Technology is no doubt instrumental to national growth and development. The Lagos state government is aware about the fact and has stepped up its its intervention in provision of technology infrastructure and is set to expand the tech space to accommodate more startups; Lagos State Government is set to embark on the construction of the biggest technology hub in West Africa.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu spoke of the development on Wednesday when he toured two major innovation and technology hubs within the State.
He said: “Technology is the new oil and the basic element for the Fourth Industrial Revolution globally. As a State with a massive population of young people, we need to play major role in the development of technology, which is an enabler to leapfrog into rapid socio-economic growth. We take technology as an important deliverable in our Government’s development agenda.
“For us to make lasting impact in tech industry, we said to ourselves we needed to build the infrastructure to support sector. We are building a tech campus on a 22,000 square meters land in Yaba, which we christen K.I.T.E. We are working with global brands in the tech space, such as Facebook and Google, to deliver this important technology hub.
“We are currently laying 3,000 kilometres metropolitan fibre optic cables across the State to drop reliable and fast Internet connectivity in homes and work places. These are part of the infrastructure required as backbone for the tech industry to flourish and empower our young people in the space to take their businesses and ideas to the level of stability.”
Sanwo-Olu said the Yaba Technology Cluster, called K.I.T.E., would be a free zone that would allow the growth of funding and financing for innovative ideas generated by entrepreneurs in tech industry and FinTech space, adding that the ecosystem would also offer free labs for the use of startups to take their innovations to from ideation to the next level.
K.I.T.E. is an acronym for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship.
He said: “The visit to your ecosystems today is for you to be assured that this Government is not sitting back in taking steps to ease access. We fully understand the role which technology plays in our lives and how technology is important to any society that wants to be relevant in coming decades. We are happy to be building the capability for Lagos, so that we can compete with other developed cities in the world.”
Aside this recent initiative, the Lagos state government has been at the forefront in supporting start-ups.
The Governor disclosed that two out of the 20 start-ups ideas supported through LASRIC last year had secured patents for their innovations and ready to transform into fully-fledged businesses that would create employment opportunities for Nigerians.
This is a brilliant move from the Lagos state government and we hope young Nigerians with brilliant ideas and innovations can be part of it.