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Ilorin Innovation Hub; Economic Impacts And Hope Of Kwara Youths

By Olufemi Oguntokun

Like other countries of the world such as United States of America, China, India and Hungary that keyed into Information Communication Technology (ICT) Kwara State is about to place itself on the global map as a new destination in ICT industry to solve problems of the world.

For economy diversification, ICT is the new oil an opportunity kwara state cannot afford to lose and it is a tool to change the minds of the susceptible youths off crimes to earn income with their natural talents and innovations.

Nigeria youths have been blacklisted all over the world because of their involvement in cybercrime, an act that dent the image of the country and discourage foreign investment. Meanwhile, deep inside every Nigerian, there is a deposit of brilliant ideas which need to be extracted. All an average youth need is a platform to channel their skills on things that will make the world a better place and make money.

According to research, 40% of youths attempt cybercrime every day in Nigeria.

The peril of youth involvement in various crimes especially on the internet is alarming which need to be addressed.

There is no better time to create a platform where youths can meet to brainstorm, generate ideas and solve societal problems using technology.

Ilorin Innovation Hub is an initiative of Kwara State Government led by Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to upgrade the skill level, create employment, and export talents to other countries of the world.

It is a known fact that there is a shortage of technological skills in the world in areas of life such as health, agriculture, education, finance etc and with the establishment of the Hub, most of pertinent issues making productivity and provision of essential services difficult will become easy using technology.

The Kwara State Governor, appointed a renowned ICT expert, Mr Temi Kolawole as the Managing Director of Ilorin Innovation Hub to structure the program and ensure its sustainability with objectives of training kwara youths and using technology to solve local problems in the State and as well provide solutions to the world.

It is a challenge for Kwara talents to link up with other professionals across the world, the Hub will be an avenue to bridge the gap between the talents, clients and their counterparts across the world working in a conducive environment free of charge.

There are two responsibilities of Ilorin Innovation Hub; Learning and Entrepreneurship.

In this regard, curriculum have been designed to train future technologists from primary school to tertiary level in courses such as; programming, web design, artificial Intelligence, software marketing, etc. Ilorin Innovation Hub plan to affiliate it course to higher institutions in the State and beyond which will be basically on practical.
Ilorin innovation hub will not only be a tech centre, it will be an avenue for mentorship and entrepreneurship centre where students will be taught how to make money through freelancing, software marketing, setting up a business which would create about 5,000 jobs annually and boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Recently, Ilorin Innovation Hub launched a technology network called at University of Ilorin which have registered over 600 young tech gurus in kwara state for internship programs for students to gain experiences before graduating from school.

Also, the programs at Ilorin Innovation Hub have been designed to accommodate people without ICT background to explore the opportunities in technology industry.

The government of Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq from its inception has focused on youths development through entrepreneurship and giving startup loan to shift kwara state from civil servants’ State to a state of commerce, industry and technology.

With the efforts of the Governor, Kwara youths’ hope has risen in job opportunities and wealth creation, and hopefully kwara youths will be celebrated globally through the Ilorin Innovation Hub platform for building technology that will a top- notch in the industry.

The edifice of Ilorin Innovation Hub will be the talk of the world when completed and expectantly, in the next few years kwara state will be a tech destination of the world and attract foreign investors to other sectors of the economy.

Olufemi Oguntokun is a New Media Publisher.

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