In collaboration with Versecom Limited and IHS Nigeria, the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has set up a multipurpose energy and environment hub to enhance access to office spaces for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and freelancers across Lagos.
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology, Tunbosun Alake, who declared the hub open re-emphasized the State government’s commitment to facilitating impactful Public-Private Partnerships. He also challenged young people in the energy and environmental management sectors to find practical solutions to real problems.
“The Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) is available to assist tech entrepreneurs in the State with critical funding and resources through fund-ready and scalable innovations with the capacity to deliver intrinsic economic and civic value, and I urge tech entrepreneurs to take advantage of it,” he said.
LASPARK’s General Manager, Mrs Adetoun Popoola, also spoke during the launch and commended Versecom Limited and IHS Nigeria on successfully completing the project despite the COVID-19 pandemic that affected businesses across the globe.
According to Mrs Popoola, LASPARK’s decision to approve the use of the space and partner with Versecom Limited was easy due to the two companies’ mutual drive to use technology to create socially impactful products and solutions to promote innovation.
“This partnership is in line with LASPARK’s mandate to promote recreation and social development, as a testimony to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to a Greater Lagos. We welcome private sector-driven investments and partnerships to accelerate economic growth that will benefit state residents”, she said.
The General Manager thanked the community for their support and guidance, expressing optimism that they will make good use of the facility for recreational and technology-related purposes.
In a similar vein, the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mrs Tejumola Abisoye, expressed her full support and endorsement of the project.
She said, “LSETF provides entrepreneurs with rigorous incubation and digital mentoring to help them refine their ideas, while the Agency implements various initiatives and platforms to support early-stage start-ups.”
Also speaking at the event, Dapo Otunla, Chief Corporate Services Officer at IHS Nigeria said his organisation is committed to working with communities to resolve pressing environmental issues, adding that the firm supports the creation of energy and environment hubs, which is in tandem with one of its sustainability pillars.
On his part, the co-founder of Versecom Limited, Timilehin Odusina, explained that users of the 700-capacity hub will have access to high-speed internet, constant electricity, tech-focused programmes, capacity building, and community events.
According to him, these programmes will be tailored specifically to energy and environment start-ups, and that researchers will have access to a laboratory within the complex to improve innovation in the sector.
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.
It is the first hub of its kind in Lagos and is open to everyone from start-ups to freelancers to those looking for remote work.