The Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has said that the launch of free Wi-Fi facility in Abuja on Thursday was in line with the Buhari administration’s commitment to leverage on the gains that a data-driven digital economy offers, providing more Internet access and opportunities for Nigerians to improve their businesses
Speaking on Thursday when he launched the Google Free public Wi-Fi service in Wuse market, Abuja, Prof. Osinbajo stated that the event was a fulfillment of a promise made by the administration to democratize access to all Nigerians, regardless of social class or status. According to the Vice President, “this is a very exciting event for me. A couple of months ago, we were at the Google Headquarters at the Silicon Valley. And we were told about the Google Station Free Wi-Fi in Railway stations in India. The CEO of Google was talking about this and I said if you can put this in railway stations in India, then you must put them in markets in Nigeria.
The Vice-President further added that although the heads at Google were certain of the Nigerian market, the results have been commendable. Osinbajo further added that the purpose of all this was to democratize access for the common Nigerian.
Prof. Osinbajo said the administration was looking at expanding the scope so that more Nigerians can benefit from access to the Internet. He said, “We are told that our own interaction with the Wi-Fi is almost a hundred times more than the likes of India, Thailand and Malaysia. It just shows you the massive potential out there of Nigerians who are waiting to be connected to the Internet to benefit in one way or the other.
So, I think it is a very exciting moment for us and we are looking for the expansion of this service and all of our efforts to as many markets as possible.
“The more Nigerians can have access to the Internet connectivity, the better for us, the more prosperous our country can be, the more educated, the more informed our people become. So, we are really proud of what is happening today. I must thank Google; I must thank BCN – the local partners – as well. We are looking forward to more collaboration and co-operation with them.”
The launch of the free Wi-Fi facility in Wuse market, Abuja comes a few months after free Wi-Fi facilities was first rolled out in some parts of Lagos State. By next year, the plan is to have free internet access in 200 public places across the country. It would be recalled that the free Wi-Fi facilities was a direct outcome of the Vice President’s visit to Silicon Valley, US, where he visited the Headquarters of some leading global technology companies, and met with Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, and other top executives in July 2018.
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