Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated the Vibranium Valley, a technology campus founded by two young Nigerians to drive the developments of talents, innovations, data and entrepreneurship.
The Vibranium Valley, located in Ikeja, the Lagos state capital, houses 30 technology companies with the potential to house up to 50 companies in the future.
Professor Osinbajo said that the Vibranium Valley would be crucial to Nigeria’s economic future.
“So here we have a metaphor for our future, a foreshadow of a glorious new day, where, by sheer God given talent, creativity, hard work and knowledge phenomenal value and prosperity are built, for the entrepreneurs, for the millions to whom they provide services and this nation which gave them the opportunity,” he said.
Largest technology campus
The vice president described the Vibranium Valley as ‘Africa’s largest technology campus’ and commended the founders, Kunmi Demuren and Bunmi Akinyemiju, for bringing up the idea, which was ‘audaciously delivered by 100 young Nigerians.’
He said; “They founded the Ventures Garden Group which grew their technology company from a start-up to a $60m Pan-African growth stage technology holding company in seven years. But more importantly through their investment company, Green House capital, they created an ecosystem of world class technology companies…These companies include six wholly owned companies and investments in other young companies as well as the well known, Flutterwave, Rensource Energy, Edutech, Finatech, Mines dot I.O. CC Hub’s growth fund, Appzone and 10 others.”
According to Professor Osinbajo, these companies provide .
He said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was providing the environment where innovation can thrive by including technology startups and businesses in the list of enterprises eligible for pioneer status.
He stated that both the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Bank of Industry, BOI, were working on intervention funds and loans for technology starts while three technology hubs have been opened in Nigeria.
“Two weeks ago, I was in Yola to open the North-east Humanitarian technology Hub which specialises in innovation useful for victims of conflict. There I saw the 3-D printing of prosthesis or an artificial arm for a 12-year old boy- Mohammed- and with his new arm he can now write. Only last Friday, I opened the South-south innovation Hub in Benin, Edo State. This is a collaboration between the Nigerian government and the Edo State government. There I listened to 12 outstanding pitches by potential innovators. Next month, I will be opening the Climate Change technology club at the Pan African University a collaboration between the Federal government and the University,” the Vice President explained.
Hand of Providence
Professor Osinbajo said that there was the hand of Providence in the inauguration of the Vibranium Valley, as occupied the house where the defunct National Concord, a national daily founded by the winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election in Nigeria, late Chief Moshood Abiola.
He said: “Abiola’s campaign slogan was HOPE, the eradication of poverty. The enemies of our freedoms and democracy thought that they had killed that dream by the annulment of the election and the complete destruction of the Concord newspaper. But they were wrong in the profound words of the Mexican proverb: ‘they tried to bury us; they didn’t know we were seeds.
“Today we celebrate the trees that have grown from the seeds that were buried here. The Hope they thought they had killed has risen again, through the young men and women some not even born when the travesty was committed. So Concord was only the foundation for Vibranium.”
The Chief Executive Officer Venture Garden Group, the holding company of the Vibranium Valley, Kunmi Demuren said that the campus was borne out of the vision to build ecosystems across Nigeria to transform the country and Africa.