By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, April 22, 2021 Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BOI), has described technology as a panacea to solving some of Nigeria’s problems especially youth unemployment.
Pitan made the assertion on Thursday at the inauguration of BOI-UNILAG Incubation and Co-Working Hub, located at the Faculty of Social Sciences Premises of University of Lagos, Akoka.
“Tech can help solve some of Nigeria’s social problems particularly youth unemployment which has been further exacerbated by the pandemic.
“At the Bank of Industry, we believe that corporate organisations that are privileged to be in business at these difficult times need to bring groups of likeminded young individuals together to help create wealth and prosperity for future generations.
“Embracing tech and infusing it into business processes will make organisations and the country more competitive.
“And, I dare say, make our people happier through the delivery of better, higher-quality services from both the public and private sectors.
“The tech industry can be a major pillar of a diversified economy.
“ It can create exciting jobs that encourage our young people to stay in Nigeria even as they work and compete globally.’’
According to Pitan, BOI opened two tech hubs in 2019, in the states of Lagos and Bayelsa.
“Two additional hubs have been completed in Kaduna and Kebbi.
“The bank is committed to developing similar programmes in many other institutions of learning and states across the country.
“The bank will also provide funding to support credible and bankable ideas that emerge from the tech hubs to enable them start operations and scale into viable businesses.
“At the Bank of Industry, we believe that with the collective will of our young people’s positive passion, the right government policies, mentorship, and private capital, this can become a reality in a short period,” he said.
On the BOI-UNILAG Incubation and Co-Working Hub, Pitan said that the bank was sponsoring the hub in recognition of the talented students within the university.
He said there was the need to channel the talents to more productive and impactful ends, rather than social vices like Internet fraud.
“The overall objective is to ensure that the bank’s corporate social responsibility investments generate better benefits for the country.
“We believe a hub like this gives young people the opportunity to create legitimate wealth while adding their own quota to the economic development of Lagos State, and Nigeria as a whole.
“Creative spaces like these are filling a crucial gap in the tech and startup industry.
Hackathons and other competitions to identify tech solutions for social and business problems are born and developed,’’ Pitan said.