where he sought the collaboration of the Vietnamese government in the digital economy space.
During the meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Võ Thị Ánh Xuân, at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Osinbajo acknowledged both countries’ market potentials in the digital economy, telecommunications, agriculture (especially cashew nut processing) and trade.
Opportunities for collaboration: According to a statement issued by the VP’s Spokesperson, Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo spoke extensively about the immense opportunities that exist and the need for both countries to collaborate. He said:
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- “There are vast opportunities that exist for cooperation and collaboration, especially in the area of digital economy and telecoms, and we look forward to the signing of some of the agreements that we have spoken about – the trade and investment agreements, trade projection agreements, double taxation agreements.”
- “We think that there are opportunities for collaboration between Nigeria and Vietnam, especially in the “Digital Economy space. We also have a growing telecoms market, possibly one of the deepest penetrations of telecoms in the developing world. We have close to 120 million of our citizens who have put to use telecom equipment or devices. And also, broadband connectivity is vastly improved. We hope that by 2025, we will have broadband connectivity for all of our over 200 million people.”
Osinbajo further noted that despite the COVID-19 disruptions and other events that have adversely affected the economy, Nigeria has managed to build six valuable companies that are engaged in fintech and e-commerce over the past few years.
Agriculture collaboration: Prof. Osinbajo also called for collaborations between Nigeria and Vietnam towards boosting food security.
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- “Given the food crisis that the world faces today, and is likely to continue facing even in the coming years, I like to say that the way forward is for our countries to collaborate. For instance, establishing cashew processing plants in Nigeria. What has happened in the past was the export of raw cashew, but at this point, we are concerned about value addition. We will like to see value addition.”
While noting that Vietnam has significant advantages and experience in the area of cashew processing, he called for the establishment of cashew processing in Nigeria, saying this would enable the country to add value to raw cashew and both countries would derive benefits from the value chain.
Vietnam’s response: On her part, the Vietnamese Vice President commended Nigeria’s leadership role in the ECOWAS sub-region and Africa generally, especially in the peaceful resolution of disputes based on international laws, and in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- She expressed confidence in Nigeria’s capability to resolve challenges confronting the continent and sub-region and sought the country’s support for Vietnam’s quest to establish relations with ECOWAS.
- She also spoke about the advance of digital transformation in Vietnam, and also stated the country’s commitment to the global energy transition, adding that her country would continue to work with Africa to meet its aspirations in agriculture, clean energy and digital penetration.