The Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Monday at the TechMoney Africa summit, stated that the TechMoney and Innovation Summit is quite apt and timely.
Prof Osinbajo who was represented by Ambassador (Dr) Adeyemi Dipeolu at formal launching of TechMoney which begins today at the University Of Lagos (UNILAG), is aimed at boosting tech entrepreneurship in Africa.
The Vice President noted that TechMoney addresses the most topical issue in economic development and brings together relevant stakeholders from across the innovation, technological and investing space. It has been well established that technological changes and innovation are major drivers of increased productivity and economic growth.
He also said that “Government policy can further support the digital economy through budgetary spending and investment incentives. Through its N-Power programme funded by the budget, the Federal Government recruited 500,000 volunteers using technology, deployed them using technology, automated their monthly payments using technology, and is running the monitoring and evaluation of the programme using technology. The technology to run this program was built here in Nigeria by Nigerians and for Nigerians. Meanwhile, the information and communications technology sector has now been included in the list of sectors eligible for pioneer status which provides exemptions from the payment of company income tax for three years in the first instance and renewable for an additional two years”.
In conclusion the Prof Osinbajo stated that “the technological space in Nigeria and by extension the rest of Africa is set to take off in a big way. The important thing is that we keep our eyes on the ball and stay on course. In this regard, it is pleasing to note that this TechMoney and Innovation Summit is intended to hold annually”.
The Chairman Unicorn Groups Mr Kola Abiola alluded that the event convenes the leading minds in technology, innovation and finance across Africa.
Mr Abiola further stated that the event will “showcase the best and brightest African tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. Inspire, educate and connect leaders from government, private sector, academia, and entrepreneurs on the latest innovative and disruptive technologies”.
“I want to specially thank our event host, the University of Lagos, the largest public University in Africa, for believing in TechMoney’s vision”. The Unicorn Chairman expressed his appreciation to the Management of UNILAG for partnering to host the event and also expressed gratitude to other partners and sponsors.
“I am thrilled to announce registration for this conference as at this morning is over 2,400 speakers and delegates, representing various institutions from 7 different continents around the globe” he affirmed.
“Over the next two days we will have sixty experienced industry participants discuss critical issues in the lifecycle of a technology company, seek innovative solutions created by a curated group of the smartest and brightest talents in Nigeria, and facilitate over 10,000 meetings through our unique matchmaking app” he concluded.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State Dr. Obafemi Hamzat who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Mr. Segun Adeniji stated that the state government plan on making Lagos a 21st century through transportation, education, technology and health.
Dr. Hamzat noted that “innovation plays an important role in catch-up and growth in a global economy. We truly believe the state can leapfrog through technology and innovation”.
He also alluded that “When I was the Commissioner for Science and Technology in Lagos, we set up Innovation Advisory Council, to serve as the state advisory body on research and development, enterprise promotion and innovation”.
“We know that we cannot be passive about technology and innovation in Lagos. Per the United Nations estimates, 1,200 people migrate into Lagos daily. They come from the North, East, South and West of Nigeria and from West African neighbours too. They are drawn by the dream that they can achieve economic prosperity regardless of their tribe, creed or religion”.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe in a media parley after the first section of the summit expressed his satisfaction for the private driven initiative in view of the enormous problems government are carrying on it shoulders. He further stated that “the private organization are coming in through Unicorn to introduce new ideas, new initiative where our students can do a lot of things and also to harvest their skills for the benefits of the student and Nigeria”.
The UNILAG Deputy Vice Chancellor Development and Services Professor Folashade Ogundipe stated that UNILAG new vision is to ensure that all the students of the tertiary institution have entrepreneurial mindset. She said “we have developed a programme which is being run through our entrepreneur center in such a way that every student that comes in here will not just earn a degree but will have a change of mindset as we hope we would have developed their creative talents as well as help them in the area of business development and entrepreneurship”.
“What we know is that we are not doing something new but actually tapping into innovations we already see in our students and we are also hoping through our programme from the first year onward to the end, help them develop the kind of confidence to believe in their own ideas” she concluded.
Over 150 investors were being expected from China and other countries at the two-day forum and expectedly, they would provide capital needed to spur the country’s economy.