Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), recently paid a visit to the Senator Tokunbo Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL) in Ikorodu, Lagos.
Her visit was barely two weeks after the management team from a top Nigerian bank visited to assess the facility, curricular and faculties for possible talents hunt.
Orelope-Adefulire, a former Lagos State deputy governor, commended the senator representing the Lagos East Senatorial District, Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru for his exceptional programmes especially the setting up of a first of its kind tech innovation hub in the Lagos East Senatorial District that will create lasting socio-economic impact in the lives of participants.
The SDGs boss said she was not surprised about the unique leadership style and programmes of Senator Abiru in view of his pedigree in the corporate world before his foray into politics. According to her, “investment in knowledge is the currency of our time.”
While addressing participants at the Tech Talent class, she said: “I must first of all thank him (Senator Abiru) for being a mentor to all of you and others outside here.
“Investment in knowledge is the best investment we can make in young people like you for you to have bright future. I want to thank him for setting this place up. It is very unique; it is not a common thing. We have different empowerment programmes like distribution of motorcycles, tricycles and even those that are giving out computers careless about training people on how to make the best use of them. But SAIL is a very excellent Innovation hub that will accelerate real prosperity.
“I am sure in few years from now the impact of the investments will start to manifest. The empowerment you are being given is to allow you explore and rule your world. I believe each and every one of you will rule your world in a positive way that will guarantee a bright future for you.
“You need to apply your mind to what you are being thought. There are no limits from what you can benefit from this training.”
According to her, “COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world proved to us that there is virtually nothing we cannot do with the smartphone and allied technologies. All over the world, corporations have downsized and many are working from homes because of the enablement of technology.
“Senator Abiru has done his own by providing a platform. Don’t take it for granted. It is a lifetime opportunity. With this knowledge, there is nowhere in the world you can be hired because of the skillsets you are getting here have global relevance.”
In his response, Senator Abiru thanked the SDGs boss for find time out of her busy schedules to visit and tour The SAIL facility. He said the programme was well-thought out to ensure that participants who gave the training their best get job placement after the training.
“The expected outcome is that as they are graduating from here they will most likely get job placement which we believe is the best way empowerment ought to be done. So, you, meeting with them formally will also be an inspiration for them.
“Two weeks ago, we brought a leadership of a bank to come and speak to them. And the faculty lead displayed the curriculum of what they are teaching. They were quite satisfied. There was nothing to add. The curriculum here fit into the work space out there.
“Out of 4,000 people mostly young folks that applied, we can only accommodate about 150 into the 5 pilot programmes namely; Tech Talent Development; Business 101 for Artisans and Creatives; Startup Accelerator for Businesses; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education for Senior Secondary School Students, and Lagos East Teachers fellowship,’’ Abiru said.
He also added that “there are arrangements for online training for over 100 applicants who could not get into the class.”
On behalf of the participants, Oni Abayomi Olayiwola and Modupe Ariyo expressed gratitude for the rare opportunity Senator Abiru has provided for them to have their future secured.
The TACT Advisory Chairman, Bode Oyedele; Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle, special adviser to the Senator on Constituency Matters; Olusegun Olulade, a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and Adedeji Abisola joined the senator in receiving Orelope-Adefulire