Nigerians imagination, creativity our main reputation, says Osinbajo


Vice President Yemi Osinabjo in a virtual message to the 2020 Art of Technology conference themed: “Smart data, Smarter Lagos” on Thursday said the reputation of the country in the near future will be based on the imagination and creativity of Nigerians.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, Nigerians are finally embracing the true logic of true wealth, which is not being a primary producer, but about it value-added, noting that  it’s about maximally leveraging what you have, technology, and in particular data offers that incredible opportunity.

The Vice President noted that “as we contend with the challenge of providing the means of self-actualization for nearly 200 million people and one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, it is clear that we must marshal the resourcefulness and ingenuity of our citizens in the quest for development and growth. Developmental governance in the 21st century is about continuously deploying innovative solutions against our most complex challenges.”

Speaking about the adoption of innovative solutions to address some complex issues bothering on governance and the economy, the Vice President said that “smart cities leverage data to make decisions across board. Economic data, consumption data, demographic data, population data, health data, are all important factors. Across all levels of government, we need to raise our capacity to harvest, track, and analyze data and ground policies in empirical evidence.”

He added that “Data is at the heart of developmental governance. Indeed, I would argue that governments need big data even more than corporations do. Whether we are discussing urban planning and public administration or economic planning and security strategy, it is impossible to attain mastery over these fields without a healthy regard for data.”

On the deployment of technology in addressing challenges associated with traffic control, general service delivery and environmental management, the Vice President said “technology can be a leveler, closing gaps in our society such as the rural–urban divide and bridging gaps in access to social services and broadening financial inclusion.”

Citing examples of private companies leveraging technology to provide services in the health and related sectors, Prof. Osinbajo said “COVID-19 Pandemic has taught us important lessons in the necessity of applying technology-enabled solutions to strengthen our health security architecture.”

“Tools such as telemedicine can be deployed to deliver medical services to underserved and difficult to reach areas. We must also provide the right conditions for more private sector organizations like Temi Giwa’s Life Bank that have been working very hard in the distribution of medical supplies to expand their reach to other states and utilize technology like drones to deliver medical supplies faster and further, thereby saving lives beyond the main cities and in rural communities,” the Vice President added.