The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday said the Federal Government would set up a Creativity and Technology Council to support innovation and startups in the creative industry. He said this when he visited an innovation hub, Ventures Partners, in Abuja. “What we are trying to do as a government is that we are setting up what is called the creativity and technology council. “We already have an industrial and competitiveness council where the likes of Dangote and the bigger businesses already advise on policy,’’ he said. He explained that in the industrial and competitiveness council which he chaired, bigger players in industry proffered solutions and advised on policies that could improve the nation’s business environment.
He said that the industrial council had people already established in manufacturing and other industrial areas who develop and shape policies as well as bring out the challenges in the business environment. He said that the creative and technology advisory council would involve people doing startups, creative and entertainment industry. “Some of the policies that need to make this environment friendly and more interesting have to be developed by those innovation,’’ Osinbajo said. According to him, innovators have peculiar issues and unless someone experiencing such are able to seat with the CBN governor and the ministers of finance and trade and investment, it will not be easy to resolve them.
“We are looking forward to doing this and I hope in the next couple of weeks, we should have that council set up,’’ he hinted. On funding for startups, the vice president said some were already doing well there, including those in the Tony Elumelu Foundation, adding that more activities should be developed around the public sector. He said that with the social investment policy of the administration and collaboration with other stakeholders, more people could be brought into innovation. Osinbajo said that with the innovators, the country was heading toward more prosperity.
He said that the administration was proud of the contributions of the innovators and would give them the necessary support. During a question and answer session, Osinbajo said that the administration was proposing state police and community policing for the citizenry. On increasing agro production and reducing waste, he said a lot needed to be done with other partners, noting that at present, the government used extension workers to educate farmers and those on the value chain. He said that the administration was also working with mango and yam producers in Benue for the preservation of the commodities.
Earlier, Mr Ife Adebayo, the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Innovation, said that the event of the day started in 2016 when the government announced that it would support innovation. He said that the programme had made impacts in different fields, adding that innovators had got funding from different partners to move their products to higher levels. He said that the launch of the hubs in North East, South South and South East had reached advanced stages, adding that the national programme had attracted private patronage. He mentioned the Google Impact programme, which promised two million dollars to 12 startups with social impact, adding that the essence was to build a viable ecosystem.