… As Okowa calls for diversification of economy
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has advocated a paradigm shift from dependence on revenue from oil to revenue generation from knowledge-based development.
The governor made the assertion in Asaba at the public presentation of the Delta State Innovation Hub (DS-HUB) cum commissioning of Innovation Hall of Fame and the E-Government Academy.
Communications Minister, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, accompanied by leading names in Information Communication Technology (ICT) world including Leo Stan Ekeh of Zenox Computers, Ms Funke Opeke of Mainone, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Sola Aderounmu to Asaba for the programme.
According to the governor, “Delta State Innovation Hub – from Oil to Knowledge-based Development is important in our state because, innovation is critical for long-term economic growth and sustainable development in both developed and the developing world.”
He added, “it fosters regional, national and global competitiveness, creates employment and helps to address and resolve major social conflicts in any given society.”
“In moving away from oil to a knowledge-based development, there is a comprehensive economic development blueprint and strategy to build technologically based skill capacities, support and empower entrepreneurs, generate new employment model for our youth, create wealth and reduce poverty,” the Governor said.
“in driving the state’s economy, we are developing an innovation and science agenda as a key component in bridging the huge gaps and deficiencies in our education, health, industry, entertainment, governance, social and state security systems.” He added.
Elated Governor Okowa commended ICT experts for their interests in partnering with his administration to develop an innovation hub and create job opportunities, stating that the “Innovation Hub – DS-IHUB – can attain noble heights if we put our minds to work and in moving this project forward, we will rely on the support and patronage of Delta State citizens at home and in the Diaspora, entrepreneurs, the academia, students, industry leaders, stakeholders, and indeed, all friends of Delta State, to ensure that this enviable knowledge venture is not only successful, but significantly beneficial to all concerned and sustainable for generations yet unborn.”
He specifically, called for sponsorship to enable the state “establish a Delta State Innovation Development Fund – IDF; encourage all youths to acquire computer skills and encourage e-governance and digital literacy skills in the civil service and other institutions; because it is worthy to inform you that we are having full benefits of ICT as our land administration is being fully digitalized, with greater ease of doing business.”
Those who spoke at the occasion including, the Minister for Communications, Mr Ekeh, Prof. Utomi, Ms Opeke, Prof. Aderunmu and others lauded the state government initiative in diversying its economy through ICT, pledging to support the initiative and provide the platform for the growth of ICT in the state.
The Director-General of DS-HUB, Mr. Chris Uwaje had earlier said the innovation hub was in line with Governor Okowa’s SMART agenda reiterating, “DS-HUB is a unique knowledge factory with an enabling environment specially designed for originating innovation, building inno-passion, developing creativity and promoting information sharing for building functional new knowledge for the delivery of all-inclusive technology solutions and support services.”
“Our faculties includes: e-government, ICT innovation platform, software & auto-card platform, multimedia centre, business process platform, e-library, research & e-learning centre, CBT practice & mentoring centre,” Mr Uwaje said.
The Minister for Communications, Barr. Shittu Adebayo on arrival in Asaba paid a courtesy call on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.