The Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, on Saturday, 26 August, 2023 admonished young budding software developers and tech enthusiasts to harness massive opportunities in the tech space.
The lawmaker disclosed this while delivering his keynote address at the 2023 Hackfest, organised by GenZtechies, held at the Multipurpose Hall of the University of Lagos, Akoka. Abiru shared the experience of his illustrious banking career spanning over three decades, tracing how technology gradually revolutionised the banking sector, starting with the new generation banks.
Senator Abiru who is representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the Upper Legislative Chamber, is the Co-founder of the SAIL Innovation Lab, the first of its kind Innovation hub in the Senatorial District, where over 3,000 constituents, particularly young people, had been trained in less than two years of its existence. SAIL Innovation was the co-sponsor of the well-attended tech event that attracted over 1,000 young Nigerians.
According to Senator Abiru, he identified with the annual event because he believed in the vision of the promoters of providing a strong platform and ecosystem for young tech enthusiasts to thrive. He emphasised that young people should be encouraged and galvanised to explore the opportunities that the current 4th industrial revolution age has provided which is technology & innovation.
Senator Abiru added that the task of nation building requires collective efforts of all citizens.
He challenged young entrepreneurs and tech professionals to strive for excellence and success in their respective fields for them to make quality contributions to the policy development process of the nation. He cited the success story of Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, who Co-founded Africa’s leading tech company, Co-creation Hub (CCHub).
The Lagos East Senator assured that he will continue to support initiatives that provide platforms for young Nigerians to thrive in tech, business and other areas of endeavours. He commended the courage and resilience of promoters of the GenZ Hackfest.
Eniola Osabiya, Founder and Convener of GenZHackfest, thanked Senator Abiru and other sponsors who have been supporting the annual event since 2022. He said the passion of Senator Abiru for sustainable empowerment through human capital development was exemplary.
Osabiya added that with the leadership and encouragement that the likes of Senator Abiru are providing, the sky will be the limit for young people who are passionate about tech and innovation.
Mr. Deji Abisola, the Consultant on SAIL Innovation Lab, expressed optimism that SAIL Innovation Lab will continue to partner and identify with the GenZHackfest as well as other youth led tech initiatives in the ecosystem.
GenZtechies was founded in 2020 as a small WhatsApp group for youths in tech, GenZtechies has grown to become arguably Africa’s fastest-growing network for Gen-Zs in tech after their international expansion in late 2021.
The community is one of the top places where young people in tech across Africa learn, connect, and discover life-changing opportunities. Some members of the GenZtechies went from zero to getting top tech jobs, internationally after joining the community, while some have raised over a million dollars for their startups.