With the aim to create its own industrial clusters with a revenue target of over $10 billion in the years ahead, the Lagos State government has announced the commencement of the Yaba ICT Cluster project, known as KITE@Yaba or Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (KITE).
The state government in a statement on Tuesday, said the aim of the project was to provide an enabling environment that would facilitate and support the development of a technology cluster and ecosystem within the Yaba district of Lagos.
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm, stated that “KITE@Yaba is a public-private partnership (PPP), driven by the government and supported by several industry experts and advisors along the technology value chain.”
According to him, “It is expected that this initiative will contribute significantly to the economic development of Nigeria and position Lagos State as the hub for innovation in Nigeria, and preferred destination for technology investors and innovators.
“The project will proffer recommendations to the Lagos State Government on eight critical areas to foster an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in information and communication technology.
They include Access to Funding; Access to Market & Demand; Infrastructure; Policy Regulation & Governance; Talent, Skills & Education; Research & Development; Network & Collaboration; and Advocacy & Marketing.
KITE@Yaba also includes the design and construction of a world class ICT Park for which LASG has already acquired 30,000 square metres of land in the Yaba area.”
The project’s governance structure, he stated, comprises a Project Steering Committee (PSC), “an Industry Advisory Board (IAB), the Project Delivery team and Subject Matter Advisors.
“The PSC is co-chaired by the Honourable Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State and former Minister for Communication and Technology and Senior Partner of TLcom Capital LLP, a technology venture capital firm, Dr. Omobola Johnson.
“Other members of the steering committee include Mrs. Uzammat Akinbile-Yusuf, Honourable Commissioner forWealth Creation and Employment; Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, Special Adviser on Urban Development; Mr. Abiodun Amokomowo, Chief Executive Officer, IBILE Holdings Limited; and Mr. Niyi Yusuf, Country Managing Director, Accenture. Accenture will provide project management office (PMO) support as Project Delivery Lead.”
He added, “The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) which was inaugurated in June 2018, is chaired by Dr.Omobola Johnson, and comprises notable technology industry stakeholders including CcHub, Google, Microsoft, MainOne, Andela, Flutterwave, General Electric (GE),and Ibile Broadband, University of Lagos, and Lagos State University.
“The role of the IAB will be to provide overall leadership and direction to the project to ensure its objectives are realised and ensure value for money to Lagos State based on experience and expertise.”
In her comment, Johnson welcomed the involvement of the private sector in this initiative adding that, “Lagos State is already well known as the enterprise and commercial hub of the country, KITE@Yaba will further drive technology innovation and entrepreneurship and will directly contribute to the development of a digital economy in Nigeria.”