Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has reiterated his administration's determination to tap into Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in order to develop and empower youths towards making the state a technology and innovation destination of choice for Africa and the world at large.
Akeredolu made this known in Akure during the commissioning of Akure Tech- Hub at Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
He explained that ICT had vast benefits, and recalled that many IT giants had risen from Ondo State to make great impacts in the ICT world.
"Since we came on board, one of the cardinal points of our administration's transformational agenda is to make Ondo State a technology and innovation destination of choice for Africa and the world at large.
"Many of the students at FUTA, both former and current are making great impacts on ICT. All these are indications that we have the potential and technology here with us that are needed to be developed.
"Besides, the Tech-Hub, FUTA is the first of its kind in the South Western part of Nigeria and it is my belief that it will spur a revolution in technology products and services delivery with its core focus to give the general community a facility where they can bring their ideas to life," he said.
Arakunrin Akeredolu also explained that the initiative was a tripartite project of the state government, FUTA, and Akure Tech-Up (a Non-Governmental Organization ICT-based).
"The State Government provided the initial investment and funding, FUTA provided space for the construction of the Hub and pool of talent to support the Hub, while Tech -Up provided technical and human resources required to set up the Hub," he said.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) Prof. Adesola Fuwape, said the commissioning of the Tech-Hub marked another milestone in the history of the institution particularly in the drive for technological advancement.
He explained that the hub was setup to create an avenue for the promotion of the technological innovation and for the exchange of ideas for business start-up, and expansion for youths.
Also, donor of the Tech-Hub building, Prince Rotimi Ibidapo stressed the importance of ICT in poverty alleviation towards accelerating the economic development with a view to achieving Millennium Development Goals.
The renowned Philanthropist hinted that the Tech-Hub would among others, connect Universities, Colleges, Secondary and Primary Schools as well as connect scientific and research centres with ICTs.
He added that the newly commissioned Tech-Hub would connect all local and central government departments and establishes Websites, e-mail addresses and to ensure that more than half of the world's inhabitants have access to ICT within their reach.
Ibidapo further stated that the Hub would also encourage the development of content and to put in place, technical condition in order to facilitate the presence and the use of all word languages on the internet.
The donor, who stated that lots would be achieved, if the facility can be put into proper and active use, enjoined private sectors, corporate bodies, Philanthropists and others to endeavour to complement government's efforts at developing the education sector, saying government cannot do it alone.
In his welcome address, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Ondo State Governor on ICT, Mr Olumbe Akinkugbe, described the project as a unique commitment by the government, academia and private efforts to drive the creation of social innovations to the myriad of challenges emerging and under-served communities face.
He said the Akeredolu-led administration, at inception, promised to exploit the vast potentials of Information and Communication Technology to drive the economy of the state and better the lives of residents of Ondo State.
Describing the initiative as another promise fulfilled by the Akeredolu-led administration, the SSA stated that the Tech-Hub will create a space that gives more than enough room for social innovation to thrive and provides all the necessary human, technical and capital resources as well as a greatly conducive environment for testing and nesting innovation.
Akinkugbe added that the startups have been keenly selected through a highly contested pitch competition, with full government and academic research backing.