Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State paid a surprise visit to attendees at the Ekiti Tech Hangout on Tuesday, 18 April 2023.
The event, held at the Asha Garden in Ado Ekiti, was organised by young players in the Ekiti Innovation Ecosystem, a network of young entrepreneurs in Ekiti State. The network, launched in 2022, aims to improve entrepreneurial youths’ skills and capacities and strengthen value chains and innovation that lead to more job creation.
The event began at 4 pm and was anchored by the Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Governance, Reforms and Innovations, Seun Fakuade. The event drew many techies and creatives from all across the state and neighbouring institutions. The event was the second edition of the Ekiti Tech Hangout, with the first taking place in February.
Mr Fakuade urged every youth and tech hub in the state to get involved in the Ekiti Innovation Ecosystem. He noted that opportunities abound for those in the network to keep abreast with the latest developments in the tech industry.
While he was yet speaking, Governor Oyebanji walked into the event at about 5 pm. Amidst the attendees’ excitement, Mr Fakuade introduced the governor, who gave a speech.
In his speech, the governor emphasised his commitment to supporting the youths of Ekiti State to showcase their talents.
He said, “I will make sure I support all Ekiti Youths by equipping them with all it takes to succeed.”
The event’s attendees also discussed the new Free Trade Zone (FTZ) status of Ekiti State and the importance of the Knowledge Zone to the ecosystem.
Recall that earlier in April 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a Free Trade Zone status for the Ekiti Knowledge Zone. This approval was due to the request of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo seeking a free zone status for the Ekiti Knowledge Zone.
The status was approved via a letter addressed to the Minister and signed by the President’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. The FTZ is meant to boost the state’s economy and help sporadically increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and reduce dependence on the Federal allocation.
As a result of the approval, the governor urged youths to use the opportunity to develop their talents and skills.
“More inventors will be coming into the state to establish industries for which they will need your skills, so I urge you to use this opportunity to equip your skill,” he said.
After the governor’s speech, attendees were allowed to ask him questions.
A lady, Mopelola Akinwunmi, asked the governor about the status of the State Civic Centre. She also advised the government to monetise the facility to serve as a source of revenue generation.
In response to Mopelola’s advice, the governor said that the Civic Center is in proper shape and that the committee in charge of the facility would look into her advice.
The attendees took pictures with the governor, who then left the event.
Mr Fakuade then took the event’s last round by addressing the attendees’ questions.
One of the questions addressed is the issue of the lack of electricity and internet at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE).
He said, “I promise to provide internet Starlink facilities if there are facilities to be used as hubs in EKSU and FUOYE.”
He also said that Ekiti State Government is working on improving the electricity supply to both campuses.
The visit of Governor Biodun Oyebanji to the Ekiti Tech Hangout stresses his commitment to promoting innovation and supporting the youths in Ekiti State.
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