The partnership between the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Bank of Industry (BoI) has yielded positive result with the donation of N50million Incubation and Working Hub for students and staff of the institution.
The fully equipped incubation and working hub with the state-of-the-art facilities was commissioned by officials of the bank alongside the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and senior management staff.
Speaking at the commissioning of the hub, UNILAG VC, Prof. Ogundipe, said two years ago, the university management asked BoI for support to empower students, adding ‘’our vision is that before our students graduate, they would have acquired skills and create jobs. We have a target that our students will create 500 jobs.’’
Ogundipe described the incubation and working hub as a unique project and the first of its kind in any tertiary institution. He said the fund from BoI was judiciously used for the hub and asked for more support from the bank.
His words: ‘’Our vision is to turn UNILAG to innovation hub. We looked at our location and decided to come up with a hub. We are located around Yaba and the area is a commercial hub and we hope to service the businesses located there.
According to him, the bank has supported UNILAG to make history with the provision of the incubation and working hub which would be beneficiary to students and staff.
The VC also appealed to the bank to assist indigent students with virtual learning facilities, stating ‘’we are running online exams and did Post UTME recently. When we started virtual lectures, the first day, over 17,000 students connected and we had to expand the facilities.’’
The VC stressed that virtual learning has come to stay and pledged to improve on the facilities, noting ‘’we are going to equip our indignant students with Laptop. We have about 1,200 indigent students.’’
The MD/CEO of Bank of Industry, Mr. Pitan, said the hub is based on collaboration between UNILAG and BoI. He explained that students would be exposed to entrepreneurship skills.
Earlier, the Director of Entrepreneurship Skills and Development Centre (ESDC), Dr. Sunday Adebisi, said the VC has been driving him and the team hard to ensure the success of the hub.
He said UNILAG graduates 13,000 every year and hoped they would benefit from the incubation hub and revealed that the hub would create job opportunities, stressing ‘’The entrepreneurship of UNILAG will turn things around.’’
“If BoI can replicate this in other universities, youths unemployment will be a thing of the past. Nigerian universities graduate about three million every year. In Nigeria, 42million youths are unemployed out of over 150million Nigerians.’’ (Vanguardngr)