The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed on Monday that the Federal government was building six innovation hubs in the six geopolitical zones “with two super hubs, one in Lagos and one in Abuja.”
Osinbajo, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, explained that the hubs were meant to specifically provide opportunities, especially for young people who are looking for investments in technology.
He spoke in an address he delivered while declaring open the 8th edition of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment (NCITI) holding in Abeokuta.
The theme of the four-day Conference is “Diversification of the Nigerian Economy from Over Dependence on Oil Export”.
Speaking on the theme, the Vice-President said, “Most of us are already getting somewhat tired of hearing the issue of diversification, the issue is how do we get it done, what do we need to do to get it done? In our country we are not short of plans, we are not short of policies and of great ideas, the issue now is how to get things done.”
He disclosed, “We are building, at the moment six innovation hubs in the six geopolitical zones with two super hubs, one in Lagos and one in Abuja. They are basically to provide opportunities, especially for young people who are looking for investments in technology.”
He told his audience, “For those of you who might have followed the stories recently about the Demo Day which we had at the State House in Abuja. It was an event which brought together people who have innovative ideas in technology”.
“Technology is certainly the key in turning the economy around, we need to invest significantly and improve our funding in technology and technology related industry,” Osinbajo affirmed.
His words, “When you look at our entire budget and when you look at what we spend, our budget this last year is just N6trillion, now when you look at that amount compared to our economy, with the size of the country and the number of people we have in this country, N6 trillion is still too small amount of money and that is the reason why we believe that the only way to really ramp up very quickly the size of our economy and by that, the size of our budget is by partnering with private capital and development capital.”
Osinbajo disclosed that the 2017 budget “Will be premised on substantial partnership with private capital and development capital because we very strongly believe that even just encouraging private sector projects will make a huge difference in what we are able to deliver as an economy.”
“Just encouraging private sector partnership alone will assist us to be able to deliver a better economy.”
“In February 2016 we were producing 5,000MW of power which is the highest ever in the history of the country but with the vandalism of the Forcados and four other power generating terminals, we found ourselves down to almost 2,500MW that is gradually ramping up again but substantial investment in the power sector will certainly be key in improving our productivity and we are doing quite a bit in that area.”
Osinbajo stated that the country needs to invest substantially in the power sector, explaining that such would enhance general output “and the government is doing a lot towards achieving this.”