… To Spotlight Innovation Champions 

The Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) has organised its maiden edition of its Science Fair in Ikeja, with the theme: “Lagos in 2050: Imagine the Future”, designed to spur students in Secondary Schools and Higher Institutions in Lagos to conceptualise research and innovation solutions for the future. 

In his address at the event, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm, stated that the Fair will be spotlighting several innovation champions in the State in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda to employ science and technology in all activities towards improving the quality of life of Lagosians and transforming Lagos through strategic and coordinated utilisation of available resources into a developed industrial and modern state. 

According to him, LASRIC is an autonomous council under the Ministry of Science and Technology saddled with the task of harnessing Science, Research and Innovation in Lagos for the attainment of its 21st-Century status. 

Noting that technological infrastructures and strategic innovation play the most critical role in the execution of the state government developmental agenda, Fahm said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is, therefore, committed to improving the provision of adequate infrastructure to fast-track the smart city project in order to optimise the limitless opportunities of a fully digitalised economy. 

He added that the government’s ongoing unified fibre project involved the installation of both fibre cables and the infrastructure (fibre ducts) across the State so that companies and organisations can latch on in order to expand their network. 

“We plan to connect the fibre optic cables to all our public schools and institutions of learning, health centres and all government offices and parastatals”, he added. 

The Commissioner said to achieve a 21st Century Economy requires technology, especially the availability of efficient and reliable internet service. 

Fahm also disclosed that the planned Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (KiTE) ICT Hub project of the State Government, designed to provide an enabling environment for the development of a technology cluster, will contribute significantly to Nigeria’s economy and position Lagos as the hub for innovation in Nigeria, as well as the preferred technology destination. The first project will start at Yaba and later extend to other divisions like Ikorodu and Badagry. 

In his presentation, the Special Adviser on innovation and Technology to the Governor, Mr. Olatubosun Alake said LASRIC Science Fair is an exhibition of tech-enabled solutions built by Students that will power the lifestyle of people living in Lagos by 2050. 

Maintaining that the fair is aimed at showcasing the ingenuity of the students and for the deepening of science and technology in public schools, Alake said LASRIC is committed to giving opportunities to students to translate what they have learned in the classrooms into material value. 

The Special Adviser said since January 2020 to date, the Council has funded over 65 Innovative Start-Ups and over 70 Research and Development projects across four higher institutions in the State. In addition, over 100 jobs have been created across different companies, some of which have expanded to other cities such as Abuja and Port Harcourt. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of LASRIC, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe said that Lagos State is the only State in Nigeria that has such a platform to fund science and innovation research. 

Appreciating Mr. Governor for always increasing the funds annually and ensuring that every project funded is well implemented, Ogundipe explained that the State Government has been supporting the programme with funds to promote agriculture, commerce and financial management in schools as several STEM projects have been funded based on the support from the State Government. 

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, who is also the Secretary of LASRIC, Engr. Ibilola Kasunmu, remarked that students have exhibited their brilliant innovations at the fair, adding that the LASRIC Science Fair is definite proof that there is no shortage of talent among youngsters in Lagos State. 

The maiden edition of the fair attracted over 500 participants and many more online. LASRIC is challenging the students in Tertiary Institutions and Secondary Schools to imagine their own city of the future and design projects that will power it. 

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