Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has launched the Eko Innovation Centre, a private sector-driven tech hub which is aimed at strategically increasing entrepreneurial and technological capacity across the state.
Speaking during the launch of the centre located at Ikoyi, Sanwo-Olu said the location of the innovation centre used to be one of his campaign offices.
“It used to be a place where I had lots of young people who used to spend long nights to develop a lot of concepts around my manifesto. So, we said to ourselves, what is the best thing we can use this place for and so we decided to turn it into a tech hub, where people can come here to develop ideas.
“So, it is for Lagosians to come and take advantage of it once it fully becomes operational. It is part of our contribution to the things we preached while we were campaigning, that we would make Lagos a tech hub,” he said.
According to him, if “we solve the Lagos problem, you have to a large extent solved the Nigerian problem.”
The Eko Innovation Centre is supposed to run independent, without any form of support from the Lagos government, Sanwo-Olu said.
“But if we see that products coming out from this space can make sense to our government, we would take advantage of it.
“Technology is the way to go, it is the way of the future and it is the way the entire universe is going to.
“Everybody is using technology to develop everything that we need. We are believing that from this place, things around the THEME concept that has to do with the environment, education, transportation and health would be developed.
“People from here would come and give us innovative ideas to solve our transport problem; ideas with which they think locally but act globally,” he added.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Eko Innovation Hub, Victor Gbenga Afolabi, said, “the innovation hub was formed to a large extent when this place was used as the campaign office that brought in the governor of Lagos State.”
He added: “We went back to the manifesto and one of the things we saw was the fact that there is an agenda to make Lagos State a 21st-century economy. “The only way to create a 21st-century economy is to make sure you are creating businesses and solution to problems that are driven by innovation and technology.”