Buhari’s Aide Charges Abiru’s Tech Innovation Students To Maximise Rare Opportunity

Kunle Adelabu

-Commends Senator for investing, mentoring youths

Her Excellency, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (left), Sen. Adetokunbo Mikhail Abiru, Senator representing the Lagos East Senatorial District (middle) and Dr. (Otunba) Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle, Permanent Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) and Special Adviser to the Senator on Constituency Matters (right) during the visit of Mrs Orelope – Adefulire to the Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL) tentatively located in the Senator’s Constituency Office in Ikorodu on Monday.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Her Excellency, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, on Monday (yesterday) visited Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL) tentatively located in the Senator’s Constituency Office in Ikorodu and charged participants to take maximum advantage of the opportunity.

Orelope-Adefulire, a former Lagos State Deputy Governor, also commended Senator Abiru, who is representing the Lagos East Senatorial District, for his exceptional programmes, especially the setting up of the first of its kind tech innovation hub in the Lagos East Senatorial District, that will create lasting socio-economic impact on the lives of participants.

A management team from a top Nigerian bank had visited the hub about two weeks to assess the facility, curricula and faculties for possible talent hunting.

The Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District II, Mrs Anike Adekanye, in company of Alhaji Abiodun Ogunniyi, the retired Principal, Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, also toured the facility last Saturday and commended the Senator for the initiative.

Meanwhile, the SDGs boss, speaking during the visit, said that she was not surprised about the unique leadership style and programmes of Senator Abiru, considering his pedigree in the corporate world where he operated before his foray into politics.

According to her, investment in knowledge is the currency of our time.

“I must first of all thank him (Senator Abiru) for being a mentor to all of you and others outside here”, she said while addressing the participants.

“Investment in knowledge is the best investment we can make in young people like you for you to have a bright future. I want to thank him for setting up this place. 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 carelessly without training people on how to make best use of them. But SAIL is a very excellent Innovation hub that will accelerate real prosperity”, Mrs Orelope – Adefulire said.

“I am sure that in a few years from now, the impact of the investments will start to manifest. The empowerment you have been given is to allow you to 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”, she charged them.

The Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary (TG/PS), Education District II, Mrs Anike Adekanye, Alhaji Abiodun Ogunniyi, the retired Principal, Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu with Sen. Tokunbo Abiru, Dr Saheed Ibikunle and participants, Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL) during the TG/PS tour of the facility last Saturday.

“You need to apply your mind to what you are being taught. There are no limits from what you can benefit from this training”.

She said that the world has come to terms with the fact that economic, social and other activities can be conducted without physical contact after the COVID 19 pandemic.

“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”, she said.

‘’Senator Abiru has done his own thing 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 not be hired because the skillsets you are getting here have global relevance”.

In his response, Senator Abiru thanked the SDGs boss for the visit and tour of the SAIL facility.

He said that the programme was well – thought out to ensure that participants who gI’ve their best during the training get job placement after completion of the programme.

“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, meeting with them formally will also be an inspiration for them”, Abiru said.

“Two weeks ago, we brought the 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 fits 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.

“However, there are arrangements for online training for over 100 applicants who could not get into the class”.

Oni Abayomi Olayiwola and Modupe Ariyo, who spoke separately on behalf of participants, expressed gratitudes for the rare opportunity that Senator Abiru has provided for them to have their future secured.

The TACT Advisory Chairman, Alhaji Bode Oyedele, Dr. (Otunba) Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle, Special Adviser to the Senator on Constituency Matters, Hon Olusegun Olulade,  a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Mr Adedeji Abisola joined the Senator in receiving Mrs Orelope-Adefulire.

One of the participants appreciating the Senator and the Mrs Adefulire for the opportunity SAIL offered them.

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