The European Union (EU) under its Gateway Initiative has planned to invest about £820million in the Nigerian digital economy sector within the next three years.
This was disclosed, Monday, by the Vice President of the Union, Margrethe Vestager, during a working visit to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami in Abuja.
Vestager enumerated the Union’s intervention in the sector to include; Digital Infrastructure Investments, Digitalisation of Public Services, Digital Entreprenuership, Digital Skills and Digital Governance.
“Nigeria has immense potential for digitalization and with a combination of One Hundred and Sixty Million Euros in grants and Six Hundred and Sixty Million Euros in loans, the European Union aims to comprehensively support Nigeria’s digitalisation strategy,” she said.
Pantami who expressed delight and appreciation for the intervention, reiterated the Federal Government’s willingness to partner with the European Union.
“Africa has always looked up to Europe in the area of technological advancements and this partnership is a welcome development that will project the digitalisation aspirations of our country,” he said.
Professor Pantami was particular about digital entrepreneurship and the immense impact it will bring to bear on the nation’s economy.
“This partnership with regards to digital entrepreneurship, will address the challenge of unemployment and unemployabilityalongside the Nigeria Startup Bill which also aims to address a myriad of issues within the ecosystem,” he said.
He further informed the delegation that Nigeria hopes to achieve the paperless office by the year 2030 and it is on track, taking into cognizance the rate at which public institutions are embracing the digital economy drive.
The Europen Union intervention is in alignment with the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), a digital roadmap initiated and championed by Professor Pantami towards the economic digitalisation drive of President Muhammadu Buhari.