The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Tuesday in Lagos commissioned the UNICORN Incubation Campus, reputed to be Africa’s largest incubation campus, with the mission to prepare and equip Nigerian youths in the application of science, technology, and innovation to create home-grown business solutions to everyday problems in the different sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Sylva lauded the company for investing in youth development and skill acquisition as opposed to other sectors of the economy that would probably yield higher return on investments.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, also hailed the launch of UNICORN Incubation Campus and promised Board’s partnership to further channel the creativity and energy of Nigerian youths to promote peace, development, and excellence.
Wabote noted that the provision of the world-class 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.
He said: “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.”
The Executive Secretary remarked that the key mandates of the Board under the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act is 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.
Wabote 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 4th 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.
Recalling some of the Board’s achievements and intervention programs, especially in capacity building and Human Capacity Development, he assured that there is room to do more from stakeholders in the public and private sectors.