The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the government is investing hugely in developing durable digital infrastructure and the manpower to place the state as the hub for technology and innovation in Africa.
Obaseki said this while declaring open a four-day Edo Innovate Tech Conference, with the theme, “Innovation, solution and talent: driving the economy of the future,” taking place at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Hub, Benin City.
The governor at the event restated the government’s commitment to youth development, leveraging technology to drive the state’s economy, calling for further investments in the Edo Tech Park to realize the administration’s vision for the tech sector.
He said, “We will continue to invest in our youths to help us drive our technological process and reposition our state among the technological giants in the world.
“Today in our world, technology remains the core of our transformation agenda as a government. We will continue to emphasize youth development because they are the ones who will help us lift our economy. Our goal is to make Edo a truly smart state.”
Obaseki added, “When I got into office about six years ago, I promised 200,000 jobs. We have since surpassed that by deploying technology. In doing this, we have ushered our young ones into a new future of work.”
Describing the theme of the tech conference as apt, the governor noted, “We have created the ecosystem that will sustain technology in Edo State and Nigeria. The technology ecosystem in Edo State is supported by very durable digital infrastructure. Today, we have approximately 1,200km of fiber optics connection around the Benin metropolis and across the 18 local government areas of the state.”
He continued: “We have focused greatly on building the infrastructure where technological innovation will rest and are also very emphatic in creating the institutions to support the various vehicles that will drive our growth in the area of technology.
“We still require investment in the permanent site of the Edo Tech Park, which is a 27-hectare piece of property which will be developed over the next few years to host most of the government’s tech programmes.”
Earlier, the Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the President on Digital Transformation, Mr. Oswald Osaretin Guobadia hailed the governor for creating a friendly environment to position the state as a leading state in technological development in Nigeria.
He further added, “Governor Obaseki has a key focus in technology and innovation which gave birth to the Edo Tech Park where about 33,000 youths have undergone training in various technology areas. I am happy to experience the growth of technology in Edo State.”