Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Hon. Emmanuel Usoh, has said that the Edo Innovation Hub which will be commissioned by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was initiated by Governor Godwin Obaseki to upskill youths, stimulate tech-focused small businesses and curb human trafficking and illegal migration.
Usoh, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, noted that the innovation hub will stimulate the thriving tech ecosystem in the state, as the state is collaborating with relevant agencies and organisations to establish standard and state-of-the-art hubs to enhance innovation and bridge the digital divide in the state.
He added that all is set for the launch of the hub, which will be done during the Vice President’s visit, noting that the collaboration between the Federal and Edo State governments was instrumental in the setting up the hub.
He said, “The hub will offer youths who are interested in travelling abroad for jobs, opportunities to acquire up-to-date skills in technology. The training programme will be as intense as obtainable in similar hubs across the world, as we are partnering with global companies in setting up the facility. International certifications will be obtainable at the hub.
While explaining that the necessary facilities and partnerships for the realisation of the hub’s mission are already in place, Usoh said “The centre will accommodate over 25 technology companies, including Google Cisco, Miscrosoft and Oracle. It would be used by the state government to address the crisis of unemployment.”
He explained, “The centre will offer youths unique opportunities to discover their talents in the use of technology and improve these skills and promote innovation.
He added that the innovation hub would also serve as a training facility for small business owners on how to leverage digital solutions to transform their businesses, noting, “Individuals and groups who own small businesses in the state and intend to transform their businesses in line with global standards can acquire innovative skills at the hub.”
According to him, “Edo State intends to become a case study in Nigeria on how public facilities can be transformed for effective use. This is why the governor refurbished the former Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) into an innovation hub. The world has become a global village, where technology is key in transforming the society for the better. That is the direction this government is going.”
On the fate of staff of the former ICE, Usoh said, “The staff who are interested in working at the innovation hub have been asked to apply and would be engaged.
Those whose skills are no longer required at the hub would be transferred to other government agencies where their services can fit in.”