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Google Demands for more Availability of Internet Access in Nigeria

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Google, an online search tool company is asking the Nigerian government to formulate policies that will deepen internet access.

The company’s Communication and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, believes access to the internet will only run on the back of policies that enhance penetration of broadband across Nigeria.

Kola-Ogunlade said the government always plays a role in web content development and ensures that citizens will have access to internet.

“For people to find content on the web they need to be online in the first place; we need adequate policies enabling the web search.

“Sometime ago, the Federal Government launched the broadband plan to enable many Nigerians connect online.

“Policies like that will really help.

“Out of about 68 million Nigerians internet users now, how many of them go online to read stories?

“The web helps us not only to consume information but also to export our own cultural stories,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria.

The officer commended Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, for playing a good role in exporting the stories of Nigeria.

According to him, many “YouTube’’ content creators produce their contents based on Nigeria’s cultural heritage and they have been able to attract target audience from all over the world.

Education is a great tool the government could employ to empower people in the area of acquiring digital skills.

“Educating people on digital skills can improve the number of online entrepreneurs in the country.

“Education is also very important because it can avail people the access to the web.

“When we (Google) make our intention known to train a million people on digital skills in Africa last year, the Nigeria government was very supportive of it.

“Many young people have been able to attend the training; the government, through the office of the Vice President, organised some of the training.

“I won’t be surprised to see Nigeria’s online entrepreneurs from this initiative in the next few years if this training on digital skills is consistent,” he said, emphasising that acquiring digital skills could only be driven successfully by the government.

Google had at a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, held in April 2016 announced its commitment to training one million young Africans in digital skills in the next one year.

The training was to enable young people, looking to develop a digital career, become empowered in the area.

The Nigerian government has said it would build internet hubs in some states across the nation, but that is yet to materialise.

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