Over 5,000 students currently studying in institutions of higher learning in Lagos State are to benefit from broad-base knowledge on how to deploy Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for personal and organisational empowerment.
This is one of the outcomes of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Lagos State Government and AfriOne, makers of Nigeria’s first indigenous smart phone.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, who disclosed this during the official unveiling of AfriOne Assembly plant on Friday April 21, 2017 in Oshodi, Lagos, also expressed optimism that the coming of AfriOne into the state would spurred the emergence of the 24 hr economy in Lagos as a mega city.
Ambode, who was represented on the occasion by the Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Olufemi Odubiyi, also stressed that the partnership will help create direct and indirect jobs for youths and others across various sectors.
“AfriOne’s decision to use the students of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) for the maintenance, repair, and servicing of mobile devices is worthy of commendation,” the governor said.
“The collaboration with Afrione will be of immense benefits to these students and the State.”
He said this will complement the enterprise enhancement initiative of the Lagos State Government targeted at empowering students of tertiary institutions across the state.
The initiative, the governor stated, has committed to help 5,000 students at various levels of studies in Lagos State owned higher institutions per session.
“The government is not unaware of the challenges faced by youths.
“This has informed the decision by the Lagos State government to float an Empowerment Trust Fund to provide financial assistance to youths with well crafted innovative entrepreneurial ideas and competencies.
“AfriOne’s collaboration will compliment efforts by the Lagos State government in ensuring that these youths are empowered,” Ambode said.
Earlier, AfriOne’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Sahir Berry said the vision of the company is to make smart phones available to the teeming youths and all Nigerians.
“AfriOne aims to democratize technology, by offering affordable innovations through our product offerings and removing barriers deterring the large scale adoption of advanced technology in Nigeria.
The company he noted will provide a platform for students of Lagos State Polytechnic to acquire practical experience on phone manufacturing and other aspects of mobile technologies.
Sahir disclosed that the company has started with assembling components and packaging locally, adding that, within the shortest time, it would begin the manufacture of components used in making smart phones and similar devices locally.
“Today, AfriOne is mainly assembling phones here and packaging done locally. But you must bear in mind that as youths get involved in the process, sooner than you imagine, they will begin to get ideas about the components that they can manufacture locally”, Mr Sahir said.
He also hinted that the phones have been modelled on cutting edge technology to facilitate connectivity amongst Nigerians and the rest of the world, adding that they have integrated necessary financial technology such as mobile banking and apps to help farmers get higher yields.