Experts in the technological industry in Nigeria has said that the country is in dire need of at least one million Innovation Hubs to boost the nation’s technological capacity.
The former President of the Institute of Software Practitioner of Nigeria (ISPON) and the Director General of Delta State Innovation Hub, Dr Chris Uwaje first disclosed this during an exclusive interview with Business Remarks
However, Business Remarks findings shows that there are now about 50 technology hubs in Nigeria, up from seven about five years ago. Further checks revealed that South West houses about 15; South East has two; South South is home to eight, while Northern Nigeria can boast of 12 hubs.
A ‘tech hub’ is a physical space – a city, a suburb or just a suite of offices – which has developed to help technology startup companies succeed and, they hope, become the next tech titan like Facebook or Microsoft.
According to Chris, the Whole World has become a crystal ball of Innovation, therefore we need to prioritise the need for more innovation hubs in the country.
“As Nigeria moves into midstream of the 21st Century – with an estimated population of 400million people, its wealth creation dynamics and international competitiveness will be significantly influenced by her ability to develop measure and exploit her Intellectual Capital (IP) in IT, Innovation and creativity”, he said.
Chris noted that the Ultimate mission is to develop our Innovation Hubs a World class Knowledge factory which will eventually benefit all and sundry, government and the country inclusive.
Speaking on this, he posited that people perception of IT and Innovation hubs need to change, if they are going to massively reap its benefits.
“In both government and the business worlds, our understanding is that the organizations which will benefit most from the transformative role of IT are those which treat IT as a key strategic resource for achieving organisational goals rather than a purely technical input.
“With regards to Innovation and Software Engineering Development, Nigeria will break a World record”, Chris pointed out.
Similarly, the President of Nigeria Computer Society, Prof. Sola Aderounmu agreed with Chris Uwaje on this.
In his words with Nigerian NewsDirect, “Nigeria needs more innovation hubs.
“You will agree with me that unemployment rate is on the high side in Nigeria. Job is everywhere, but the skills are not enough.
“For the fact that we need to move to a KNOWLEDGE society, Nigeria needs enabling environment to build the skills of our youth leading to self employment hence the need to create more innovation hubs in Nigeria,” Aderounmu said.
It is to be recall, at the unveiling of Vibranium Valley, Prof. Osinbanjo assured investors, stressing that the business of government was to provide an environment, where businesses could flourish and investments grow, “which have been the targets of this government.”
Osinbajo said government in its capacity would do everything possible to ensure technology is developed and adequately harnessed.
According to him, the future of Nigeria is not oil or solid minerals, but about technology, innovation, adding: “And tech innovation is all about highly-skilled people, entrepreneurship spirit and a supporting ecosystem of government, investors, mentors and global collaboration.”
The VP, who revealed that in the coming weeks, government would open three more innovation hubs in Yola and Edo state, said: “In the past, Nigerian billionaires were traders, oil and gas moguls, and natural resources. In the next few years, the billionaires from Nigeria will be techies.”