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Ekiti Govt to transform State into innovation hub - Governor Oyebanji

Oyebanji added that the implementation of the project was irrevocable.

Ekiti state Governor, Biodun Oyebanji. [Twitter:@ekitistategov]

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the two-day Ekiti State Innovation Summit, on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti, Oyebanji said that the implementation of the project was irrevocable. The News Agency of Nigera (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit is “Innovate Ekiti: Kick-starting Ekiti State Innovation Pathway to Prosperity”.

In attendance at the event, were visionaries, policymakers, and entrepreneurs, among others, while scores of youths, of diverse areas of interest were also present.

Oyebanji, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro, said that government had set in motion its ambitious plans to establish a Knowledge Zone and a Creative Tech Village. According to him, thereby marking a significant stride towards nurturing homegrown innovation.

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Oyebanji explained that the summit was a pivotal platform for what he described as “the groundbreaking initiative”. He emphasised his support for the initiatives, underscoring the government’s dedication to transforming the state into an innovation hub.

Also highlighting the summit’s purpose, the Commissioner for Innovation, Science, and Digital Economy, Mr Seun Fakuade, said, “The gathering is not just a summit; it is the birth of Ekiti’s future”.

The commissioner noted that the establishment of a Knowledge Zone, and a Creative Village in Ekiti, was a clear testament of the administration’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and technological advancement.

"The Knowledge Zone and Creative Village are envisioned as ecosystems, where ideas, creativity, and innovation will flourish.

"These hubs, aim to provide state-of-the-art facilities, resources, and an enabling environment for entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and innovators, facilitating the transition of Ekiti into a leading knowledge-driven economy”.

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Fakuade expressed optimism about the future of the State, saying “The establishment of the Knowledge Zone and Creative Village is just the beginning.

"We are on a path to revolutionising Ekiti’s economy through knowledge-driven innovation, building Ekiti State as a Talent Capital for Nigeria, ensuring our State becomes an important knowledge innovation corridor, a beacon of progress and prosperity”, he said.

In his address, the United Nations Development Programne, (UNDP), Head of Lagos, Dr William Tsuma, highlighted the critical role of ensuring innovation to solve the problem of multidimensional poverty in Nigeria.

"According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 63% of Nigerians are multidimensionally poor while 42% of young people are out of work.

“This means we cannot talk about innovation without solving real problems affecting everyday Nigerians.

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"We need to create jobs and get more kids into schools. We need to package innovation, as close to the sources of the problem we are trying to solve as possible,” he stated.

NAN reports that during the summit’s masterclass/technical session, Mr Edward Israel-Ayide, founder of Carpe Diem Solutions, emphasised the importance of branding in innovation. According to Ayide, whose insights, offered valuable guidance for local innovators looking to make a global impact, .

“Branding your innovative ideas is not just about marketing; it is about creating an identity that resonates with your audience, and distinguishes your innovations in the marketplace,” he added.

NAN recalls that in October, 2023, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, announced that the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) at it’s weekly meeting, had approved $80 million financing from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the Ekiti Knowledge Zone Project (EKZ).

The minister said that the action would help the young people in the sector of knowledge economy, technology and communications to thrive, and widen their opportunities

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