The Kwara State Government has finalized a strategic partnership with global telecommunications giant IHS Towers to optimize the Ilorin Innovation Hub with the aim of fulfilling the hub’s primary objectives, positioning the state as a leading hub for innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq expressed his satisfaction on Saturday after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Ilorin, emphasizing that the agreement marks the realization of a long-standing vision for his administration.
He outlined the government’s commitment to providing the necessary tools, resources, and an enabling environment for innovators and startups, particularly in the digital and tech skills domain.
“In an age increasingly dominated by digital natives whose lives revolve around technology as well as digital naturals who live the realities of technology and the advantages it offers, we saw a need to lead in giving necessary skills and support to these important cohorts and leverage the same to build a stronger economy. Our objectives are to offer the tools, resources, and the environment that innovators and startups require to flourish, especially in the realm of digital and tech skills. By this, we see a future where Kwara sees job creation, poverty reduction, and improved well-being of the people.
“But having the right partnership and technical support to run this tech space is critical to achieving these objectives, efficiency and sustainability. This is why I am excited about this strategic partnership with the global tech giant IHS Towers to drive the project. With its proven expertise and legacy of innovation, HIS fits into our vision for this initiative.
“This is a partnership of huge mutual benefits. IHS is offering technical and organisational support in the operations, maintenance and management of it in exchange for certain benefits such as use and operation of the hub for the delivery of IHS training and ancillary programmes as well as branding rights, among other things.
“We strongly believe that public private partnership offers the right incentives for sustainability and economic growth. Even so, we are committed to preserving the interest of the people and the state as owners of these investments,” he said.
Temi Kolawole, the Managing Director of the Innovation Hub, highlighted the synergy between the Ilorin Innovation Hub and the Federal Ministry of Communications Innovation and Digital Economy, anticipating collaborative programs with IHS Towers as a mutual partner.
Mohammed Darwish, the CEO of IHS Towers, commended Kwara State’s progressive digital policies, specifically acknowledging the provision of free Right of Way for Fiber Optic Cable deployment.
Engr Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, praised the state government for its developmental efforts.