The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Tejumola Abisoye, has said the agency continues to enjoy the full backing of the Lagos State Government, describing the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the agency’s biggest cheerleader.

She said this on Tuesday when the Governor and several members of his Executive council visited two Lagos Innovates Partner hubs. The hubs visited include the Venia Business Hub in Lekki and the Impact Hub Lagos in Ikoyi.

Abisoye said the LSETF provides support to over 38 partner hubs across the State, adding that the goal is to support startups from idea to exit stages.

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“Through Startups (Lagos Innovates), which is an initiative of LSETF, we are supporting the technology ecosystem in Lagos State,” she said. “We help the very best founders and startups through our various programs like the Lagos Innovates Idea Hub: a 12-week incubation program to support very early-stage tech-enabled ventures with relevant skills, networking opportunities, and mentorship from seasoned industry experts to achieve a minimum viable product. Over 20 startups have been supported so far. We also have the Workspace Vouchers that supports the highest potential founders and/or startups in Lagos State at the very early stages of their ventures (ideation to very early revenue) by facilitating access to well-equipped coworking spaces. Through this initiative, over 150 vouchers have been issued to date.

“Then, there is the Talent Development program which supports capacity development by facilitating access to tech-focused entrepreneurship content and programming. 59 young tech experts have been trained so far.

“I want to say clearly that none of these achievements would have seen the light of day if we didn’t have the full confidence and backing of the Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He is our biggest cheerleader and we are glad to serve at his pleasure.”

The Governor described technology as “the new oil” that could exponentially generate wealth and jobs for Lagos residents.

He said: “Technology is the new oil and the basic element for the Fourth Industrial Revolution globally. As a State with a massive population of young people, we need to play a major role in the development of technology, which is an enabler to leapfrog into rapid socio-economic growth. We take technology as an important deliverable in our Government’s development agenda.

“For us to make a lasting impact in the tech industry, we said to ourselves we needed to build the infrastructure to support the sector. We are building a tech campus on a 22,000 square meters land in Yaba, which we christen K.I.T.E. We are working with global brands in the technology space, such as Facebook and Google, to deliver this important technology hub.

“We are currently laying 3,000 kilometres metropolitan fibre optic cables across the State to drop reliable and fast Internet connectivity in schools, hospitals, and other key locations. These are part of the infrastructure required as the backbone for the technology industry to flourish and empower our young people in the space and take their businesses and ideas to the level of stability.”

Six startups got the chance to pitch their ideas directly to the Governor at both hubs: CutStruct Technology at Venia, while Uwana Energy, Gas Monkey, 1421 Media, Gricd and Agro Husk pitched at the Impact Hub Lagos.

In her closing remarks, Mrs. Tejumola Abisoye appreciated the Governor for taking the time to engage with the stakeholders in the Tech Ecosystem. She said that the visit was an expression of the government’s commitment to the Technology aspect of the THEMES agenda of the administration.

“These interactions would give you the opportunity of understanding areas to further support and collaborate with these stakeholders especially in making Lagos a digital hub,” she said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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