Lagos presents N250m seed cheque for tech startups

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As part of plans to make Lagos State a hub for innovation and technology, Lagos State Governor on Friday, presented a seed fund of Two Hundred and Fifty Million naira to Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC).

LASRIC is a Lagos State institution in charge of research with the responsibility of boosting innovation and technology in the State. It presently has a 16-Man team headed by the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Professor Toyin Ogundipe.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during the presentation of the cheque at the Government House in Alausa, charged the committee to ensure that the criteria to access the fund is flexible enough for Lagosians to benefit from.

The Governor stated that: “For us, it is to put action in what we believe in. When you make pronouncements as a government, you must put them to action. I don’t want very stringent conditions that will not make people benefit from this fund. In the next six months, let us begin to see a litmus test that people have been supported through this fund.

“We can’t do it alone, ours is just a SEED fund. Some of you have access to international donors and partners that will want to see the level of our seriousness and commitment; I want us to put in serious effort so that others will be willing to support us.

“We need innovative solutions. We can think global but we have to act local. Let us think about solutions that are peculiar to us as Lagosians and Nigerians and you will be amazed that we have great skills that lack people to bring them out.”

Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Council, Professor Toyin Ogundipe, noted that the institution will partner with several non-governmental organisations for the benefit of Lagos State.

He said: “Any country that is doing well, there is research backing it up. What we are doing today is to refocus concerning Lagos State. What we have done is around the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda that the Governor has for Lagos State for the pronouncement to be very clear. We are going to make sure that we promote STEM in primary and secondary school level for a start.

“We want to get the database of all researchers in Lagos, not only in higher institutions but in companies and other organisations in Lagos. We are going to have a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between the institution and the companies and it will attend to the needs of Lagos State.”

The event was attended by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr. Hakeem Fahm; Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology, Mr Tunbosun Alake.

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