|VPF urges nationwide internet literacy campaign to boost economy
Mimshach Obioha,, VPF Programme Director, who made the call while answering questions from newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday said that general internet education and literacy would enable millions of Nigerians go beyond making calls and messaging to investing in internet and using it for profitable economic ventures.
“We discovered that most online users in the country use the basic messenger and phone call services, while there are other benefits of internet like banking, learning, shopping, trading, healthy living, etc, adding that `the next gold after oil is human minds, which means that countries with large population like Nigeria has large resources .
“It also means that every person has potential of becoming a complete refinery all by oneself,’’ he said, adding , with computer programming and literacy education, one person can actually build an empire’’.
Obioha said that with adequate focus on harnessing human resources in the area of technology, Nigeria “has the potential of producing many Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg’’.
“It is really important that our country, as a matter of policy figures out ways to improve and encourage this development,” he said.
NAN reports that VPF in collaboration with Google West Africa and OC&C Consult recently launched a report titled Tech Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Research –Nigeria to help unfold and develop the potentials of the technological sector of the economy.
Obioha disclosed that ‘`In the process of gathering data on challenges and prospects of Nigerian technology sector, it was discovered that about 15 million Nigerians go on internet daily’’ but lamented that “many don’t go beyond sending messaging and making calls’’.
On the significance of the report, Obioha mentioned key critical components that it provided adequate data on their prospects and challenges with recommendations on development to global height.
“That can be done through identifying investment in startups; creating regulatory frameworks that make it easier to build companies in the country,” he said.
“ There is need to improve Digital skills components in order to catalyse the market, it helps to create more people that can be creators of technology.
“There is a market activation component. This is important for a nation of over 180million people but not all of them are ready markets for digital products.
“There is also need to ensure that more people have access to internet through affordable means and provision of infrastructures especially, power,” he said.
Similarly, Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi,Head,Public Policy and Government Relations,Google (West Africa, said the nation was a potential technology giant if it could fill identified gaps` Nigeria has capacity to become giant in technology development because of its huge human capacity, all that is required is to fill existing gaps in its technology development components”