BY TIMOTHY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has unveiled the state digital economy policies and also flagged-off Osun State Broadband Fiber Optic Project in a bid to digitalize the state in all sectors.
At the unveiling in Osogbo on Monday, the governor expressed happiness that the state is aligning with global digital movement as technology now rules mankind, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic experience.
Speaking on the tech innovations, ICT, digital economy, Osun State Google Mapping, Start Up Bill and Broadband Fiber Optic that he launched, Adeleke noted that he would not relent in ensuring that Osun is on a global digital map.
“permit me to note that this is the first time Osun state will be having an ICT Policy. The policy is designed to identify and apply information communication technology in various sectors of the state. Hence, the new policy 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.
“As part of our digital economy drive, Osun is poised to be the first State to domesticate the Nigerian StartUps Act. This will be my first Executive Bill I will be forwarding to the State Assembly after this event. 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,” he said.
Addressing the proof of the state and tech lovers, the governor announced the inauguration of the First Digital Economy Advisory Board with 15 members, adding that the task of the board is to support the state in its dream of transforming Osun into a digital economy state.
According to Adeleke, “all the above initiatives cannot see the light of the day without internet connectivity. I was told our state internet coverage is still very low. I am determined to change the narrative. To that end, I am reviving and re-launching today the Osun State Broadband Fiber Optic Project. Today, we will sign a Memorandum of Understanding 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.”