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Microsoft gives fresh lead to why it diverted $30bn data centre to S’Africa

Additional ‘veiled’ reason on why Microsoft Corp. suddenly diverted its publicized $30 billion investments in new data centre from Nigeria to South Africa may have been revealed based on the company’s position during a one-day government conference on digital transformation in the public sector.

The multinational had in a statement noted that it moved the investment to South Africa based on two key reasons including lack of enabling infrastructure, and poor manpower in the country.

However, in his presentation at the conference, general manager, Akin Banuso, Microsoft Nigeria, said “Digital transformation has become the bedrock of most economies in the 21st century and Microsoft is uniquely driving the adoption across key strata of national development.”

While linking digital transformation to good governance, Banuso argued that, “Digital Transformation for the government is about making the government more accessible, efficient and transparent to people. It is also about unlocking insights from data. By understanding the data, government organisations can realize and increase the value of their information through digital transformation.”

Microsoft Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) at the conference, reiterated its commitment towards digital transformation of the public sector to make governance more accessible and more efficient for the benefit of the people.

Some analysts therefore have the feeling that Microsoft may have diverted the investment out of fears of poor good governance in the system.

This may why the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, at the conference noted that “The Government of Nigeria recognizes the urgent need to increase efficiency and transparency, improve and align processes, smart government and smart cities, attract new investors, bridge the digital divide and transform government services”.

Even though Shittu argued that “In order to rationalize the work towards achieving Vision 20:2020, the Government of Nigeria has developed new ICT strategic roadmap which details how Nigeria will leverage ICT to become a knowledge-based, globally competitive society by 2020,” experts decry that the diverted investment has gone for life.

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