Two agencies of Lagos State Government and four firms have announced a partnership towards the construction of five innovation centres across the state. The initiative was designed to ensure capacity building, competitiveness and ecosystem among start-ups and budding entrepreneurs in the state.
Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Versecom Limited, IHS Nigeria, Leadspace by Passion Incubator and Cisco Nigeria would build five innovation centres including: energy and environment hub; financial inclusion centre; smart city and health initiative; agricultural hub; and logistics and mobility innovation centre. The hubs would be located within different public parks around Lagos.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Versecom Limited, Mr. Timilehin Odusina, said the consortium has already constructed an energy and environment hub, a low–cost initiative, located at Rafiu Jafojo Park in Shasha, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
According to him, the low–cost hub was created to tackle the cost of office and community barrier to business entry faced by most Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and freelancers in the country.
“This hub offers a seat at N1, 000 per day, 50 per cent to 80 per cent lower than current market rates. The hub is targeted at idea stage – pre-seed startups and freelancers around Lagos,” Odusina said.
Sales Director, IHS (Nigeria) Limited, Olaitan Ogunbiyi, explained that the energy hub would be officially launched on November 1, 2019 describing it as the first-of-its-kind in Nigeria, a feat that made IHS Nigeria the premier sponsor of this initiative.
“The hub will be open to everyone, but the community events, challenges, among others will be tailored only towards Energy and Environment startups. In addition to the 500-seat capacity dome, IHS Nigeria has funded the construction of an energy laboratory with equipment like transformer winder, oscilloscope and others in a bid to remove the barriers inhibiting innovation within the sector,” Ogunbiyi said.
Head, Startups, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Tosin Faniro-Dada, commended the firms for embarking on the partnership, assuring that the state government would continue to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Versecom Limited as the initiator would manage all the partners, while LASPARK as the operator of all public parks in Lagos would regulate the partnership in collaboration with LSETF. Besides, LSETF through its Lagos Innovates programme would handle community engagements through its plethora of tech-focused programmes.
IHS Nigeria as the sponsor of the construction of the hub would work with Leadspace by Passion Incubator to manage the hub and help entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses, while Cisco Nigeria would support with Wi-Fi equipment for the hub.