Nigeria and Israel have committed to collaborate to advance investment on youth innovative and research programmes to tackle poverty in the West African nation.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this known in his address at the Innovative Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR-2) inaugural ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja.
Osinbajo, who was represented at the event by Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu said, “Nigeria was not just great in the past; Nigeria will be one of the greatest nations on earth.
I-FAIR-2 was organised by the Israeli Embassy in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President and Skill G Ltd., Gregory University and DeNovo, private sector-based organisations.
Osinbajo said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is working very hard and we will give him all necessary support to lay the solid foundation for this to be achieved. There is no reason for our nation Nigeria or even, Africa to be poor, because we have everything that every other continent is looking for, but these things were just placed there for us by God. Other nations and other continents come into Africa take these resources to develop their country; the question is why can’t we not do it?”
He added that. “We have young men and women that can compete; whenever young people who have dreams and determined come together, and are prepared to work to change the world, we must support you. So, we want to assure you that the government under President Buhari will give you the support.”
Speaking, Charge d’Affaires and Acting Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Mr Yotam Kreiman, said that the programme was put together amidst challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, to look back and see how far we have come in the building of this initiative into platform that elevate innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria is remarkable.
“Every person here has been invited to this event, because of the part you play in advancing the cause of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.Israel invites any and all parties represented here to collaborate and build more success stories like the i-FAIR initiative. To the mentors and participants of i-FAIR, I congratulate you on the fascinating journey ahead of you for the next 6 months and I look forward to presenting your results proudly,” Yotam said.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, said that there is every need for the government to encourage Nigerian youths to become Innovators and Inventors.
Gbajabiamila was represented by Mr Olajide Olatubosun, Member representing Atisbo/Saki-West/Saki-East Federal Constituency, Oyo State and Chairman of Nigeria-Israel Friendship Group.
On his part, Executive Secretary,Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro expressed appreciation to Osinbajo for supporting the cause of youth innovation.
“As number two person in this country he supports youth innovation; in the 21st century knowledge defines the economy, we cannot be different, amidst knowledge, it is innovative research that makes the difference.
“What I call problem solving research; to have this collection of great Nigerian citizens and leaders across the world associated with innovation shows they are ready to support us. We Nigerians must embrace the cause and get the best out of it,” Bogoro said.