Nigeria is to create an Innovation and Technology Advisory Council to harness and support the creativity and innovative ingenuity of young Nigerians and drive the growth of the sector in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who stated this on Tuesday while speaking with reporters after visiting seven technology and innovative hubs in different parts of Lagos, South West Nigeria, said a similar council has already been created for industry.
He said: “Already, we have an Industrial and Competitiveness Council. But what we want to look at is doing one for technology and one for innovation as well so that we bring in some of the key players and thinkers around technology, working with the government and working with government officials to develop policy and to develop all of the various ways by which we can help them to what they are doing better.”
Prof. Osinbajo noted that so much innovation was going on in Nigeria and that there were many creative young Nigerians and innovators changing the way of doing things.
“I have seen for myself the sheer creativity and completely blown with what I see here and other places,” he said, pointing out that “practically every type of enterprise has been affected by technology and innovation.”
The Vice President, who chairs the Economic Management Team of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the National Economic Council, NEC, said government recognizes that technology is imperative to commerce and trade in contemporary society and has collaborated with a number of hubs to create a seamless environment for them to thrive.
He listed the hubs that government was working with to include the Civic Hub in Abuja; the North East Hub, which focuses on the use of technology and innovation to tackle the humanitarian challenges in North East Nigeria; and the Climate Change Hub, in collaboration with the Lagos Business School.
He added that government planned to collaborate with the Co-Creation Hub, one of the hubs he visited on Tuesday.
The Vice President, who was accompanied during the visit by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and other government officials, said that government was “anxious not to get in the way of enterprise,” but to partner with them and create the right environment for business.
The Vice President’s visit to the hubs also took him to Paystack, Ikeja; Andela, Ilupeju; Workstation and African Fintech Foundry, Victoria Island.
Others were the FarmCrowdy and Flutterwave, both in Lekki area of the state.
Each of the hubs has young Nigerians developing ideas and designing solutions to various problems in confronting mankind.
At the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bosun Tijani, informed Prof. Osinbajo, that the firm was founded not only to build businesses but also to use technology positively.
He said his firm was also creating “awareness that what we need to build as a nation is to make the most of technology.”
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FarmCrowdy, Onyeka Akuma, said his hub was established to provide solutions to problems in agriculture, transportation and the environment.