BOI tackles youth unemployment with tech hubs
Worried about the high level of youth unemployment currently at 33.3 percent, the Bank of Industry (BOI) has announced plans to establish tech hubs to address youth unemployment in the country.
Specifically, the bank stated it would be sponsoring tech hubs in recognition of the talented youths in universities and the need to channel youths to more productive and impactful ends, rather than social vices like internet fraud.
Managing director, BOI, Olukayode Pitan, stated this at the Boi-unilag Incubation and Co-working hub commissioning at the University of Lagos.
According to Pitan, BOI remains committed to providing funding to support credible and bankable ideas that emerge from the tech hubs to enable them start operations and scale into viable businesses.
He stated that embracing technology and infusing it into business processes will make organisations and the country more competitive while adding that the tech industry can be a major pillar of a diversified economy.
“It can create exciting jobs that encourage our young people to stay in Nigeria even as they work and compete globally,” he said.
“BOI is happy to support this programme because it aligns with our mission to transform Nigeria’s industrial sector by providing financial and business support services so that new businesses will emerge and existing enterprise will thrive,” he said.
He noted that the overall objective is to ensure that the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) investments generate better benefits for the country, stressing that a hub like this gives young people the opportunity to create legitimate wealth while adding their own quota to economic development of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
“Creating spaces like these are filling a crucial gap in the tech and startup industry. Hackathons and other competitions to identify tech solutions for social and business problems are born and developed in such places,” he said.
He added that tech can help solve some of Nigeria’s social problems particularly youth unemployment which has been further exacerbated by the pandemic.
Also speaking, the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the institution was proud to support the establishment of the tech-hubs as it would greatly reduce the level of youth unemployment in the country.