Worried about the high level of youth unemployment currently estimated at 33.3 per cent, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has announced plans to establish tech hubs to address the challenge.
The bank stated it would be sponsoring tech hubs in recognition of the talented youths in universities and the need to channel youths to more productive and impactful initiatives rather than social vices.
The Managing Director, BOI, Olukayode Pitan, stated this at the BOI-Unilag Incubation and Co-working Hub opening and commissioning in the University of Lagos.
The BoI boss stated that remains committed to providing funding to support credible and bankable ideas that emerge from the tech hubs to enable them to start operations and scale into viable businesses.
He said embracing technology and infusing it into business processes will make organisations and the country more competitive, adding that the tech industry can be a major pillar of a diversified economy.
“It can create exciting jobs that encourage our young people to stay in Nigeria even as they work and compete globally.
“BoI is happy to support this programme because it aligns with our mission to transform Nigeria’s industrial sector by providing financial and business support services so that new businesses will emerge and existing enterprises will thrive,” he said.
He noted that the overall objective is to ensure that the Bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) investments generate better benefits for the country, stressing that a hub like the one unveiled gives young people the opportunity to create legitimate wealth.
“Creating spaces like these are filling a crucial gap in the tech and startup industry. Hackathons and other competitions to identify tech solutions for social and business problems are born and developed in such places,” he said.
He added that tech can help solve some of Nigeria’s social problems, particularly youth unemployment, which has been further exacerbated by the pandemic.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the institution is proud to support the establishment of the tech-hubs.