Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is evolving and the emergence of innovation hubs across the country, has, somewhat, transformed the way tech enthusiasts are viewed. Innovation hubs, have gradually, become an interesting trend, with software development companies, providing solutions in critical sectors of the economy
Yabacon, coined from Yaba area of Lagos State, appears to have the largest cluster and is believed to be Nigeria’s Silicon Valley. Many technology-minded people find their way there, to collectively brainstorm on how to position the country, in the age of innovation.
This is not to say that, other regions of the country have not made improvements in this area and can be seen in the number of hubs in the South West, South South, South East and the Northern region. Today, there are several innovation hubs and even, the government is trying to key I, into the technological advancement. Tech hubs are a vital part of the start-ups ecosystem and they provide an opportunity for collaborations and support, for the growth of greenhorn entrepreneurs.
I recently had Ibukun Obe, Founder, Premier Hub, on the interview seat on Tech Trends on Channels Television and he shares the opportunities and challenges in the space.
CFA: What is Nigeria’s current standing, as regards innovation?
Ibukun: According to the Global Innovation Index of different countries, Nigeria ranks 114, in the world. Last year, Nigeria was 88, in the world, so, there has been a decline from 88 to 114, with the population of over 200 million people, if you look at the countries that ranked very high on the innovation index, where we have countries like, Sweden and Switzerland, with an estimated population of 10 million people, that is, even, below the population of Lagos State.
Those are the vital statistics that, we need to pin down. What are the things that drive innovation in countries? Government and fiscal policies, education policies and creating an innovative environment. Those are the things that the government should be pinned down in order to achieve innovation, in any country, so, I think we still have a lot to do.
CFA: How prepared is Nigeria, for the fourth industrial revolution?
Ibukun: The fourth industrial revolution is, about Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Robotics. I think, the government has a lot to do, when it comes to educational policy, but the private sector engagement with a lot of companies and innovation hubs around and building a lot of programs, around technology, STEM education, can, actually shape the youths, for the future, when it comes to technological innovations.
I think the government needs to engage the policies, through Parastatals, that can, actually, drive innovation, or drive the citizens, to harness technological innovations, in those direction.
You can watch the full interview here