‘Innovation hub to provide solutions to Lagos economy, others’
The Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the new Eko Innovation Centre, a tech hub, is designed to address gaps in entrepreneurial and technological capacity across the state, as well as provide solutions that will aid governance.
Speaking during the launch of the centre located at Ikoyi, Sanwo-Olu, who spoke on Tuesday, preparatory to his inauguration as Governor of Lagos State, yesterday, said the location of the innovation centre used to be one of his campaign offices.
Sanwo-Olu explained that many investors were looking forward to partnering with the State, adding that if “we solve the Lagos problem; you have to a large extent solved the Nigerian problem.”
He continued: “It (Lagos) used to be a place where I had lots of young people who used to spend long nights to develop a lot of concepts around my manifesto.
“We said to ourselves, what is the best thing we can use this place for, and we decided to turn it into a tech hub, where people can come here to develop ideas.
“It is for Lagosians to come and take advantage of it once it fully becomes operational. It is part of our contribution to the things we preached while we were campaigning, that we would make Lagos a tech hub,” he said.
The Eko Innovation Centre is supposed to run independently, without any form of support from the Lagos Government, Sanwo-Olu said.
“But if we see that products coming out from this space can make sense to our government, we would take advantage of it. Technology is the way to go, it is the way of the future and it is the way the entire universe is going to.
“Everybody is using technology to develop everything that we need. We believe that from this place, things around the THEME concept that has to do with the environment, education, transportation and health would be developed.
“People from here would come and give us innovative ideas to solve our transport problem; ideas with which they think locally but act globally,” he added.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Eko Innovation Hub, Victor Gbenga Afolabi, said, “the innovation hub was formed to a large extent, when this place was used as the campaign office that brought in the incoming governor of Lagos State.”
He added: “We went back to the manifesto and one of the things we saw was the fact that there is an agenda to make Lagos State a 21st century economy. The only way to create a 21st century economy is to make sure you are creating businesses and solutions to problems that are driven by innovation and technology.
“Our commitment to the Lagos State Governor is that our job is to add value to governance by solving the issues in the state; and it is not only Lagos we are looking as potential beneficiary of this, we are also hoping that private equity firms can also key into the project.”