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KSIH is raising the next global Tech giants from Port Harcourt, quietly

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KSIH is raising the next global Tech giants from Port Harcourt, quietly

On Friday 28th February, the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Hub held an exhibition event where members of the technology center demonstrated some amazing problem solving Apps and virtual reality creations they had built with the skills they have acquired.

Located on Aggreey Road, at the heart of Old Port Harcourt Township, the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Hub is a space specializing in Technology. The hub provides resources for creatives and entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta. The vision of the Innovation Hub is to champion and contribute to the development of a sustainable Tech Ecosystem in the Niger Delta.

KSIH is funded by Stakeholder Democracy Network and serves as a center where developers, designers, entrepreneurs and trainees come together to learn, practice, network and build innovative solutions to inherent challenges in the region. The Hub provides the following Activities: Tech Training’s and Meetups, Incubation Programme, Co-working Space and Community for aspiring techies

The hub runs a 6-month ‘incubation’ programme known as the Ken Jr Award for Innovation. The programme is designed for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, providing training, mentorship support, and soft skills to teams of people who have a business idea and minimum viable product that they want to take to market. The aim of the incubation programme is to help mid-stage startups to build on their idea/ prototype/ venture through technology mentoring, validation, intellectual property support, marketing strategy, team building, fundraising advisory etc.

At the end of the event, participants who spoke with FR News expressed gratitude to SDN and KSIH for helping them self reliant . One of the participant, Success, said as an entrepreneur, the training he has gotten will help him contribute to development of society

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Interview with Hub manager

FR News threw some question at the hub manager, Osahon Gino Ediagbonya at the end of the event.

FR News: What’s happening at the Hub today?

HUB: Today we are trying to show case with member s of the hub have been able to build overtime. For the past two years we’ve been teaching them a lot of technology and they’ve been able to build some solutions from what they’ve learnt. We encourage them to look at the environment and see how they can proffer solutions to challenges in the environment.

FR News: Are you satisfied with the quality of demonstration today?

Hub:  I am very proud of all of them. Like I said before, we need the young people in Nigeria to start thinking the way these guys are thinking. If we have a lot of young people thing like this, we will grow the economy and youth restiveness and other vices will reduce because as a young person, if you build a solution and you are being paid some good money, no politician will be able to influence you to carry guns for them. I am very proud of what they are doing.

FR News: What are challenges you have encountered in the course of training them?

HUB: A lot of them still don’t understand the opportunities that is been exposed to them. They don’t know the value of what we are giving to them. Because ai could remember there was a time when I could remember the time when I was very young, I was learning Tech too and I would go to Cyber Cafes to learn and it was a terrible experience. It slowed my learning experience. But having a space like this where people can come and enjoy power, internet yet some youths are yet to seize the opportunity. A lot of these young people don’t want to take their time to build themselves. Whatever we are doing here is not magic. If you come in here in the next one or two years, you will still be learning and equipping yourself. The young people don’t have that time, they are looking for fast ways of making money. These young people need a lot of mentorship and guidance but many of them don’t have this passion and motivation.

FR News:  Do you have a system for mentorship or you just train them and send them out?

HUB: We are mentors ourselves and we grow more mentors. If you come into the Hub, after one year of learning from the Hub, we make you a mentor. Some of them volunteers to be mentors to help encourage other young ones.

FR News:  Is technology lucrative in this part of the world?

HUB: Technology is amazing. The developed countries are running very fast with technology because no country can develop without technology. For now, and in the past, the acceptance has not been encouraging but I tell you the truth the time is coming when nobody can escape from technology. Is going to be everywhere. There’s technology in health, education, military, agriculture, commerce.  There’s hope that in the nearest future people will appreciate the use of tech to solve problems more.

FR News:  How can the government come in to encourage more young people to embrace technology as a way of generating revenue for themselves

HUB:  Government has a major role to play and if they are not playing this role, the development of tech is going to be very slow. First of all, they need to upgrade our curriculum to fit industry standard. They should introduce and create awareness of opportunities in technology from primary school to make it easier for them to get a hand on it from the young age. To develop the technology ecosystem, government must identify and work with hubs.

FR News: You mentioned incubation, can you speak more about it?

We run this program called an incubation program. The incubation program is called Ken Jnr Incubation Programme. Every six months, we call for application from persons who have been able to use technology to solve issues in any sector, then we select the best four and incubate them.  We the give each of the participating startups the basic support to help them grow through an enabling environment. We give them an office space, we give them power, internet and train them on marketing, legal, engineering and other areas that will help them to succeed and then we give them N500,000 to support them. The incubation programme was designed to support people who want to set up businesses that would help the Niger Delta economy grow.

FR News: When is your next incubation circle?

We are currently doing the second Cohort which is a group of people in a particular incubation program. The present set will graduate in the next two months and after that we will call for applications for the next cohort.

FR News: What’s the future of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Center in the next five to ten years?

HUB:  in the next five to ten years if we keep doing what we are doing now, we would have been able to produce some of the best technology people in Port Harcourt and the Niger Delta. We hope to see startups that have become million dollar companies. Also we should have expanded to all the states in the Niger Delta

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OYO: Police, Amotekun arrest 8 suspected bandits in combined operation

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Police in Oyo state say combined efforts of local hunters, Amotekun Corps and the Nigeria Police have led to the arrest of Abubakar Muhammadu Wantudi aged 22 yrs, Nadera Muhammadu Wantudi, Muhammadu Umar, 22 yrs, Muhammadu Bako, 26 yrs, Awalu Bako, 20 yrs, Abubakar Usman, 37 yrs, Awalu Garba, 40 yrs, and Abubakar Usman Bako, 27 yrs over alleged acts of banditry.

The eight suspected bandits who mounted illegal roadblocks at Igangan, in Oyo State, were apprehended after police officers from Iganna Division combed Budu Uberu, off Ofeegun village via Igangan .

Parading the suspects at the State Police headquarters, the State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, said, “On 2nd May 2021 at about 1000hrs, a group of men attempted to dispossess motorists along Elekokan/Iganna road of their valuables, an action that was repelled by officers attached to Iganna Divisional Police Headquarters in collaboration with operatives of Amotekun Corps, causing suspects to flee with gunshot injuries, leaving behind a locally made single barrel pistol at the scene of crime.”

The police spokeswoman said: “the divisional police officer quickly mobilized a combined team of local hunters, Amotekun Corps and personnel from Iganna Division to comb Budu Uberu, off Ofeegun village via Igangan, where it was gathered through intelligence that suspects were receiving treatments from gunshot injuries earlier sustained from the repelling actions of the Police and others”.

“Consequent upon this, the suspects were arrested and exhibits as listed below were recovered from them. Investigation is still in progress while suspects remain in Police custody.”

Items allegedly recovered from the suspects include four locally made single barrel guns, three cutlasses, three axes, one knife, two dangerous rods, charms concealed in their hideouts, two pairs of slippers, two torch lights, and one hoe.

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Clark Lauds NDDC on Projects, Calls Commission’s Boss a Shining Light

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The Ijaw National leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, has applauded the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for embarking on projects and programmes that are impacting positively on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region

Speaking during the commissioning of the 3.2-kilometre rigid pavement Chief Ambakederemo Road in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Clark gave kudos to the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa, whom he described the as a shining light in the Niger Delta.

The Ijaw leader, who was represented by his son, Chief Anthony Clark, remarked that NDDC was expected to be the guiding light for the social and economic development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

He noted that the inauguration of the road, which was preceded by the flag-off of donation of education and essential science equipment in Warri, was part of remarkable achievements recorded by the Interim Administrator in his short period as the Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC.

Clark said: “As you commission this Ambakederemo Road, Kiagbodo, today, I want to assure you that we the communities of Kiagbodo, and our neighbours, will ensure that we play our part, that the road will be well protected for the good of the people.”

The elder statesman called on the Federal Government to ensure the sustainable funding of the NDDC, expressing concern that the Commission was still being owed a lot of money by the Federal Government unlike similar bodies such as the recently set up North East Development Commission.

He said that a country where different standards exist for similar organisations was not in the collective interest of the country, stating that this was more so when the NDDC was the body responsible for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Clark stated: “A situation where the Federal Government spends so much on roads, while the East-West Road, running from Edo-Delta-Bayelsa-Rivers-Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, is not funded by the Federal Government, and thus remains deplorable, and has become death traps to users, and a waste of time and resources, as commuters go through the horrendous experience of travelling on the road is quite unacceptable.”

In his own remarks, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Akwa, gave credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for galvanising the Commission to deliver on its mandate.

He paid tribute to Chief Edwin Clark, whom he described as a model leader, who was always looking out for the things that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region. According to him, the Ijaw leader was more interested in projects that would help his community, in particular, and Niger Delta at large.

Akwa commended the youths of Kiagbodo for being very peaceful and providing the enabling environment for the contractor to deliver on the road, which he noted was a link between Burutu Local Government and Ughelli council area.

The NDDC boss commended the contractor for doing a good job and equally thanked the community for appreciating the efforts of the Commission, promising that another road would soon be built in the area. He said: “Because you like good things, good things will follow you.”

Giving details of the project, the Director, NDDC Delta State Office, Engr. Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua said that solid infrastructure was the pillar upon which any meaningful economic or social growth of any society rested, noting that the security of any community was enhanced by infrastructural development.

He observed that Kiagbodo community, before the construction of the Chief Ambakederemo Road, was prone to perennial flooding, youth restiveness occasioned by mass poverty and unemployment.

The director said: “Today, the story is different due to the conception and implementation of this very important road, and other interventions (projects and programs) by the NDDC over the years. Economic activities are on the rise, the community is now more peaceful as both young and old are now busy with increased access to their farmlands and other business places.”

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