The federal government has unveiled plans to drive youth entrepreneurship in the country through the use of technology.The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this at the Student Innovation Challenge (SIC) South West regional demo day held at the University of Lagos.
Osinbajo stated: “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.” The vice president added that government is partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies to challenge students across the country on innovative ideas.
“We have partnered with UNDP, 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,” he stated.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan, noted that the technology sector is a budding industry that shows a significant amount of promise, harnessing the innovation and ingenuity of the nation’s vastly young population while also solving local and global problems at scale. He said: “It is laudable that this platform allows the younger generation to showcase entrepreneurial insight, talent and innovation. 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 to brainstorm on entrepreneurial and innovative ideas. This platform creates access to actualize your ideas, do not misuse it. To those of you whose ideas are not selected, do not be dismayed, go back and strategize.”