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Sanwo-Olu inaugurates SAIL Innovation Hub, says it’s a place to reach for the sky

Sanwo-Olu inaugurates SAIL Innovation Hub, says it’s a place to reach for the sky
May 19
23:42 2023

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, says science and technology are the way forward.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Friday at the inauguration of the SAIL Innovation Lab in Ikorodu area of Lagos state.

SAIL Innovation Lab was created in 2021 by Tokunbo Abiru, senator representing Lagos east, as part of his endowment programme to drive youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.

The programme is in partnership with the Co-creation Hub (Cc-HUB), a technology and social enterprise company.

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Sanwo-Olu said the technology would give Nigerians the advancement and opportunity needed to create solutions not just for the country but globally.

“To see this level of facility in the heart of Ikorodu speaks to the fact that politicians, the likes of senator Tokunbo Abiru can indeed raise the level of governance and the level of people’s representation, an intervention that will change the life of the community,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“This has shown that there is a lot of “can-do spirit” that we need to project among ourselves. We need to be able to project positive narratives about people that are in public service. This is a demonstration of an intervention by a serving senator who has seen the need for the youths in his community, for the leaders of tomorrow to give them a walk of the future.

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“The walk of the future is about technology; about innovative centres. It is about creating a hub where they can come together and think and learn.

“I am truly enthused and happy to come and unveil this place. You can see from the name — it is a sailing centre. It is where people can come and sail up and reach for the sky.

“The conversation for me is that it provides an opportunity to change lives. They come in here and get trained for free, get the right skills and be ready for the world. That for me is something that is remarkable and needs to be encouraged.”

‘NEW LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD IS TECH’

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In his address, Abiru said the SAIL project was created to deepen the acceptance of tech innovation in the Lagos east senatorial district, using a human-centred design approach.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the new language of the world is tech. All around us, we see how tech is shaping social interactions, disrupting how we live, work and interact with others,” Abiru said.

“I have given this context to set the tone for why the setting up of the SAIL Innovation Lab became necessary. It is not a project of the future. It is a project of today; one that needed to be done. Tech is the way and it was important to provide a platform for our ingenious youths in this district.

“The innovation lab facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and is managed 100 percent by Co-Creation Hub, which is arguably the biggest innovation hub in Africa and by highly-trained facilitators who take on the wide range of programmes we offer.

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“I need to express that the programmes we offer in the innovation lab cost a significant sum, but it is offered free of charge to participants who come from different parts of the Lagos east senatorial district.”

The senator added that since its inception, the innovation lab has recorded some significant milestones.

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“Till date, over 490 participants have benefitted from the several programmes, in-person, while over 2,000 have participated in the online programmes.”

He added that the tech hub will provide access to cutting-edge technology and resources to support participants as they develop their skills.

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“We will work closely with indigenous employers and other stakeholders to ensure that our programmes meet the market’s needs and provide our graduates with real career opportunities,” he added.

‘OPPORTUNITY FOR NIGERIANS TO COMPETE GLOBALLY’

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Also speaking, Ola Williams, country manager of Microsoft, commended Abiru for the initiative.

William described the launch of the tech hub as an opportunity for Nigerians to compete favourably with their pairs around the world.

“I was wowed by the focus and passion senator Tokunbo Abiru has for Nigerians; his interest in everyone, no matter your background, to participate in the digital economy,” she said.

“It is a level playing field for third worlds to properly transform. We have the youth population and we have the technology. That means Nigerians have the opportunity to drive innovation in the world.

“With access to the right tools, resources and skills to participate in the digital economy, Ikorodu now has a platform to achieve that.”

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