Five Nigerian startups are to get two million naira each from the federal government for digital innovation totalling ten million naira
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Pantami stated this while presenting the cheques in Abuja, at an event to mark the World Creativity and Innovation Day celebration and organised by the National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA)
The Creativity and Innovation Challenge was the theme “Inspiring Creativity & Innovation in Nigerian Digital Economy” had eight hundred entries but five startsup were selected
The Minister said the five winners are to get two million naira each totalling ten million naira with a commendation letter from the federal government signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I have been informed officially that eight hundred participants participated in this challenge, out of them, the best five had been choosen and they are going to be awarded today, each and every one of them is going to be given two million Naira by the federal government of Nigeria through the National Information Technology Development Agency. So five of them collectively they are going to receive ten million naira in addition to a letter of commendation to be signed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.“
Pantami noted that “It is indeed really encouraging that in Nigeria our future in digital creativity and innovation is very bright. There is no doubt about this. If you look at the ideas that are coming up from the discussion. Our young innovators that pitch today the quality of the presentation before originality of the presentation and many more. It is indeed very clear that our future in digital innovation is very bright.”
Adding that “They will also be part of NITDA”s innovations and entrepreneurship scheme.“
Meanwhile, the Director-General, NITDA Mr Kashifu Abdullahi used the opportunity to speak on the vital role innovations plays in the growth and development of a nation’s economy.
“Innovation is a vital key to the prosperity of any nation, and our prospects for future economic growth largely hinges on our ability to innovate.
“Innovations, particularly market-creating innovations, have the potential to transform nations and lift them out of poverty. Market-creating innovation pulls infrastructure and investments that can transform the economy and create prosperity.” He added
According to the NITDA Boss, the Nigerian digital innovation space is making waves on the African continent and beyond while referring to a report by the Startup Genome and a survey on Nigerian Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) noting that “There are about 6,500 MSMEs, some in the digital sector with Lagos having about 700 digital innovation registered businesses worth over $2 billion. It is also noteworthy that Nigeria has a bustling fintech ecosystem, with over 200 fintech, global attention and venture capital investment.”
According to him NITDA has identified innovations as a great tool to enhance the implementation of the nation’s national digital economic policy.
“At NITDA, we have identified innovation as a critical tool for implementing National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy. We have taken bold steps to drive our nation’s prosperity by boosting digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Some of our key initiatives specifically designed to support the innovation ecosystem are Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support (TIES) Scheme, Bridge MassChallenge Nigeria and MIT-REAP Abuja. Another laudable project we initiated is the Entrepreneurship Mentoring Initiative (EMI), designed to provide mentorship services to Nigerian innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Our drive towards building a robust framework and infrastructure to bolster technology innovation for all Nigerians has the firm and usual support of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami,“ Inuwa stated.
The International Creativity and Innovation Day is a day set side by the United Nations to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation in problem-solving to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.