Shettima Urges Nigerians to Support I-FAIR, Transformative Agenda

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has implored Nigerians to support the Israel-Nigeria Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR) initiative to advance the transformation agenda in the country.

Shettima made the call at the third i-FAIR cohorts’ graduation ceremony of the nine-month mentorship programme for budding innovators and entrepreneurs, on Thursday in Abuja.

The vice-president was represented by Mr Tope Fasua, the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs in the Office of the Vice-President. Naira Steadies as Banks Issue Update on FX Purchase

He commended the graduands for boosting the Nigerian population efforts to achieve the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.

Shettima said. “We live in a kinetically dynamic and digital world, where we are seeing today’s reality and tomorrow’s innovation by power of technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, internet and others.

“We commend the Innov8Hub centre for what it has been doing so far among our youth and the innovative at heart.

“We have seen numerous innovative displays, many of which have been commercialised and are having impact on Nigeria and beyond.

“We believe this is merely the beginning, I appeal to all and sundry to show maximal support to the idea behind the hub, as it is indeed transformative.

“Our very survival in a fast paced world depends on it.”

The Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria Michael Freeman said the programme comprised twelve companies spanning health, climate change, and agriculture, and embodies the spirit of innovation and resilience.

“I-FAIR was established by the Israeli embassy in collaboration with the Nigerian government; this initiative epitomises the collaboration and innovation pivotal to the Israel-Nigeria relationship.

“President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda resonates deeply with the ethos of the i-FAIR programme in championing empowerment, growth, and prosperity for Nigeria.

“This is with a focus on nurturing the talents of our youth; this programme aligns seamlessly with President Tinubu’s vision of propelling Nigeria towards excellence, notably in digital economy where job creation is paramount.”

He attributed success so far achieved to invaluable partnership by the embassy with TetFund, Air Peace and Zell Innov8 and other collaborators, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in shaping the transformative journey.

Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented by Amb. Akinremi Bolaji, Director, Economic, Trade and Investment at the ministry, attributed success of the programme to the partnership between Israel and Nigeria.

Tuggar said, “This is evidence of innovation. We have no doubt this government and the administration standout as the most innovative government Nigeria ever had.

“It is pertinent to mention that the idea of I-FAIR is predicated on the need to overcome domestic challenges with innovative made in-Nigeria solutions tailored around inspiring Nigeria to become a start-up nation.”

Dr Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, underscored the need to prioritise transformation agenda to achieve meaningful growth.

“We must prioritise the complete deployment of fibre active network which Nigeria must achieve in the next two-three years and we have backing of the President.

“Also, for AI, every developed country in the world is freaking out about development in AI. For the reality, they do not have the workforce to power it.

“If we do not take advantage of being part of the AI, even if it is just to provide the workforce, we are wasting time.

“In the two to three years, AI will prompt how you think and what you do. AI will prompt development,” he said

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