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 Sylva Inaugurates Africa’s Largest Tech Incubation Hub to Enhance Entrepreneurship

Sylva Inaugurates Africa’s Largest Tech Incubation Hub to Enhance Entrepreneurship


The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has inaugurated Africa’s biggest technological incubation centre, Unicorn, in Lagos State, which is positioned to impact over one million young tech entrepreneurs in the next 10 years.

Inaugurating the Unicorn hub sited at Yaba, the minister said he was overwhelmed by the capacity of the innovation put in place by the promoters.

Sylva was joined at the occasion by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide-Sanwo-Olu; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote; amongst other dignitaries.

He lauded the company for choosing to invest in youth development and skill acquisition as opposed to other sectors of the economy that would probably yield higher return on investments, adding that the provision of the platform would facilitate education, training, mentorship, infrastructure, and long-term capital to entrepreneurs and start-ups in technology-enabled sectors.

He commended the promoters of the project for choosing to invest in the development of human capacity and nurturing of tech and innovation start-ups.

Unicorn, a creation of Nigeria’s investment guru and Chairman of Platform Capital, Dr Akintoye Akindele is a pan-African investment company that targets innovative ideas, start-ups and early stage companies in the technology and technology-enabled sectors across Africa, which have the potential to emerge as unicorns.

A prototype of the popular Silicon Valley, Unicorn aims to provide education, training, mentorship, infrastructure, and long-term capital to entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage in the technology and technology-enabled sectors through its ecosystem.

Sylva said: “I must say that I’m overwhelmed by the capacity for innovation that I have confronted here today. Toye is a dreamer, he’s an innovator. This incubation campus could have been utilized as a shopping mall, hotel or rental apartments.

“The choice to invest in our youths and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs is truly patriotic and inspiring. For the first time, I’m seeing the right thing being done,” Sylva said.

He said there was need for every Nigerian to stop the blame game and complaints and join hands to work out solutions to the country’s problems, adding that the solution is with the abundant young, talented population Nigeria has.

Also speaking at the event, Wabote hailed the launch of Unicorn Incubation Campus and promised the board’s partnership to further channel the creativity and energy of Nigerian youths to promote peace, development, and excellence.

He said the key mandates of the Board under the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act was to develop local capacities and capabilities, monitor compliance and enforce the provisions of the Act, which is why the Board is always excited to be part of any initiative aimed at the development of local capacities and capabilities.

He added: “Our vision is to serve as a catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors. These linkage sectors include power, construction, ICT, and several others. I have no doubt that this Unicorn Incubation Campus is definitely a place that will catalyse innovation and creative ideas to address modern challenges.”

Wabote also harped on the need for Nigerians to prepare and position themselves to embrace the fourth Industrial Revolution that is already underway, especially with cloud computing, Internet of Things, Robotics, Big Data, and many more disruptions that have emerged.

He added that facilities such as the Unicorn Incubation Campus are very vital in the ecosystem of technology development infrastructure.

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