How We Are Creating Opportunities For Young People – VP Yemi Osinbajo
“I want to say that l am totally convinced, and so l believe, that the way forward for our country is innovation and technology. And the young people who we see every day, who were able to do all these incredible things, represent the future of our country and represent it so dramatically, graphically that we are all confident that where we are going is indeed a place of great prosperity and abundance having regards to all that we see today.
“I emphasize that we must create the opportunities for young people. Some of the concerns that we have as a nation and one of the reasons why this particular place is designed the way it is, is to enable that aspect of introspection, to enable that sort of thinking in an environment that allows it, an environment that is conducive for that kind of thinking and innovation.” – Vice President
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, THE VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE LAUNCHING OF THE NORTH-EAST HUMANITARIAN INNOVATION HUB IN YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE, ON JUNE 5, 2018.
Let me begin by thanking the Adamawa State government for hosting us, not just hosting us today, but for hosting this Hub. To every cloud, they say there is a silver lining and l think that through the cloud of insurgency in the North East, this is certainly one of those silver linings.
The fact that we have been able to discover creativity and the ability to innovate is so remarkable. There are so many young men and women in the North-East to be celebrated.
I want to say that the North-East Humanitarian Hub is not just an idea, not just something that was stumbled upon as part of the Social Investment Programme (SIP). It is, in my view, a very deliberate attempt to bring innovation and to cultivate innovation all across the country, and this happens to be one of those centres where we intend to cultivate innovation and to cultivate creativity.
I have been around the hub, l have seen, the working spaces, the 3D printing facility, the Makeathon Boat camp, and you know all that is on display here at the hub.
And I’m sure that all of us listening to those who participated in the boot camp and all that they were able to preach – film production; Eliot and Andy tracking devices for children; Daniel and Abubakar using alternative building materials and able to complete building projects in three weeks; All the life-box browsing without the Internet; Letha and Bolus with the Farm integrated system; Abubakar’s automated irrigation control; Zainab’s hygiene dignity kit for women; and the Maikanti farm-for-market solution; Wandoo, the payment system for delivering aid; Gbenga’s Gasman Bio-Centres connected to kitchens; to disposal of human waste and convert it to energy; and Tunde Taiwo’s very aggressive speech to persuade us that we have to do something about 8.3 million children throughout the schools. We are trying to make sure the numbers go down and we will be working with you certainly.
Of course, again, the women’s textiles initiative, the School Management System and all that; the 3D printing of artificial limbs, and we saw a situation where Mohammed was fitted with one of those artificial limbs.
Before we even formally open this hub, all of these are already possible, and l wonder what we are going to do when we open the hub today. I’m sure we will see even greater creativity and innovations.
I want to say that l am totally convinced, and so l believe, that the way forward for our country is innovation and technology. And the young people who we see every day, who are able to do all these incredible things, represent the future of our country and represent it so dramatically, graphically that we are all confident that where we are going is indeed a place of great prosperity and abundance having regards to all that we see today.
I emphasize that we must create the opportunities for young people. In fact, for all of us to be introspective, the opportunity to think, to just sit down somewhere and think, we have to think about some of the issues. Some of the concerns that we have as a nation and one of the reasons why this particular place is designed the way it is, is to enable that aspect of introspection, to enable that sort of thinking in an environment that allows it, an environment that is conducive for that kind of thinking and innovation.
And what follows, of course, is the rigour of planning and execution and I’m very pleased to see that this is not just about ideas, but also that so much has gone into actual planning and so much has also been done in execution.The Federal Government is really determined to work through with these innovation hubs. We plan to have six innovation hubs across the country; this is just one. In a couple of weeks, we will be opening a climate change innovation hub at the Pan-African University in Lagos also in collaboration with our Social Intervention Programme.
We are also doing a school challenge, university challenge, university and polytechnic innovations’ challenge which will involve students from across Nigeria, the portal for that has been opened and I’m sure so many have already applied for it.
As part of that, we are building six university connected innovation hubs across the country, starting with the University of Lagos. The building has already started. This is going to be really outstanding hubs with some four floors using containers and there is going to be a lot of innovation. Just the building and the concept alone is extremely innovative and, of course, it’s been done by the young men and women who will be using the hub itself.
So we are working and we are trying to do the work very hard and consistently with all of the young men and women who are into innovation. Just last week, l was at the Ventures Hub in Abuja where you know so many incredible things are going on.
Then we talked about the Creativity and Technology Council, which is a council we are setting up as part of our Industrial and Creativity Council. This is where we assemble the well-known business and captains of industry to help shape industrial policy. But we found that we are not bringing on board the young men women who are defining the future by creativity and technology, and even entertainment.
So, we are setting up as part of the competitiveness council on creativity and technology and advisory council which include the young men and women who are into innovation and with all of these various incredible things that we are seeing, so that they can also help shape policy, effective policy around technology, innovation and creativity and to see how we can effectively work with people all over the world. As you can see, so much is happening all over the world, we need to know and understand how that intellectual capacity can been taken within the framework of our own law and the framework of the international law and also of the international practice. So the Creativity Council is going to work closely with us to develop all of these policies.
Let me thank everyone of our partners, especially the ICRC, that work so closely with the Makeathon and the mentors that worked excellently with all of the people who have participated in this Makeathon.
Thank you very much for the time that you have really given not just by coming here today but the time you have given to assist us in thinking through this innovation hub and working with us day by day to make it happen.
So it’s therefore my very great pleasure and privilege to formally declare open this North-East Humanitarian Innovation Hub for the benefit of the people of the North-East and also the benefit of all Nigerian people, the whole world and to the glory of God.
Thank you very much.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
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