Abiru awards grants to constituents’ start-ups

…41 graduates from Innovation Lab

Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, chairman of the Senate Committee on Industries and senator for Lagos East, has awarded grants to start-ups in his constituency on Friday during the graduating ceremony and Demo Day of Business 101 for Creatives and Artisans participants of the Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL).

In his remarks, Abiru, a former bank CEO, stated that his foundation established the Innovation Lab in response to the country’s growing unemployment and to prepare the younger generation for the enormous opportunities available in the current fourth industrial revolution.

“When I became a senator, I knew the best way to empower young people and entrepreneurs in my constituency was to use my global exposure and experience to equip them with digital, innovative, and technological skills that are in high demand globally,” Abiru said.

“We live in an age of innovation and digitalization, and as a country, we must seize the opportunities.” Furthermore, the increased use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) demonstrates that we must adapt or risk falling behind. This is why the Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL) was established, and it is in line with the social contract I made with Lagos East voters during my campaign,” the senator also said.

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Ojoma Ochai, Managing Partner of CcHUB’s Creative Economy Practice, challenged the graduating participants to seize the vast opportunities available in the creative sector.

“I want to begin this speech by thanking Senator Abiru for his investment in developing opportunities for talent to thrive,” she said, adding that the creative sector contributes the equivalent of half of Nigeria’s GDP, accounts for about 3% of global GDP, and employs millions globally and in Nigeria.

Over 4,000 young men and women applied for the five pilot SAIL programs in the Lagos East Senatorial District’s 16 local governments or local council development areas, with only 150 chosen for the inaugural cohort. The Business 101 for Creatives and Artists class accepted 47 students.

The Co-creation Hub, SAIL’s technical partner, provided 3-month intensive business training to 41 of the 47 entrepreneurs (Cc-Hub).

Among the other programs are: Tech Talent Development, Lagos East Teachers Fellowship, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Café for Secondary School Students, and Start-up Accelerator for Businesses.

SAIL is a Tokunbo Abiru Constituency Team (TACT) Foundation initiative that trains tech enthusiasts and young entrepreneurs in relevant technology, business, and digital skills throughout the Lagos East Senatorial District.