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BOI, Telecoms Join ‘Opolo’ Tech Initiative To Source Tech Entrepreneurs



Stakeholders in technological innovation have expressed readiness to collaborate and assist Opolo Global Innovation in its quest to create successful businesses among Nigerian Youths.

The stakeholders which include, development bank like Bank of Industry (BOI), commercial banks, telecom industry, and the academia gave the assurance during the inauguration of Opolo innovation hub at the Obafemi Awolowo university, Ile-Ife and Osun State University, Osogbo.

The hub is a brainchild of a renowned financial guru, Dr. Segun Aina, the chairman of Opolo Global Innovation.

According to him, Nigeria economy is resource based, and depends so much on crude oil whose hike affects everything in the country, thus the need to sift to digital based economy which provide huge businesses opportunities.

While highlighting the vision of the initiative, Dr. Aina said the target was to create many businesses that are unicorns through digital economy from among the youth in Osun State and Nigeria by extension in the next five to ten years.

He noted that Nigerian youths have a lot of potentials yet to be developed because of the gap which Opolo Global Initiative was trying to bridged by bringing together various stakeholders from the academia, industries, government and communities.

“Through innovation, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. Nigeria needs to move from resource based to knowledge based economy through digitization. Opolo attempt to build a missing link between digital, innovation, skill and enterprise.

“The youth demography which is the driver of innovation in the the country cannot be ignored. The hub provides enabling environment for digital economy. That’s why we’re are bringing together, policy makers – government Industry, academia and communities, to collaborate and bring better result. So that in 10years, Osun state can produce businesses that are unicorns. Companies that are worth billion of dollars, he said.”

Represented by his deputy, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola described Opolo Initiative as a conscious move to proffer solution to the nation’s socioeconomic challenges.

He said the development should be a national focus and model for speedy growth in all ramifications and a veritable way of addressing the multifaceted national challenges.

“The rationale behind Opolo Innovation Hubs is a conscious move to solve array of our socioeconomic challenges through innovative ideas, driven by Information & Communication Technology.

“The theme of this event: “Innovation and Entrepreneurship for National Development through University Community”, is a timely dimension in the quest for nation-building through our citadel of learning.

“Indeed, by the tenets of the establishment of our universities, the drive for development and sustainable growth should be a function of the level and frequency of research on our campuses.

“This developmental drive through the youths should be a national focus and model for speedy growth in all ramifications; it is the only way of surmounting our multifaceted national challenges, Oyetola said.

In their separate remarks, the minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare and also the minister of communication and digital economy, Prof Isa Pantami lauded the Initiative and pledged the support and collaboration of their ministries for to achieved its goal.

Also, pledging support and collaboration, their universities, the Vice Chancellors of OAU, Prof Eyitope Ogunmodede and UNIOSUN, Prof Clement Adebooye said the Initiative aligns with the vision of their universities and they are committed to it.

Ogunmodede said “our university will continue to support and assist Opolo Global Innovation Limited in realising its vision, mission and noble objectives. We will ensure that the Hub in OAU ranks among the best in Nigeria and Africa.

“My appeal is that foundations, corporate organisations and individuals that are genuinely interested in solving the problem of unemployment in our country, particularly through entrepreneurship and innovation, should identify with the laudable vision of this initiative and support the programme.”

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