The Civic Innovation Lab, on the 4th of April, hosted the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at an event tagged ‘Mentorship Series 1.0’. It was a golden opportunity for young entrepreneurs and industry disruptors to learn from one who has the intellectual, financial, practical and political experience. Having built a chain of businesses, sat at the pinnacle of legislative bodies and being the number two citizen of the country, no one could be in a more qualified position to spur such motivation the participants went home with.

The event, which took an interactive form and anchored by Flutterwave Co-Founder, Mr Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, was perfect in answering the idea-suffocating and beclouding questions on the minds of the audience.

On the major issue the country has and what must be gotten right over the next few decades, as identified by the VP, is Integrity. He described this lacking virtue as something beyond a moral preaching but a fundamental business value. With Integrity, a producer will meet the needs of the clients satisfactorily and high quality will be upheld. “It is the ability of people to be able to trust you with services and money”, He said. He identified a huge gulf that exists between a stated objective or proposed project and the implementation. This is due to how poor service providers maintain timelines and keep promises. This is turn affects production negatively.

The legislative guru educated the audience on the way out of the alarming rate of unemployability the country is challenged with, which appears to be more threatening than unemployment. Considering how fast robots and AI is taking over human roles, students and youths need to be more aggressive about self-education and development. Adding that the structure and style of education has evolved, he said that students are now trained at a faster rate by learning through problem solving. Giving an instance of the state of legal studies, crime scenarios are simulated and through given principles, students brainstorm, unravel and solve the cases. This is contrary to the theoretical style of teaching we had in the past decades.

In amplifying the dedication of the government to the tech and innovation space, the VP announced the plan of the government to build six innovation labs across various universities nationwide. Professor Yemi Osinbajo concluded the session by encouraging internship in public offices and government parastatal. This is a fundamental aspect of breeding efficient leaders to take over these offices. However, he is not against youths taking leadership roles in government.

The Civic Innovation Team presented a paper art work of the Vice President as a sign of their deep appreciation to the one leader who has shown a long overdue interest in the tech, innovation and start-up community of the country.