Technology:  FG to set up policy advisory council


In its bid to shore up its support and enlarge the growth of technology startups in Nigeria, the Federal Government will soon set up a Creativity & Technology Advisory Council, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Prof. Osinbajo disclosed this today while interacting with young innovators during his visit to Ventures Park, Abuja – one of the innovation hubs the Federal Government is collaborating to provide in support for startups in the country.

He stated that the council will comprise representatives from startups, those who encourage startups and also people in the creative arts and the entertainment industry.

The Vice President added that the council would function the same way as the Industrial and Competitiveness Advisory Council especially in the area of creativity and innovation policy formulation and related issues.

According to him while speaking with the innovators, “what we are trying to do now is to set up a creativity and technology advisory council which will take on people who are like yourself; who are startups; those who encourage startups; and also people in the creative arts and the entertainment industry.”

Speaking on the rationale behind the establishment of the advisory council, Prof. Osinbajo said, “we intend to also shape policy because some of the policies that need to make this environment friendlier and make the environment more interesting for those who are into innovation have to be developed by those who are actually doing the work.”

The Vice President said the idea of supporting the activities of technology startups was long overdue, noting that “there is a revolution that has gone completely unnoticed.”

He said even “here today, I have come across so many different innovations, so many creative ideas. And just listening to three here now, it’s incredible – from the Bee-farmer to the Policy engine and the forensic man, it is simply incredible.”

The VP was informed about honey production adopting innovations in technology without the risk of being stung by bees; a digital platform on public policies which makes policies available to consumers; and the forensic tech start-up that can track activities including conversations of insurgents and other armed groups.

The Vice President urged operators of innovation hubs to make efforts in scaling up the number of startups supported in the country, assuring them of government’s continuous support in the area of policy and funding.

“There is a need not just to encourage those who are working, who have all these ideas but the other people and several others out there.

“I think we can include more people and of course that would involve us putting a bit more resources. But it very important that we bring in as many people as possible,” the Vice President said.

Prof Osinbajo who also took a tour of facilities at the hub, commended the management of the hub, noting that “there is so much innovation, so much creativity,” adding that “the country is growing in leaps and bounds”.

He expressed optimism that with the efforts of young technology entrepreneurs, “there will be a great improvement in not just agricultural methods but also in investments in agriculture.”

The Vice President was accompanied on the visit by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu and other top officials of government.