Home News Expand i-FAIR programme – Shettima implores Israel

Expand i-FAIR programme – Shettima implores Israel

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima has implored the Israeli government to expand its scope of the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR) initiative programme to benefit more Nigerian youths.

Shettima made the call during the meeting/tour of the Innov8Hub centre with Foreign Ministry Director-General of Israel, Mr Yaakov Blitshien, on Sunday in Abuja.

The vice-president was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs in the Office of the Vice-President, Mr Tope Fasua.

He commended the i-FAIR initiative sponsored by Israel to have benefited young people, saying it should be scaled up to enable more Nigerian youths benefit.

Shettima said, “I think for some of the initiatives we have seen so far, the youth of this country are already taking initiatives to solve problems that they have.

“Food inflation is 40 per cent as we speak, which is not acceptable, this is what we are actually battling to work-down as quickly as possible.

“We will be like Oliver Twist; we want some more connection to the rest of the world, some more capita and mentorship with startups in Israel.

“Such exposure will be good for them to see the latest in scientific and technological innovation coming from Israel, which is reputed all over the world for their achievement.

Blitshien described I-FAIR as one of Israeli flagship programmes in Nigeria that had recorded remarkable successes

“During the i-FAIR ceremony in March 2024, the vice president asked us to double the size of the programme.

“So, I am pleased to announce Israel is committed to the programme together with our partners TETFund, to increase the size. We will be launching it very soon.

“We are proud to meet the challenge of the vice president and the government of President Bola Tinubu, we look forward to doing more projects together in future.

“I will be pleased to strengthen the relationship between Israel and Nigeria, and the one to open the institute of Israel to Nigeria”, Blitshien said.

The Executive-secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, said the programme had been expanded through support from the Israeli embassy in Nigeria.

“We have another programme, where we are trying to have research labs and demonstration farms in our specialised agricultural universities.

“We are also working in partnership with Israeli scientists and Innov8Hub to help us bring that together”, Echono said.

For his part, Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Michael Freeman attributed close working relations between the embassy and the President Tinubu-led administration for the success of the programme.

Freeman, also the Permanent Representative of Israel to ECOWAS, said such partnership resulted in the achievement of various goals and aims of the government.

“We are really pleased to be working with our partners.

“We look forward to make a big difference for Nigerians and Israelis because this is a partnership between our both countries”, Freeman said.

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