Google, an online search tool company, on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to formulate policies to deepen internet access by Nigerians.
Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, the Communication and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa of the company, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Kola-Ogunlade said that the government always played a role in web content development and ensured that citizens had access to internet.
“For people to find content on the web they need to be online in the first place; we need adequate policies enabling the web search.
“Sometime ago, the Federal Government launched the broadband plan to enable many Nigerians connect online.
“Policies like that will really help.
“Out of about 68 million Nigerians internet users now, how many of them go online to read stories?
“The web helps us not only to consume information but also to export our own cultural stories,’’ he told NAN.
The officer commended Nollywood, the country’s movie industry, for playing a good role in exporting the stories of Nigeria.
According to him, many “You Tube’’ content creators produce their contents based on Nigeria’s cultural heritage and they have been able to attract target audience from all over the world.
He identified education as a great tool the government could employ to empower people in the area of acquiring digital skills and access to internet.
“Educating people on digital skills can improve the number of online entrepreneurs in the country.
“Education is also very important because it can avail people the access to the web.
“When we (Google) make our intention known to train a million people on digital skills in Africa last year, the Nigeria government was very supportive of it.
“Many young people have been able to attend the training; the government, through the office of the Vice President, organised some of the training.
“I won’t be surprised to see Nigeria’s online entrepreneurs from this initiative in the next few years if this training on digital skills is consistent.’’
The communication officer said that acquiring digital skills could only be driven successfully by the government.
NAN recalls that Google, in April 2016 at a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, announced its commitment to train one million young Africans in digital skills in the next one year.
The training was to enable the young people, seeking to develop a digital career, become empowered in the area.
Ijeoma Ndubisi | NAN