Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says future billionaires from the country will be those with knowledge in technology, computer, and technical skills.
Osinbajo said this on Tuesday at the northern regional finals of Student Innovation Challenge (SIC) held at Bayero University, Kano (BUK).
SIC is an initiative of the federal government in collaboration with the private sector. It offers a platform for identifying and supporting innovative technology-driven business ideas and ventures across Nigerian universities.
Osinbajo said the initiative is the first time students from all over the country will be able to pitch their business ventures and ideas to a panel of expert judges.
He said two months ago, he was in Lagos to attend the south-west regional finals of the SIC in the University of Lagos.
“At that event, I said in the past, Nigeria’s billionaires were traders and oil and gas moguls but in the next few years, billionaires from Nigeria will be techies,” he said.
“Listening to the great ideas you have pitched today, I am even more convinced and have absolutely no doubt that a good number of tomorrow’s billionaires are seated here today.
“I understand that of the 600 applications received from the Northern region, 52 that made the long list were pitched to the judges today.
“I would like to commend every one of the innovators who pitched. The journey to the fulfillment of your dreams has started and you should strive to enjoy every moment of that journey, with all its ups and downs.
“And this advice also applies to those who didn’t make the long list. Setbacks and disappointments are part of the entrepreneurship life; indeed they are part and parcel of human existence. You should never ever give up; try again, and again.
“And I should mention again that each of the winning businesses will receive an investment of one million naira,” he said.
“I am very excited by this project; excited by what it means for innovation in Nigeria; what it means for our future as a country.”
Osinbajo said the south-eastern regional finals will be held in Anambra while the grand finale will take place in Abuja.
Lights Up from Unijos, Team Zazu Tech from BUK and Nylon Interlocks from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, emerged winners of the northern regional finals.