From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state has lauded indigenes of Offa in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara state in the self help developmental strides geared towards lifting the people, particularly the youths out of the stricken poverty and unemployment ravaging Nigeria and the world at large.
The Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Hajia Mopelola AbdulRahman, spoke at the launch of ‘ONE Innovation Hub’ by Offa community in Offa over the weekend, adding that the move is a great complement to the Ilorin Innovation Hub under construction by his administration meant to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.
AbdulRazaq, who admonished Offa people not to rest on their oars, urged other communities to take a cue from this noble deed by also partnering with government, knowing full well that it is pretty difficult for government alone to meet all the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.
In his speech, National President, Offa Descendants’ Union, Dr. Funsho Oladipo, said the Multi Sectoral Industrial Park comprises five Production Zones, including an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub,to cater for entrepreneurs who would be engaged in the processing of agricultural products, solid minerals, production of polymer-based products and Creative Industry Ventures, adding that the ‘ONE Innovation Hub’ being launched is the first section of the Industrial Park.
He said: “The Industrial Hub when completed will lead to the general economic transformation of Offa and its environs which will uplift the living standard of the inhabitants, and also turn Offa into a ‘Smart City’ that will bring huge benefits to all and sundry.
“It will also equip our youths with digital skills required to work, operate and thrive in the rapidly advancing industrial revolution; it will inculcate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) into the pupils of Primary and Secondary Schools, thereby leading to the production of Techpreneurs and ICT gurus.”
Dr. Oladipo has therefore admonished the youths and the young at heart to key into the ‘ONE Innovation Hub’, saying “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop.”
On his part, Dr. Waheed Olagunju, former Acting Managing Director/CEO of Bank of Industry, who is the Chairman, Project Implementation Committee of ‘One Innovation Hub’, rued the involvement of youths in crimes and criminality, particularly cybercrime, saying the ‘One Innovation Hub’ offers countless opportunities, not only for the youths but also all and sundry, to bring them out of poverty, using their natural talents and innovations to earn money and become employers of labour.
He said: “This ONE Innovation Hub is a world class project that offers countless opportunities that will help beneficiaries to create jobs for themselves and others and lift them out of poverty.
“The federal government promised to lift about 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, so this Hub will complement that as many people are bound to be so lifted at the end of the day, aside being a veritable tool to turn the minds of the susceptible teeming youths off crimes by trying to earn income with their natural talents, brains and innovations.
“For economic diversification, ICT is the new oil; a great opportunity our youths cannot afford to lose and be frittered away.”