Nigeria and Israel have commenced collaborative moves to deepen partnership in innovation, entrepreneurship and production with the aim of harnessing Nigeria’s huge potential for its technological development.
This was disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday when the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, paid a working visit to the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Sonny Echono.
Freeman, according to a statement yesterday by Ag. Director, Public Affairs, TETFund, Abdulmumin Oniyangi, expressed Israel’s desire to work with Nigeria in the area of technology and entrepreneurship development, describing Nigeria as a country of huge potential due to its teeming youth population.
He said 45 per cent of Israel’s GDP came from innovation and entrepreneurship start-ups, as the country’s major economic sectors are involved in high technology and industrial manufacturing.
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He said with Nigeria’s huge potential, if the same could be achieved, or even a 30 per cent GDP addition to Nigeria coming from technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, it would hasten Nigeria’s economic development.
Freeman also spoke about the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-Fair) programme, an initiative born out of the need to raise a generation of innovators, inventors and researchers in Nigeria; especially among the youths.
Echono said: “If innovation and entrepreneurship can provide 45% of Israel GDP, one can only imagine what 10 or 20% will do to Nigeria’s GDP with our population.”
According to him, there is a global consensus that Nigerians are hard-working and intelligent if provided with the right incentives, “and one can envision what can be unlocked through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
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