Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has promised to provide institutional and infrastructural support for the growth and development of the technology sector in the State if elected as Governor in 2019.
Sanwo-Olu made the pledge on Friday during a Digital Lagos event hosted by Vibranium Valley where he addressed tech community of start-ups, developers and tech innovators.
The APC Governorship candidate said technology is changing the way people live, work and socialize adding that social and governance problems are also solved with technological innovations especially in a city-state such as Lagos with a Gross Domestic Product of more than $136b dollars.
Speaking on the importance of Digital Lagos as a veritable platform for the transformation of the country, the APC standard bearer who was accompanied to the event by his deputy governorship candidate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said the huge investment in technology and creation of an expansive learning facility like Vibranium Valley will lent credence to the saying that Africa is the future of the world.
He promised that when elected, his government will work in partnership with the technology sector to solve social issues such as creation of employment opportunity, mentoring, entrepreneurship, education, health, transportation and to also improve the revenue profile of the government.
‘‘I’m aware that technology is the oil of today. Some ten years ago, the richest companies in the world were oil and energy giants, but the tide has changed. What we have today are technology companies dominating the global economic space. With technology, transparency and accountability in government become easier and possible. Technological innovations are helping social enterprise address social problems. Tech is accelerating SME evolutions and the impact of this is positive on the economy, which gives everyone a share of the prosperity created by this system,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu also spoke on the importance of the old Concord Newspapers facility, which houses Vibranium Garden along Murtala Mohammed Airport Road and the owner, Chief MKO Abiola who he said was a man of big idea and notable entrepreneur.
“That you are using the old Concord Newspapers facility as a hub of innovation in Lagos also invokes huge memories and the symbolism of the Chief Abiola. He was a man of big ideas and he represented hope. You are incubating big ideas here that will bring hope and prosperity to Lagos, Nigeria and the rest of the world.”
In his welcome address, the Co-founder/Chief Executive of Officer of Venture Garden Group, Bunmi Akinyemiju identified how technology and innovation are critical to create economic opportunities and social inclusion in Lagos adding that the facility currently employs over 1,500 Nigerians and the 5 years plan is to generate 45,000 employments.
Akinyemiju highlighted the challenges tech start-ups face in Lagos in areas of power, funding and tax which government must address adding that with right partnership with government in Lagos and Nigeria will have exponential effect the economy.
“Digital Lagos is about digital economy that will create innovators solving problems and improving the way we live and work. With what we have here and at Yaba innovation hub we are empowering the next generation of wealth creators in Nigeria. We are driving investment. You need to imagine the amount of foreign interest we get here from around the world. We need more campuses like this across Lagos.”