Nigeria and Israel have commenced collaborative moves to deepen partnership in innovation, entrepreneurship and production with the aim of harnessing Nigeria’s huge potentials for its technological development. The Acting Director, Public Affairs of TETFund, Mr Abdulmumin Oniyangi, said this in statement in Abuja on Wednesday. Oniyangi explained that the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Michael Freeman, said this when he paid a working visit to the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono. Freeman expressed Israel’s desire to work with Nigeria in the area of technology and entrepreneurship development, while describing Nigeria as a country of huge potentials due to its teeming youth population.
He described Israel as a leading country in technology and innovation, saying that 45 per cent of Israel’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) was from innovation and entrepreneurship start-ups. He said that the country’s major economic sectors wet involved in high technology and industrial manufacturing. The Israeli Ambassador further said that Nigeria possessed the potential to be a destination for businesses, if innovative developments were harnessed, particularly through innovation incubation hubs. On its Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-Fair) programme, he said the embassy was working closely with the office of the Vice President on the programme. He said that the initiative was borne out of the need to raise a generation of innovators, inventors and researchers in Nigeria.
In his remarks, TETFund executive secretary, Echono, expressed appreciation to the Israeli ambassador for his visit and commitment towards strengthening ties with TETFund in Nigeria’s quest for technological and economic development. “If innovation and entrepreneurship can provide 45 per cent of Israel GDP, one can only imagine what 10 or 20 per cent will do to Nigeria’s GDP with our population,” he said. According to him, there is a global consensus that Nigerians are hardworking and intelligent, if provided with the right incentives, and one can envision what can be unlocked through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. He also hinted on the Fund’s drive to domesticate Innovation Hubs in some of Nigeria’s tertiary educational institutions. (NAN)