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The Ogun government on Thursday inaugurated the Digital Economy Infrastructure Project to make broadband connectivity available to homes and businesses across the state.

The programme, organised by the Ogun Bureau of Information Technology in collaboration with the 21st Century Technologies, was held at the state Tech Hub in Abeokuta.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who joined the programme virtually, commended Gov. Dapo Abiodun for opening up the state to modern technology.

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Osinbajo noted that the Ogun government had, through the project, taken hold of the future and set to define it in its own terms.

“Digital Economy Technology is the future of all aspects of human existence including business, education, health care, governance and security.

“The practice of practically every profession is either already digitally based or will become so in the coming months or years

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“Someone said digital economy is to development today what electricity is to development in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“So, making it available to all citizens and businesses is the most farsighted action that any government can take today,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said that, indeed, access to broad-band and modern technology tools have become mandatory for any community seeking meaningful growth, security and prosperity for its people,

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“So, I will like to applaud our futuristic, dynamic, innovative and digitally compliant Gov. Dapo Abiodun for credible and essential initiative in bringing broadband to homes, businesses and offices in Ogun,” he said.

The Vice-President described the project as an important component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s objective of “broadband connectivity for all by 2023.”

He recalled that the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy had launched a National Broad-Band plan in demonstration of government’s commitment to the objective.

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“The plan is designed to deliver data downloads units across Nigeria with a minimum of 25ABPS in urban areas and 10MPPs in rural areas with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025 at affordable prices,” he said.

Abiodun, in his address, commended the Federal Government for the initiative of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

He said that Nigerians had continued to take advantage of the programme to be more creative and highly innovative.

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“We all felt and saw the positive effects of the deployment of ICT towards resolving various challenges that have culminated in creating more employment opportunities and poverty alleviation.

“This was very obvious during the critical period of COVID-19 when many Nigerians had to work from home; when businesses were transacted virtually and payments made online.

“Virtual online meetings became the in-thing as almost every aspect of the economy and personal life and living depends on ICT and became digitalised.

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“No doubt, the Federal Government policy of creating a thriving digital economy will enable the people, especially the youth, to take advantage of information superhighway and new technologies to become leading players in our globalised world.

“In fact, it will serve as a viable platform for strengthening the economic diversification and the attainment of many key national objectives of fighting corruption, improving security, job creation and expanding the economy,” he said.

The governor said that developing and leveraging on digital resources would provide the government with an opportunity to harness a globally competitive citizenry and economy.

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He also mentioned that digital economy infrastructure was the backbone for ICT revolution in Ogun, and would further enhance the ease of doing business the state.

According to him, the development will help to actualise the plans of his administration.to integrate technology into its practices and businesses.

“I commend the State Bureau of ICT for transforming the Ogun Tech Hub into an attractive innovation hub where worthy technological skills and innovations are being nurtured on a daily basis.

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“In this aspect also, we have begun deploying electronic document management systems, e-procurement tools and digitalised revenue collection platforms towards improving the efficiency and reducing leakages in all our Ministries, Departments and Agencies,’’ he said.

Abiodun noted that the introduction of digital technologies had started to yield positive impacts on the system of administration of justice in the state.

“Without sounding immodest, the Ogun Judiciary is the first to issue Practice Directions that allowed for virtual hearings of cases after the lockdowns occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“This is in addition to the fact that the Ogun Ministry of Justice has already taken advantage of digital economy toward development of data-driven judicial reforms and improvement on the speed of justice administration in the state,” he said.

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