The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Bank of Industry (BOI) commissioned a newly established innovation hub worth over N100million in Ebute Metta of Lagos State on Tuesday, May 24.
Comfort Olu Eyitayo, the 57th president of ICAN in her address said the institute sought collaboration with BOI as part of ICAN’s overall strategy for building the digital and entrepreneurial skills and competencies of its members and the public.
According to Eyitayo, “The hub would help the institute, its members, and the participating public to leverage the growing community of tech and innovation talent for delivering new accounting and business-related digital products and services to Nigerians and possibly the world at large.”
The ICAN boss furthermore explained the aims of establishing the 250-seat capacity tech hub at the institute’s annex office in Ebute Metta.
“Some of the primary objectives of establishing the hub are to train members and the public in the areas of software development, digital skills, and entrepreneurial skills; incubate start-ups, refer start-ups to potential angel investors, venture capitalists, etc; build a network of trained techpreneurs, and mentor start-ups into sustainable and successful companies,” she said.
Moreover, she disclosed that the commissioning of the hub is a further manifestation of the ICAN’s resolve to continue to produce future-ready chartered accountants who would apply technology in providing top-notch services to the public.
“The hub would also benefit the public and serve as a platform for crystalising digital ideas into marketable products, especially for the teeming young population,” Eyitayo stated.
Olukayode Pitan, the managing director of BOI in his keynote address said the technology hub is one project the bank is particularly proud of given the increasing importance of technology development and youth employment.
“Technology plays an increasingly dominant role in many professions today by transforming the way businesses operate, resulting in improved efficiency, cost savings, and simplified processes.
“Accountancy is one of such professions, and in recognition of this ICAN-BOI has collaborated to berth the tech hub,” he said.
Pitan pointed out that the tech hub was set up to ensure that the members of ICAN and the entire general public can access the necessary skills and competencies required to become job creators and productive contributors in today’s tech world.
Razak Jaiyeola, the special guest of honour at the commissioning of the ICAN-BOI innovation hub in his speech explained that the digital era has brought a fundamental shift in the global economy, pushing the limits of innovation and redefining the boundaries of global trade, hence the need for such a hub.
“Innovations have never been faster-paced, more widespread, or scaled up to more quickly, creating billion-dollar ‘unicorns’.
“Over the last 15years, the ICT sector as a backdrop to innovation and digital advances has seen its share grow from just 1.3percent of the global economy to 3percent, and it is set to grow even more,” he said.
Jaiyeola reiterated that nations that nurture a digital and innovation-based culture have pioneered the global shift towards knowledge-based industries and have enjoyed extraordinary wealth, and job creation while transforming the way people live and do business.
“This shift is made possible by substantial tech entrepreneurship activity within a supportive environment that includes both government and private sector contributions.
“Establishing high impact tech entrepreneurship as a sustainable source of employment is especially critical for nations with young populations, such as Nigeria with over 70percent of its population below 35 years, unarguably, there is the need for new sources of job creation,” Jaiyeola said.
Ahmed Kumshe, the registrar of ICAN who kicked off the event with his welcome address expressed his heartfelt joy to see the project become a reality.
“It gives me great pressure to welcome you all to the ICAN-BOI innovation + hub commissioning,” he said.
An award was given to Olukayode Pitan by ICAN for his role in driving tech knowledge in the country and sub-Sahara Africa.