By Chinedu James
The Nigerian government has revealed plans to build technology hubs in Nigerian universities across the six geopolitical zones of the country beginning with the University of Lagos.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this at the recent Student Innovation Challenge (SIC) South West regional demo day that held at the University of Lagos.
The Nigerian government had earlier this year revealed that as part of its plans to promote science, technology and innovation in the country, technology hubs will be built across the country having received an additional $3 million for the project from the World Bank.
According to Osinbajo, the country needs to continue in its drive for technological development and advancement and as such will utilize the availability of talents in the universities by providing a ground for innovation to take place.
“The best of technological companies started from the universities and this is why we have decided to build technology hubs in the six geopolitical zones starting at the University of Lagos.
“Everybody knows where the smart money is looking and we all know that the universities are the best place to get the very best talents because we believe it is what is needed to shape the future of the country,” said Osinbajo.
Osinbajo while noting that the project is all-inclusive revealed that in organizing the challenge to get creative and innovative ideas, the government has partnered with agencies and organizations.
“We have partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Bank of Industry (BOI), MTN and other agencies to organise the student challenge to find the best of students’ innovation, technology ideas and creative ideas from students across Nigeria. We want to gather many of the great ideas as much as possible for them to get a chance to be supported or tested commercially. It is absolutely the exciting time to be alive. The best days are here and the future is here,” said Osinbajo.
In the same vein, the Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan while reiterating the institution’s commitment to provide funds for enterprises noted the importance of the assembly as it shows the country desire to promote and grow the start-up ecosystem which will in turn solve the economic challenges currently facing the country.
“It is laudable that this platform allows the younger generation to showcase entrepreneurial insight, talent and innovation. The Bank of Industry (BOI) is Nigeria’s oldest, largest and most successful development financing institution. Our vision is to transform Nigeria’s industrial sector by providing financial and business support services to enterprises.
“I am elated that BOI is associated with the Student Innovation Challenge (SIC) because the initiative is a testament of the current paradigm shift being witnessed in Nigeria’s technology and business ecosystem. The challenge is particularly worthy of commendation because it is focused on students in tertiary institutions and creates access that allows the youth brainstorm on entrepreneurial and innovative ideas,” said Pitan.