The Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology in conjunction with PRI Project Development, an international financial advisory firm, has put together a two-day innovation workshop for members of the private and public sectors in order to fast-track the governmentâ€™s long-term goals of setting up an innovation agency.
The agency will create an ecosystem and infrastructure aimed at turning the state into a West African Innovative Hub.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Nike Animashan, said the objective of the workshop was to bring together professionals from the public sector and international experts to put minds together on how innovation can be disseminated throughout Lagos State and to collaborate, support the private sector in creating jobs and attracting investments.
“This is a long-term development policy and one of the aim of the workshop is also to create an ecosystem required to support and accelerate innovative projects and technologies in the state,â€ she said.
According to her, this is the realisation of Governor Babatunde Fasholaâ€™s vision into making the state the innovation hub of West Africa.
â€œSo he wants to create an innovation agency which the private and public sector will have access to. This innovation is going to bring about job creation and positively affect the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state. The state government has equally embraced technology as well as development.â€
She also revealed that there are ICT labs in 120 public schools in the state and that the government plans to deploy 100 more which is a great step in upping the education sector with technology.
The workshop, an initiative of PRI Project Development, attracted both local and foreign innovation experts such as Senior Advisor to World Bank and former Chief Scientist of Israel, Dr. Shuki Gleitma; the World Bank Private Sector Development Specialist, Mr.Yoram Halevy; Advisor to the World Bank in monitoring and evaluation of Innovation programmes, Dr. Shlomi Parizat; and Private sector development specialist, World Bank, Mrs. Feyi Borroffice.
In her suggestion, Borroffice said programmes which can support the initiative should be developed. Lagos, she noted, is in a prime position to become the regional hub innovation for the country.
â€œThere is a lot going on in the areas of technology, entrepreneurship that the government can facilitate by providing the necessary funding, technical assistance the organisation needs and development companies that can create value,â€ she added.