Sanwo-Olu reveals investment of over N500M in 40 tech startups

By Kingsley Odii

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced that his government has disbursed over N500 million to more than 40 tech startups in the state. The funds were provided through the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) to support the growth and scalability of these startups.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made this announcement while delivering the state’s 2024 budget to the House of Assembly, recently. He highlighted that these investments in technology have led to the development of innovative solutions to address the challenges faced by the state.

One noteworthy outcome of these investments is the birth of LagRide, a startup that emerged as the second-place winner in the inaugural Transportation Hackathon challenge launched by the state in 2019. LagRide presents a unique solution to transportation issues in Lagos.

“Through the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), we have disbursed over half a billion naira to more than 40 innovative startups in Lagos. LagRide was birthed by a start-up that took second place in the first Transportation Hackathon challenge we launched in 2019, Sanwolu said.

“The Lagos Cowry Card, Lagos’ version of the UK’s Oyster card, usable across our BRT, Ferry, and Train services, was developed by Touch and Pay Technologies, a startup run by young entrepreneurs” he added.

Emphasizing the government’s commitment to fostering innovation, Governor Sanwo-Olu revealed that the state has also empowered more than 350 young technology entrepreneurs through the Lagos Innovates Voucher Program. This program provides beneficiaries with access to electricity, internet services, and other benefits in collaboration with partner hubs.

In addition to supporting startups, the Lagos State Government has undertaken various technology initiatives to improve efficiency and security across the state. Through the ongoing Metro Fibre Project, over 100 public schools, hospitals, and offices have been connected to a fiber network, ensuring better connectivity. The first phase of the project, which covers 3,000km, is nearing completion, with 2,900km already deployed. The second phase is scheduled to commence in 2024.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also highlighted other technology initiatives that have been implemented, including the Live Camera Update (LCU) Project, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras, the Command-and-Control Centre for the state waterways (Search and Rescue), and the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Project. These initiatives have contributed to improved security, more rapid responses to traffic issues, and faster mobilization to accident scenes.

Furthermore, the government is in the final stages of developing its Digital Cabinet Dashboard, an application that digitizes public data for decision-makers in government. This tool enables more informed and robust decision-making by providing real-time data on various aspects such as road incidents and hospital bed usage.


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