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Minister hails Microsoft initiative, silent on diversion of $30bn data centre

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At a time many Nigerian stakeholders in Information and Communications technology (ICT) are still disturbed on why technology giant, Microsoft summoned courage to dump plan it has publicized and moved its $30bn game changing data centre investment to South Africa, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, in Abuja on Thursday, hailed the company for other smaller development initiatives it has for the country.

Business Hilights recalls that before the end of 2016, Microsoft clearly informed Nigerians of its readiness to invest about $30 billion in a twin data centre project to further deepen offerings in Nigeria and the rest of the sub-Saharan Africa.

However, the technology giant, few months ago made a U-Turn and diverted the game changing project to South Africa, calming that Nigeria lacked the needed infrastructure and technical manpower to drive the project on delivery.

Since the diversion, yesterday was the first time the minister made a comment on the company, but failed to touch on the matter.

In his keynote address he said latest innovative technology trends and government solutions need Microsoft’s Technology platform to improve the capabilities of government.

Commending Microsoft, he said, “I take this opportunity to applaud Microsoft and its contributions in the development and growth of the country through this noble initiative. The Ministry of Communications will continue to partner with the organized Private sector, and other stakeholders, in its bid to move the digitization efforts of the country forward. I would like once again to congratulate the Microsoft team for organizing this timely and commendable conference”.

“I am aware that Microsoft in collaboration with the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) & Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) are committed to supporting the government’s transformation by leveraging technology to drive productivity and empower citizens to do more regardless of location and time. Citizens’ engagement is a key performance indicator of any government and Microsoft, NITDA & NCC can provide robust platforms that help citizens provide feedback and queries to their leaders. Ultimately, digitally transforming government leads to good governance, accountability to citizens and builds trust between the government and its citizenry”.