Osinbajo visits workstation during #VPTourofTech
One week ago, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, visited some of the most innovative tech companies in Lagos — Paystack, Andela, FarmCrowdy, African Fintech Foundry, Co-Creation Hub, and Workstation. His interest in connecting first-hand with the start-up community in Nigeria is a step in the right direction for the future of Nigeria.
Fixing the public opinion of Nigeria’s government is difficult, but without a doubt, Vice President Osinbajo’s genuine conversations with members of the Workstation community was a breath of fresh air, a sentiment every tech company shared about his visit.
During his time at Workstation, one of the largest shared services and coworking spaces in Lagos, His Excellency toured the three building, two floor, state-of-the-art facility nestled in Victoria Island, Lagos with founder, Fareed Arogundade.
As a native Lagosian committed to improving life in Nigeria and other emerging markets, Fareed was quite excited and honored that Vice President Osinbajo and his team considered Workstation as an innovator in the tech industry among pioneers like Andela and Flutterwave.
His Excellency was sincere in learning about the entrepreneurs within Workstation, as he casually asked members in the community about their ventures.
“Tell me what you do,” he asked Olu Ogunlela, founder of Kairos Krunch, a new start-up focused on accelerating human potential development via time tracking.
Vice President Osinbajo was impressed by the private office members which are mostly global companies including Code for Africa, Kupanda Capital, Dalberg Global Advisors, Western Union and IFLIX.
He made sure to introduce himself to as many members present, including Ngozi Dozie, Country Manager for IFLIX, who shared more about the subscription video on demand company’s services. Vice President Osinbajo even met with some of her marketing team, which they did not expect!
Coined the VP Tour of Tech (#VPTourofTech), during his tour, Vice President Osinbajo was accompanied by Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Honorable Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Director of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Nigeria, and severable other notable government officials.
The government forming a relationship with the tech community is key for the progression of Nigeria’s economy, especially because of the constant scrutiny and ridicule that comes with politics.
More importantly, recognizing efforts of individual leaders, regardless of their colleagues, is key in continuing the evolvement of a more transparent, accountable and forward thinking Nigeria.
While it was unique to see senior generations interacting with millennials, Vice President Osinbajo’s youthful, approachable nature was a highlight during his visit. He learned more about Workstation’s mission to build an ecosystem of creatives, entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, and global companies by providing state-of-the-art facilities that solve pertinent infrastructure issues such as power and Internet while encouraging collaboration and community.
Beyond providing affordable and flexible workspace solutions, Workstation memberships include access to auxiliary services and on-site amenities including meeting/conference rooms, printer center, fitness center, and farm-to-table café operated by Simply Green Juices.
His Excellency enjoyed meeting the founder of the brand, Shola Ladoja, and was a fan of their Pick Me Up cold-pressed juice. Outside of resolving the many issues entrepreneurs face when trying to balance business and their well-being, Workstation also leverages technology to create a community that is accessible from anywhere in the world, opening local entrepreneurs to a market bigger than Lagos, which is key in helping early-businesses scale.
As Fareed walked the Vice President through Workstation’s web application, the Digital Member Network, Vice President Osinbajo reinforced the reality that the start-up ecosystem continues to grow in Lagos and across Nigeria.
He was impressed with Workstation’s achievement in such a short period. “The sky is no longer the limit,” stated Vice President Osinbajo.
Hubs like Workstation support private sectors across all industries that are providing real-life solutions for everyday problems. Technology and collaborative communities that support start-ups are the catalysts for change in Nigeria.
His Excellency’s visit was a testament to a forward-thinking Nigeria.
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