The Lagos State Government, an enterprise technology company, Versecom, and an independent mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider, IHS Nigeria, have joined forces to set up a 700 capacity hub and laboratory for technology-based startups in the state.
They explained multipurpose energy and environment hub would tackle the problem of access to office spaces by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as freelancers across the state and that such hub which provide access to all needed infrastructures would further bring out the best in startups and boost the economy.
The General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Adetoun Popoola, who congratulated Versecom Limited and IHS Nigeria for successfully completing the project in spite of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses across the world, noted the companies partnership with the state government would further ensure the THEMES agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration was achieved.
Speaking during the launch of the Hub at Rafiu Jafojo Park Egbeda, Popoola explained that the decision to approve the use of the space and partner with Versecom Limited was an easy one as their passion to use technology to create socially impactful products and business solutions to promote innovation was sevident.
The general manager stated that the partnership was in line with LASPARK’s mandate to promote recreation and social development and was a testament Sanwoolu’s commitment to a Greater Lagos adding that the agency was open to exploring private sector-driven investments and partnerships to accelerate economic growth that would benefit residents of the state.
Furthermore, Popoola acknowledged the support and guidance from the community leaders while expressing her sincere optimism that the community would make good use of the space for both recreational and technology-related activities.
On her part, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Tejumola Abisoye, expressed her full support and endorsement for the project, encouraging entrepreneurs to take advantage of the various initiatives and platforms put together by the agency to support early-stage startup business persons adding that LSETF provides intensive incubation and digital mentorship required to help them refine their ideas.
The Chief Corporate Services Officer, IHS Nigeria, Dapo Otunla, expressed his organization’s continued commitment to work with communities and relevant stakeholders to address pressing environmental challenges, saying that IHS supported the development of the energy and environment hub which was in tandem with the organisation’s sustainability pillars.
Also, a co-founder of Versecom Limited, Timilehin Odusina, said that users of the 700-capacity hub would have access to high-speed internet, constant electricity, tech-focused programs, capacity building and community events tailored specifically towards energy and environment startups adding that a laboratory was available within the hub to accommodate researchers in a bid to remove the barriers inhibiting innovation within the tech space.
While declaring the Hub open, the Special Adviser to Sanwo-Olu on Innovation and Technology, Tubosun Alake, challenged young people within the energy and environment sector to come up with viable solutions to real problems.
He urged tech. entrepreneurs in the state to take full advantage of critical resources and funding made available by the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) by presenting fund-ready and scalable innovations with the capacity to deliver intrinsic economic and civic value to the state.