The Eko Innovation Center is an initiative of the present administration of the Lagos State Government’s commitment to leverage on technology to solve 21st century problems. It is poised at creating businesses and solutions to problems through entrepreneurial and technological capacity across the state and in Nigeria at large.
On the 28th of May, the Center was unveiled by the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and on the 7th of July it was launched with a conversation on moral leadership.
Over the last week, the traffic situation in Lagos heightened with several tweets on the twitter space where Lagosians complained about the trouble they face getting to work and back home. The twitter space was not the only social media space affected as several individuals shared their experience on their WhatsApp status. It was on this space the ever joyful Nigerian spirit was displayed as some individuals got down from their vehicles and interacted with their friends in other vehicles while in traffic. This begs the question of how much is too much for Nigerians or Lagosians to take.
A research by Olorunpomi, by 2020, about $1 billion (converted to ₦160 billion using the conversion rate at that time) is estimated to be lost in congestion annually while Lagosians lose about 3 billion hours annually. Another analysis shows that Lagosinas lose about 3 years out of 10 years in traffic. This is an appalling situation that requires urgent intervention.
It is in the wake of this revelation and the trending twitter hashtag #EkoTraffic that the Lagos state Government through the Eko Innovation Center is addressing the issue of traffic problems in the state. The Lagos State Government through the Eko Innovation Center is calling on social innovators and thinkers to propose ideas to solve this menace that has become or synonymous with Lagos.
The Challenge and Model
#EkoTraffic is a “social innovation challenges targeting social idealist, problem solvers and curious developers in the creative community to proffer inspiring solution to the pervasive Lagos traffic”. Hence, $5 million has been committed to the project to build a progressive Lagos. This project will be a collaboration between the public and private sector. It will involve the incubation and acceleration done by the Eko Innovation Center and the private sector launching the idea.
Simple experimental models of the proposed solution will be used to test the idea and assumptions and other aspects of the conceptualization before the final launch. The launch will be supported by investors and ecosystem players that will provide the necessary resources to commercialize the idea.
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Eko Innovation Center
Featured Image Source: Eko Innovation Center – Facebook
Aanuoluwapo Olajide is a freelance writer who believes that words are fundamental blocks and are the force of life and death. She is a tech enthusiast, fashion designer and a lover of words.