Why we earmarked N10bn support for indigenous innovations

...Inaugurates Nigerian Start-Up Act 2022  implementation Committee

By Stanley Edward

The Federal government has earmarked  N10 billion annual support to encourage young innovators in the country to come up with innovative indigenous startups to significantly reduce importation and encourage the exportation of Nigerian products.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami who disclosed this yesterday while inaugurating  a 27-man Nigeria Startup Act 2022 Implementation Committee in Abuja.
The is saddled with the responsibility of establishing a baseline ecosystem for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
The committee is Co-Chaired by a Professor of Computer Science at Ahmadu Bello University, (BUK) Zaria, Prof Sahalu Junaidu and Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu also has the mandate of establishing a guideline, mentoring young innovators and linking them up with national ICT partners all over the country in addition to identifying the challenges they are having financially.

The minister explained that the plan is to ensure that instead of leveraging on technologies imported from other countries, we support our young innovators since we have the talent and prioritize what they develop for our consumption and export.
He stated that Nigeria stands to gain immensely from the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act 2022.
“It was through this approach that we have cities like Silicon Valley today adding that it is an attempt to turn things around by making Nigeria a producer rather than consumer, we want a situation where we produce, consume and export rather than an import.”

He noted that all over the world, priority is given to a knowledge-based economy and most of the big economies in the world are driven by digital enterprises.
Pantami explained that N10 billion every year supports young citizens that are interested in the sector stressing that the funding support sometimes will be free or in form of grants or a loan to support their innovative ideas.
He observed that the ICT sector is recording unprecedented achievements and making significant contributions to the GDP which has helped in diversifying the nation’s economy.

The minister noted that the journey commenced in 2021 with the drafting of the Nigeria Startup Bill which had the input of industry players and stakeholders from both government and the private sector, later passed into law by the National Assembly and then assented to by the President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2022.
He further stated that since October 2022, the government has reached out to the judiciary for legal guidance to ensure hitch-free implementation of the Act.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director General of the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kachifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said that Startups are key drivers of economic growth adding that the implementation of the startup Nigeria Act 2022 will be a game changer for the nation’s ICT sector.

He noted that the inauguration of the committee signifies the government’s unwavering commitment to the development of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem adding that the government is poised to create an enabling environment for young Nigerians to develop indigenous technologies for market.



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