The Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has partnered with Versecom Limited and IHS Nigeria to set up a multipurpose energy and environment hub to tackle the problem of access to office spaces by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as freelancers in Lagos State.
Declaring the Hub open at Rafiu Jafojo Park, Egbeda, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Mr. Tunbosun Alake, expressed the commitment of Lagos State Government to facilitating impactful Public-Private Partnerships, PPP, while challenging young people within the energy and environment sectors to come up with viable solutions to real problems.
“I urge tech entrepreneurs in the State to take advantage of critical resources and funding made available by the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) by presenting fund-ready and scalable innovations with the capacity to deliver intrinsic economic and civic value to the State”, he said.
Also speaking during the launch, the General Manager of LASPARK, Mrs. Adetoun Popoola, congratulated Versecom Limited and IHS Nigeria for successfully completing the project in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses across the world.
Mrs. Popoola emphasised that LASPARK’s decision to approve the use of the space and partner with Versecom Limited was easy because of the mutual passion to use technology in creating socially impactful products and business solutions to promote innovation.
“The partnership is in line with LASPARK’s mandate to promote recreation and social development and is a testament to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to a Greater Lagos. Our Agency is open to exploring private sector-driven investments and partnerships to accelerate economic growth that will benefit residents of the State”, she declared.
Speaking further, the General Manager acknowledged the support and guidance from community leaders, expressing optimism that they will make good use of the space for both recreational and technology-related activities.
In the same vein, the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mrs. Tejumola Abisoye expressed her full support and endorsement of the project.
Her words: “I encourage entrepreneurs to take advantage of the various initiatives and platforms put together by the Agency to support early-stage start-ups while we, at LSETF, are providing intensive incubation and digital mentorship required to help them refine their ideas”.
The Chief Corporate Services Officer of IHS Nigeria, Mr. Dapo Otunla affirmed his organisation’s commitment to working with communities and relevant stakeholders to address pressing environmental issues, saying that IHS supported development of the energy and environment hubs, which is in tandem with one of its sustainability pillars.
On his part, Mr. Timilehin Odusina, Co-founder of Versecom Limited, made it known that users of the 700-capacity hub will have access to high-speed internet, constant electricity, tech-focused programmes, capacity building, and community events tailored specifically towards energy and environment start-ups, pointing out that a laboratory is available within the hub to accommodate researchers in a bid to remove the barriers inhibiting innovation within the tech space.
Versecom is an enterprise technology company that specialises in building sustainable IT and Power solutions for Africa. It received full funding support from IHS Nigeria (the largest subsidiary of IHS Towers) to develop the Hub by transforming a previously existing outdoor basketball court at the Rafiu Jafojo Park, Egbeda, managed by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), into a multi-use workspace, research laboratory, indoor basketball court and event venue.
The hub, which is the first of its kind in Lagos, is open to everyone from start-ups to freelancers and people looking to work remotely.