According to Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa, the Director of NitHub and a Senior Lecturer at the Computer Science Department of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), the majority of innovative ideas emerging in Nigeria are concentrated solely within the boundaries of Lagos State and Abuja, neglecting the countless other regions of the country. During the FSI Innovation Showcase Contest that was held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Odumuyiwa shared his perspective on January 13, 2024.
He acknowledged the efforts of ICT stakeholders in Nigeria who have fervently arranged forums and contests to promote innovation. However, Odumuyiwa highlighted the drawback that these initiatives often remain confined to urban areas, thereby limiting their overall impact. According to the academic instructor, fostering innovation among the youth nationwide is the sole solution Nigeria can pursue in order to address its myriad of challenges. The lecturer emphasized that a significant portion of Nigerians residing outside urban centres are currently deprived of the transformative advancements taking place in the nation.
Culture of innovation amongst the younger generation.
In accordance with Odumuyiwa’s statement, it is crucial for stakeholders to go beyond focusing solely on major cities and instead, prioritize the expansion of innovative programs. To overcome the challenges in the country, it is essential to persistently foster a culture of innovation amongst the younger generation. While NitHub has made commendable efforts through various platforms, it is crucial to acknowledge that this alone falls short considering the enormous population of 200 million citizens in the nation.”
All their efforts have solely impacted Lagos and Abuja, only two cities within Nigeria. But what about venturing into the rural areas? There lies a multitude of young individuals in the northern region who are devoid of any educational opportunities, let alone fostering innovation. They are yet to experience the empowerment of education that could ignite their innovative potential. Therefore, Nithub must strive to exceed their current endeavours and extend their reach. Odumuyiwa emphasized some key endeavours undertaken by the institution, stating that the University of Lagos aspires to become a centre for innovation.
An innovation office that oversees registration of intellectual property.
Furthermore, in pursuit of this objective, the university has established a variety of on-campus platforms dedicated to nurturing and fostering innovation. Additionally, the company has established an innovation office responsible for overseeing the registration of intellectual property. They have developed a comprehensive ecosystem centered on fostering talent enhancement, product development, and the incubation of solutions. This parallels the objectives of FSI, as they aim to promote the creation of high-quality products and provide support for their expansion.
It was mentioned by him that such encouragement has the potential to inspire not just students, but also individuals from outside sources, to develop innovative solutions capable of resolving societal challenges in Nigeria as a whole, he stated. Odumuyiwa emphasized that numerous students at the school have developed an unprecedented comprehension of the significance behind initiating actions. It enables them to think beyond mere academic achievements, like receiving commendable grades and obtaining a degree, towards crafting innovative solutions.
FG to ensure establishment of a conducive ecosystem.
These innovative measures have stimulated a paradigm shift in their perspectives, encouraging the students to seek purposeful endeavours as undergraduates rather than solely pursuing a job after graduation. He pointed out the increasing digitization of the world and emphasized the necessity for the Nigerian government to ensure establishment of a conducive ecosystem that fosters the growth of local industries in the field of digital technologies while also ensuring the reduction of the dependence on technology imports.