SAIL Innovation Lab Partners Awari AI On Artificial Intelligence Development

Kunle Adelabu

-Partnership will place Ikorodu on global map – Minister

Awari AI, a rapidly growing AI (ArtificialIntelligence)/Robotics firm, has partnered with the SAIL Innovation Lab in Ikorodu, for development and expansion across Nigeria and Africa, with the union serving as a continuous talent source for the emerging multi-billion dollar AI industry, poised to reshape all spheres of life in the coming years.

Co – founder, SAIL Innovation Lab, and the Senator representing the Lagos East, Sen. Tokunbo Abiru, revealed the partnership of the innovation centre based in Ipakodo, Ikorodu, during the visit of the Honourable Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Mr Olatunbosun Tijani, to the centre during the week.

Over 100 youths, who have undergone Tech Talent and Data Science training at our SAIL Innovation Lab, have also secured lucrative artificial intelligence jobs with Awari AI, a development that the Senator described as a significant milestone for the lab.

“As the co-founder of the SAIL Innovation Lab and your representative in Lagos East, this partnership marks the beginning of a transformative journey not only for Ikorodu but for the entire Lagos East Senatorial District. It underscores our commitment to embracing technology and innovation, ushering in a new era of redefined industries, job creation, and empowerment for our youths.

“My passion for tech and digital skills stems from recognizing the massive job opportunities and economic growth potential in this sector. Since the inception of our SAIL Innovation Lab project in 2022, with five pilot programs, we’ve impacted over 150 participants in-class and 1,200 online trainees, positively.

While expressing his happiness over the partnership with Awari AI, Abiru also added that plans are underway to replicate the SAIL lab in two other parts of the Senatorial District that he is representing.

Oba Shotobi addressing students at the SAIL Innovation Lab during the tour of the facility. With him, Honourable Minister Bosun Tijani, Sen. Tokunbo Abiru, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, Sen. Seye Ogunlewe , Chief (Mrs,) Adebimpe Akinsola

“What we have done here is to create a platform within my own Senatorial District, a platform that has repositioned, helped and re – skilled our young folks who are out of the universities or technical colleges but without the technical skills that the today’s world requires. That is what we have deliberately setup here”, Sen. Abiru said

“In doing that, the starting point is to create the facility and having done that, what we did next was to look for a partner to provide the faculty. That is what Co-Creation Hub has done. The facility that you are seeing here is managed by them and also all the trainings that we inculcate in the young folks.

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“We have the likes of Tech Talents, STEM which is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. What we are doing is to deliberately prepare our young folks to meet the challenges of the future and be properly positioned, so that they can be employable and also be entrepreneurs.

“The greatest joy for me today is that, in all that we have done in teaching them without charging them anything, we have been able to achieve the expected outcome which is creating job for them.

“What Awari is doing is to provide the platform, where we can onboard them and that is the joy of today. I am very excited and gladden that the likes of Awari is coming to our aide.

Dignitaries in group photograph at the SAIL Innovation Lab

“As we have done this, our next one actually is also to set up a facility like this in Ibeju Lekki, which is part of my District, after which we will go to another location in Somolu. When we have that, we can now harness all the potentials that we see in our young people, so that they can be properly positioned for the way the new world is thinking”, Abiru said.

The Honourable Minster, Tijani, who was the special guest of honour at the event and who was part of the kick – off of the SAIL lab, said that the facility will continue to provide opportunities for the young people and empower them to compete and link the country with the global economy.

“We talked about the opportunity that this facility would bring to this local neighbourhood and our country, Nigeria. Our hope is that through this facility, we can open minds of our young people to opportunities that exist globally”, he said.

“These opportunities are no longer something that is the preserved right of the developed world. We live at a time where technology connects each and every one of us strongly. This technology gives us the opportunity to overcome barriers and be part of the global economy, while we are all trying to grapple with the artificial intelligence”.

Bashorun Babatunde Rotinwa, Hon. Adeola Banjo, Hon. Wasiu Adesina, Hon. Aro Moshood Abiodun, Hon. Motunrayo Gbadebo – Alogba, Hon. Nurudeen Solaja and other guests

Tijani, who welcomed the Awari AI partnership with the SAIL Innovative Lab, said the journey into the future economy which would be driven by AI, is starting from Ikorodu with the partnership and employment of over 100 of SAIL lab trainees by the Awari.

“It is extremely significant because the future that we all want to protect; the future that we all want for our kids to have; we can only get it when we all participate in that future”, he said.

“Today, we have decided to start the journey. We have to create a new company with opportunities. The Senator had decided to team up to create something special and we have decided that it is going to start from Ikorodu.

“Ikorodu’s name will be forever on the artificial intelligence map.

“What the Senator has decided to do is just the beginning of creating hundreds of Al jobs, thousands of them, as this place becomes too small to accommodate these fantastic people. We will start seeing wealth being created when some of these people start creating their businesses.

“Ikorodu would change to a location where we have forward looking young people that are building the future that we all want”, he added.

Mr Tunbosun Alake, Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended Senator Abiru and the Honourable Minister Tijani, for driving ICT through the development of youths, an initiative he said supports the agenda of the state government.

“People are the really value that we have. The more people with this kind of mentality, dedication and commitment to creating additional value, you can’t go wrong. If we have more people like this that are really driving value creation, our economy would skyrocket”, he said.

“If you look at initiatives like this, both the Distinguished Senator and the Honourable Minister are making my job in Lagos a little bit easier because Ikorodu is part of Lagos.

“Artificial intelligence is the next wave, and I think that we, in Nigeria, can develop tools and the capacity to be able to leverage on that technology”, he said.

Alake, who told the gathering about what the state government is doing regarding AI development, pledged the support of the Governor Sanwo-Olu administration towards the SAIL lab’s initiative.

“It is all about data. In Lagos State today, what we are doing is consolidating all our silo data workload so that we can start to train neural networks and artificial intelligence networks to be able to answer some of the queries that you have. If you want to apply for something from the government, an AI can answer instead of a human and get it done in half the time. AI can also offer other services”, he said.

“But we need to train the AI modules on our data so that the solutions that they bring to us are relevant to our environment.

“In Lagos, we are the pacesetter and definitely, the state government will be partnering on this project as well for the modules to be able to learn government data.

“The SAIL Innovative Lab will also be added to the state’s innovative programs, and the people in Ikorodu that applies for the innovation voucher can redeem it here and it could be a source of funding for the lab as well”, Alake said.

The co-founders of Awari AI, Mr. Silas Adekunle and Ms. Eniola Edun, stressed the importance of embracing artificial intelligence as the new wave for Nigeria, in the current digital and innovation age.

Also at the event were: former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, HRM Oba (Engr.) Kabir Adewale Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, HRM Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, HRM Oba Bashir Shotonwa, the Sekumade of Ipakodo, HRM Oba Kayode Raji Balogun, Eweye of lsiu, Ikorodu Constituency I representative, Hon. Gbolahan Ogunleye, Ikorodu Constituency II representative, Hon. Abiodun Moshood Aro, former Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, former representative, Ikorodu Constituency II, Hon. Nurudeen Solaja, President, Oriwu Club, Otunba Amid Oduborisha and Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo among others.

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