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Osinbajo assures investors, commissions Vibranium Valley

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Chairman of the Board, Vibranium Valley, Cyril Odu(left); Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Executive Director, Vibranium Valley, Kunmi Demuren at the launch of Vibranium Valley Technology Hub in Lagos …yesterday

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The Federal Government has assured investors, both local and international, of improved business climate in the country through robust and efficient policies.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who stated this in Lagos, yesterday, while commissioning a technology campus: Vibranium Valley, said the business of government was to provide an environment, where businesses could flourish and investments grow, “which have been the targets of this government.”

The Vibranium Valley is a technology hub and a campus, more like the Silicon Valley of the United States of America (USA). It is the creation of the Venture Garden Group (VGG) and currently houses about 30 technology startups companies with a capacity to host about 50 at once. The campus at present occupies the complex of the defunct Concord Newspaper, owned by the late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola.

Osinbajo said government in its capacity would do everything possible to ensure technology is developed and adequately harnessed.

According to him, the future of Nigeria is not oil or solid minerals, but about technology, innovation, adding: “And tech innovation is all about highly-skilled people, entrepreneurship spirit and a supporting ecosystem of government, investors, mentors and global collaboration.

“In the past, Nigerian billionaires were traders, oil and gas moguls, and natural resources….In the next few years, the billionaires from Nigeria will be techies.

“This government is taking this phenomenal seriously, demonstrated by our Innovation Hub plans; Demo Day, Ease of Doing Business initiative, newly-inaugurated Advisory and Governance Team of Innovation and Creativity.”

Commending the brains behind Vibranium Valley, the VicePresident assured the duo of Kunmi Demuren and Bunmi Akinyemiju, who, according to him, returned from the Diaspora, with a sense of purpose to make a mark in helping grow the culture of entrepreneurship; and to develop an ecosystem of talent.

Osinbajo said this was demonstrated through their track record in “starting more than six companies themselves, as well as investing their money into as many as 15 other young technology companies, such as Flutterwave, Rensource Energy, Mines.IO, CCHub’s Growth Fund, AppZone and 10 other companies. This is not counting several other companies that they have mentored and groomed,” he stated.
Osinbajo noted that Nigeria needed to invest in all three aspects of software development; entrepreneurial mindset and the venture capital ecosystem to shape the future.

“Government will do its bit, to ensure that our ranking in the global ease of doing business index improves significantly. And we will find every opportunity to create policies to encourage the growth of those three aspects of driving Nigeria into the bedrock of innovation. Starting with reforms in our educational system through the NUC, our emphasis on STEM education through our bursary programme and our innovation hubs as a catalyst to growing that ecosystem,” he added.

He disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) were working on making available intervention funds for technology hubs.

The Co-Founder, Vibranium Valley, Bunmi Akinyemiju, who spoke on the ‘Role of Technology and Entrepreneurship in Nation -Building’, said “startups are engine of modern economic development, transforming industries from security to finance to agriculture.”

According to him, Nigeria may be a hotbed of recent start-up activity, but deep developmental challenges remain. He stressed that to offer an opportunity for a fast -growing and young population, Nigeria needs to take disruptive approaches to development challenges in infrastructure, financial inclusion and education to become the Africa’s first ‘startup nation’.

While appreciating the post-humous recognition given to his father, the son of the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola, Abdul, expressed deepest appreciation to the Federal Government through the VP., saying: “I can’t but thank you for the honour done to my father. It will remain in history. Thank you sir.”

According to him, the transformation done to the complex by making it a tech hub would add to the developmental strides of the country.

He assured VGG of Abiola’s family support for the technology campus, adding: “there are still lots of my father’s property that can still be converted to more profitable use for the country’s development.”


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