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Ekiti special economic zone strategic- Osinbajo



Ekiti special economic zone strategic- Osinbajo

By Chijioke Okoronkwo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the knowledge-based Ekiti Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has the potential to transform the state’s economy and create good, technology-based jobs.

Osinbajo delivered a keynote address at the Ekiti Economic Development and Investment Summit, marked by the 2021 Fountain Summit, on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

The theme of the summit is “Attractiveness of investments and economic development: lessons for sub-nationals. “

The Vice President said that the knowledge economy has become essential for development in the digital age.

“We have already noted the enormous potential of agriculture and dairy products; but it is clear that the way of the future, especially the huge population of young men and women seeking high paying jobs, is technology.

“And I think you are in the process of progress with the planned creation of the Technological Special Economic Zone; Clearly, the future of fast growing economies lies in the knowledge economy.

“Every day we start to see the transition.

Quoting Shimon Peres, the former prime minister of Israel, Osinbajo said the world has moved from an era of territories to one of science, with land area and natural resources giving way to science and the knowledge economy.

He said technology had erased land borders and physical offices.

“So the young men and women of Ekiti can work from there and earn world-class wages.

“This is why the planned investment in the Ekiti Knowledge Economic Zone is strategic and it is exciting that the plan is to use business process outsourcing as an anchor.

“One design, I was told, will be a service-led special economic zone, a digital technology hub that takes advantage of its proximity to five different higher education institutions.

“It is, if we can borrow the term, the future of jobs; this is definitely the future of jobs and I think we have to salute the foresight of the state governor and his team in determining that technology, especially in the knowledge economy, is the way to go .

“However, for a digital SEZ to be successful, it must be attractive to digital markets; it means that there must be high quality and well-trained talent.

“And I’m already happy to hear that due to the reduction in cable laying costs for broadband connectivity, the state is already attracting investment in cable laying.

“And that, I think it’s fantastic; an important component of the knowledge economy and its use for commercial purposes; therefore, we need trained local talent, ”

He referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook who was asked why his company is investing so much in China.

The vice president quoted Cook as saying his company was in China because China had extraordinary skills – nearly 2 million app developers who wrote apps for the iOS App Store.

Gone are the days, according to Osinbajo, when a place had to be seen as an attractive destination for investment because it has cheap labor.

“Today, well-trained talents in technology and innovation are essential.

“So there are three keys to this knowledge economy, which in my opinion is the future; and the three keys are education, education and education.

“And it is important for Ekiti to capitalize on his famous love and his famous passion for education; I believe you have not lost this advantage.

“Now is the time to refocus, especially on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; it is essential to be able to participate effectively in the fourth industrial revolution; that started the digital age. ”

According to him, Ekiti must go beyond the Fountain of Knowledge to become the fountain of the knowledge economy.

He said that apart from quality, education also needs a strategic framework to impart technical and professional skills.

“The importance of having a pool of well-trained workers such as electricians, assemblers, mechanics, lab technicians, welders, machine tools and even web designers is vital for an ecosystem that will be attractive for investment in technology and innovation, ”he said. .

The vice-president had previously inaugurated the civic center of Ekiti.

In his welcoming speech, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, said the summit was another important step to put the state on the path to sustainable economic development.

Fayemi praised the Vice President for his role in implementing the Economic Sustainability Plan which has played an important role in returning the Nigerian economy to growth after the COVID-19 setback.

The governor said the summit was aimed at encouraging private enterprise and making the state attractive to investors.

The summit featured a roundtable in which Vice President Fayemi, Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna and Godwin Obaseki of Edo States deliberated on issues ranging from the economy security and human capital development.

The event also attracted members of the National Assembly, traditional leaders and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), including Niyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, who was the first elected governor of the state of Ekiti.


Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

Source: NAN

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