Tinubu And His Plans For The Nigerian Tech Industry

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At 4 am on Wednesday, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was announced as Nigeria’s President-elect. During his campaign, Tinubu released an 80-page manifesto with a section dedicated to the tech ecosystem. He stated that he would provide 1 million tech jobs in 24 months.

Let’s take a look at Tinubu’s plans.

Tinbu’s manifesto says, “A Tinubu administration will strive to create one million new jobs in the ICT sector within its first 24 months [by deploying] new technologies that can fast-track business growth and diversification. The big question is how does the President-elect plan to do this?

To achieve this, Tinubu stated that he will encourage Nigerian youths who are in tech and also introduce intervention programmes in the ICT industry and other critical sectors of the Nigerian economy where the deployment of new technologies can fast-track business growth and diversification.

He noted that investing in the ICT sector and the digital economy was paramount as it would revive local industries, enhance competitiveness, increase productivity and create jobs for millions of Nigerians.

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As part of his agenda, he said his government will leverage the blockchain industry and promises to “encourage the prudent use of blockchain technology in finance and banking, identity management, revenue collection and the use of crypto assets.”

“Blockchain, because of its security and accountability features, has the potential to make daily interactions easier, faster, and more convenient, as well as to create more opportunities to add exciting new jobs and support greater financial inclusion.”

“As part of our reforms, we will establish an advisory committee to review the existing regulatory environment governing blockchain technology and virtual asset services and, where necessary, suggest changes to create a more efficient and business-friendly regulatory framework. We will also encourage the CBN to expand the use of our digital currency, the eNaira.”

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His manifesto also talks about implementing “policies that will train and build capacity among Nigeria’s large and youthful population” that will enable them to offer outsourcing services just as India has done.

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“ICT-enabled outsourcing offers the broadest opportunity to bring new jobs to Nigeria and productively engage young Nigerians in the evolving digital global economy. In 2021, India earned US$6 billion from the provision of ICT-enabled outsourcing services, employing millions of its citizens in the process. We shall implement policies that will train and build capacity among Nigeria’s large and youthful population to take greater advantage of the opportunities presented by this industry.”

This is great but will the infrastructure be made available? and who will train the youths? and at what cost? his manifesto did not say.

Tinubu’s manifesto also talked about implementing innovative policies to support local funding opportunities, and access to capital for startups, and encourage foreign investors to continue investing in Nigeria.

“We will develop and implement innovative policies to support local funding opportunities and access to capital for startups and encourage foreign investors to continue investing in Nigeria. Other drivers of value within the start-up ecosystem such as technology hubs and parks, accelerators, and angel investors will be incentivised to continue the development of a healthy ecosystem.”

Tinibu’s manifesto looks very promising and if implemented properly, we should expect to see a boost in job creation and infrastructure in the tech sector. However, I doubt there is a complete understanding of the details of how his government plans to fully embrace an inclusive digital economy. While some of these plans will create employment growth, implementation, time, and scale could affect the eventual outcome.

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