The second edition of Venia hub’s Co-working conference was held on the 26th of July at the IMAX cinema in Lekki, Lagos. The conference, which is a brainchild of the Venia Business Hub and was sponsored by Access bank, is an annual summit of the Co-working industry in Nigeria, including global experts, entrepreneurs, service providers and Ventures Capitalists.

The one day conference was themed ‘Co-working: Catalyst for innovation’.  For anyone interested in the Nigerian tech scene, the conference provided an opportunity to listen to stories of how Nigeria’s biggest tech companies started from many Co-working hubs in Lagos. More than that, however, the conference was a platform for government officials, investors, and representatives of corporations to rub minds about the co-working industry in Nigeria, and how co-working could be applied in other industries asides tech.

From the speech of Nigeria’s Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo to Iyioluwa Aboyeji’s interview, here are some of the key quotes from the conference:

Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Nigeria.

” Co-working is an economic and social phenomenon”

“If Division of labor defined progress in the industrial age, then co-working will define progress in the information age. Co-working will define the new creativity”

“Nobody will remember individual innovation anymore; it’s all going to be about collaboration.”

Kola Oyeneyin, CEO, and Founder, Venia Group

“Co-working is a new industry for investors to put in their money”

“A candle loses nothing by lighting other candles; co-working spaces can work together.”

Omobola Johnson, former Minister of Communication technology in Nigeria, and Honorary Chairperson of the Alliance for Affordable Internet

“Co-working spaces offer communities of people working in close proximity with each other.”

“Co-working spaces are important for the development of the young tech ecosystem in Nigeria.”

“A Co-working space operator cannot be a Real Estate manager; co-working spaces need to be managed by people interested in collaboration with, and growth of, the tech ecosystem.”

Tosin Faniro-Dada, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund

“Tech start-ups in Nigeria come with high risks, with also the possibility of a high yield.”

“Lagos state is partnering with co-working spaces to find and fund innovative businesses.”

Dr. Ola Brown, Managing Director, Flying-Doctors Nigeria

“In the west, the only forces that affect businesses are market forces. In Nigeria, there are two forces; market forces and ‘evil’ forces. The latter is the reason why startups have to collaborate.”

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Andela Co-founder, and Managing Director Flutterwave

“When you meet people and you have genuine relationships, the first question you should ask is ‘how can I help?’. You get the greatest solutions when you can answer that question.”

“The best companies in the world were built by people who individually could have built $100 million companies, but dropped their egos and came together to build billion dollar companies.”


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