Posted on:

May 13, 2024

#WeekInReview: Full Week Recap of Activities of the Honourable Minister, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani

HM 17

INTRO [May 6 – 10]

Days after visiting Wales and Sweden to explore opportunities for Nigeria in the area of trade and investments, Dr. Tijani was in Finland where he met with leaders in the country’s private and public sector with a view to attracting investments and growing Nigeria’s digital economy.


Innovation and Investment: Showcasing Nigeria’s readiness to attract foreign investments for shared prosperity has been a major focus of the Honourable Minister in the past few weeks  as he intensified efforts in this area with a 2-day visit to Finland on the invitation of the Finnish Government.

Capacity Development: Building partnerships for capacity development was also a key part of the Honourable Minister’s engagement as his delegation to Finland drew commitments from telecoms giant, Nokia to train young Nigerians on utilising the latest radio and transmission technologies at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) Digital Parks. 



  • On Monday, the Honourable Minister and his delegation headed to Finland to intensify his investment drive on the invitation of the Government of Finland. His first stop was at Finnish Innovation Fund, SITRA to discuss issues around building innovation systems, promoting digitalisation in government, and growing the digital economy. The Fund, which started in 1967, has transitioned from purely focusing on Research and Development to playing the role of a societal change agent, laying the foundation for a digital society. Dr. Tijani highlighted the opportunities for collaboration with SITRA in the delivery of our plans to  digitalise government data and processes. The SITRA team was represented by its President, Atte Jääskeläinen; Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Elina Ravantti; Director, Democracy and Participation, Veera Heinonen; and Project Director, Competitiveness through Data, Laura Halenius, Project Director.
  • The next engagement in Finland was a meeting with executives of Nokia at the company’s Headquarters and Executive Experience Centre. Discussions at the meeting were wide-ranging including Nokia’s presence in Nigeria, spectrum utilisation, rural and fibre backbone connectivity, smart cities, MVNO licences, and collaboration in the area of capacity building. In his remarks, Nokia’s Chief Financial Officer Marco Wiren, highlighted Nokia’s work in building connectivity and building capacity. The Honourable Minister encouraged Nokia to continue to take a long term developmental approach to support engagement with Nigeria. Others present at the meeting for Nokia were Marika Mentula, VP North & Vodafone, Network Infrastructure; Karol Mattila, Head of Policy & Government Affairs; Mustapha Salah, Head of Mobile Networks, Central, East and West Africa; and Marco Rebecchi, Country Manager, Nokia Nigeria.
  • Dr. Tijani later met representatives of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV) led by its Deputy Director General, Pekka Rehn. DVV is a governmental agency that drives the digitalisation of the Finnish society, managing services for life events and working towards a smoothly functioning Finland. The DVV team shared an overview of their National Digital Strategy which aims to ensure that a significant proportion of public services is digitalised or automated with a human-centric approach. Both parties also discussed issues around e-governance, digital services, and efficient data collection and re-use to minimise duplication and increase cost savings.
  • Innovation, entrepreneurship, and AI were the focus of deliberations when the Honourable Minister later visited Aalto University where he met with Prof. Janne Laine, the institution’s Vice President for Innovation and Prof. Petri Mähönen, Vice Dean, School of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Networked Systems, and a representative of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence, FCAI (TBC). Dr. Tijani spoke about building a stronger partnership with Aalto around research in areas including Spectrum Management, Regulation, 6G Technologies among others. The possibility of collaboration to support our work in building Nigeria’s LLM was also discussed with the Aalto University team.
  • The Honourable Minister’s final engagement on a busy first day was a dinner meeting hosted by Jarno Syrjälä, Finland’s Under-Secretary of State for International Trade. This presented an opportunity for both parties to further discuss areas of collaboration and identify the benefits of such a partnership. Present at the engagement were leaders and executives of leading Finnish companies including Optomed, Osgenic, Funzi, Fuzu, Gofore, IQM, Vaisala, and MFA Finland.


  • Dr. Tijani started his second day in Finland with a meeting with a team from the Finnish transport and communications agency, Traficom to discuss issues around broadband expansion, telecoms market efficiency, and cybersecurity. Representing Traficom were Anssi Kärkkäinen, Debuty Director General, Head of National Cyber Security Centre; Mervi Kaikkonen, Director of International Affairs; Petri Lehikoinen, Manager, Digital Connections; and Olli Lehtilä, Chief Specialist.
  • His next meeting was with Lulu Ranne, his counterpart at Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications. Discussions at the meeting centred on Finland’s leadership position in EU in the development of 6G technologies as well as identifying opportunities for partnership in the communications, innovation, and digital sectors. Minister Ranne also expressed Finland’s willingness to share technology around mobile technology even as they expand their work on fibre connectivity across Finland’s extensive land mass.
  • After this meeting, the Honourable Minister paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elina Valtonen, who expressed Finland’s commitment to partner with Nigeria across sectors – especially in technology and innovation – to achieve shared prosperity. 
  • Dr. Tijani then attended a working lunch with development financing and trade organisations at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hosted by Sofie From-Emmesberger, Director-General, Middle East and Africa in the Ministry, the meeting focused on expanding trade relations and boosting investment and economic cooperation between both nations. Some of the organisations represented at this meeting include Finnfund, Finnpartnership, Finnvera, Finland Chamber of Commerce, and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
  • The Honourable Minister paid a visit to Aaltoes Startup Sauna to see the world’s leading student-led entrepreneurship hub. His host at this meeting was Ernesti Sario, Vice President, Aaltoes. 
  • Dr. Tijani’s final official engagement in Finland was a meeting with Wille Rydman, Minister of Economic Affairs at the Parliament of Finland. Discussions at the meeting focused on identifying business opportunities for Finnish companies in Nigeria in the areas of digitisation, energy and clean transition technologies, and innovation.
  • A quick win before the Honourable Minister’s departure from Helsinki, was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nokia and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to set up an Entrepreneur Learning Program targeted at delivering high-quality vocational training to 200 students selected from across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. These discussions had been initiated during the Honourable Minister’s visit to the Nokia HQ the previous day.

“Last week, the Honourable Minister’s activities focused on the Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital and Trade pillar objectives of his Strategic Blueprint as he visited Finland to meet with potential partners.

His engagements internationally and locally with partners such as the Finnish Innovation Fund (SITRA), Finland Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Nokia, Optomed, Osgenic, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Ministry of Defence and others, are pointers to Dr. Tijani’s focus on attracting investments and building capacity for the growth of Nigeria’s technology ecosystem.”


  • On his return to Nigeria, the Honourable Minister hosted in his office, Dr. Muyi Aina, Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) where they discussed possibilities around providing support for the Agency, particularly in the area of digitalisation of Primary Health Care Centres for increased productivity and prompt service delivery.


  • Dr. Tijani joined other telecommunications stakeholders at the launch of the Digital Economy Report organised by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). There, he addressed issues around the proposed tariff increase, advocacy efforts for streamlined regulations, infrastructure expansion and protection plans, and initiatives to tackle multiple taxation challenges faced by telecoms operators.
  • Following this event, the Honourable Minister was at the State House, Presidential Villa, where he engaged in a briefing session with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Also at the meeting was Idris Alubankudi, Special Adviser to the President on Technology and Digital Economy.


  • Dr. Tijani was at the opening day session of the Galaxy Backbone Limited Management Retreat where he spoke to participants on the key imperative of building trust through the process of digital transformation. 
  • The Honourable Minister then returned to the office to host a delegation from the Ministry of Defence. Both parties discussed areas of support for the Nigerian Military in its fight against insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping. He later joined the delegation on a tour of the Galaxy Backbone Limited to assess some of its state-of-the-art facilities. Present at the meeting was Jane Egerton-Idehen, Managing Director/CEO, NigComSat.  His final official engagement for the week was a meeting with representatives of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The team solicited the support of the Ministry as it leverages technology to deliver impact in the areas of health, building and strengthening data systems, digital public infrastructure, and empowering communities. The team was led by Dr. Greg Ashefor, Country Director, Nigeria Hub.

Isime Esene

Office of the Honourable Minister

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