Adeleke unveils first Digital Economy Advisory Board in Osun

From John Dike, Osogbo

In his determination to ensure digitisation of Osun state economy in line with global best practices, the Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke has inaugurated the First Digital Economy Advisory Board in the state

The 15-Member Board is saddled with the responsibility of supporting the state in the realisation of its dream of transforming Osun into a digital economy.

Adeleke, who spoke while officially unveiling The State Digital Economy policies and flag-off of the State Broad Band fiber Optic, at Adolack Event Centre in Osogbo on Monday, said the Tech Innovations, ICT, Digital Economy, Osun State Google Mapping, Start Up Bill and Broadband Fiber Optic will enhance internally generated revenue .

His words: “We are talking of a new age agenda; we are aligning with the global digital movement. This is the new reality of our existence. Technology rules our lives. After the Covid-19 pandemic, technology assumed even more frontal roles. I am determined to place Osun state in the frontline position. Osun must be on a global digital map.

“Permit me to inform you all that Osun indigenes are top leaders of the Nigerian and African tech sector. They are prominent tech entrepreneurs with billions of dollars in capital base globally. We must tap into their expertise to grow our state.”

Governor Adeleke said Osun as a literate state, is blessed with an intelligent youth population.

According to him: “My administration seeks to open up the field of global opportunities to our youth. Under the Imole Digital Agenda, our target is to resolve citizens’ challenges through tech applications. We will grow our economy, provide gainful employment for our youth, and transform Osun state into a tech hub for the South West region. Osun is ready to be a digitally driven state.

“It is with these lofty ideals in mind that I am here to unveil several initiatives within the tech sector.”

He disclosed that Osun state will be having an ICT Policy and that the policy is designed to identify and apply information communication technology in various sectors of the state.

The new policy, he said has ICT in agriculture, education, health, environment, administration, infrastructure among others. This policy will change our state for the better.

“I am also unveiling the Osun State Tech Innovation policy. Many talented tech innovators abound in our state. The policy seeks to create an enabling environment for tech innovations. Hence, we will support establishment of tech hubs and ensure innovators secure much needed backing,” he stated.

Adekeke hinted that through digital economy drive, Osun is poised to be the first State to domesticate the Nigerian Startups Act.

This, he said will be his first Executive Bill and that he will be forwarding to the State Assembly after this event.

He posited that: “The Act is programmed to ensure that new start-ups promoters and entrepreneurs secure desired mentoring and financing. The law once domesticated will enhance the goals of both the ICT and the Tech Innovation policy.

“As e-commerce is at the heart of digital economy, my administration also launched the Osun Goggle Mapping project.

“This is to ensure that Osun businesses and landmarks are placed on Google maps to start with. When I took over in November, 2022, Osun Goggle Mapping coverage was below 30 percent. I am happy to record that Osun Mapping coverage is today above 50 percent. When we are to launch Phase 2, I will host e-commerce giants in Nigeria alongside Goggle Corporation.”

While saying that the initiatives cannot see the light of the day without internet connectivity, he disclosed that his adminstration is determined to change the narrative.

“I am determined to change the narrative. To that end, I am reviving and re-launching the Osun State Broadband Fiber Optic Project.

“We will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oodua Infraco to commence immediate deployment of Fiber Optics across Osun state. The first phase is to cover 64 kilometers without the state putting in any fund.

“In line with the new National Broadband policy and the urgency of internet Fiber connectivity for Osun state, this government is waiving payment for Telecom Right of Way in return for free connectivity to our schools and health centres when the broadband project is completed.

“I will be flagging off this Broadband Fiber Optic project in front of the State Assembly immediately after this event.

“We are also harnessing the many talents Osun has in the tech sector. We are putting selected Osun tech leaders all over the world into an advisory board.

“Today, I am inaugurating the First Digital Economy Advisory Board with 15 members.

“I commend my team for their wonderful performance on these landmark initiatives. I appreciate the team from the Ministry of Innovations, Science and Technology as well as specialists within the ICT Taskforce. You are consequently directed to work on the next phase which is the commencement of implementation of the policies and the initiatives,” he added.

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