Nigeria develops draft policy on Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startup
The Federal Government has presented a draft Nigeria Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startup Policy (NDIESP) with five cardinal focus to: Advance Human Capital, Unlock Access to Capital, Enable Infrastructure, Boost Demand, and Promot Innovative Entrepreneurship.
According to the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, the policy is formulated to achieve a digital innovation and entrepreneurship-driven nation with particular focus on seeing improvement in the areas of digital technologies.
The Director General of NITDA Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, while making his presentation at the Public Sector Stakeholders’ Engagement organised by the Agency, disclosed that the idea behind the formulation of this policy was to bring to the table different and innovative approaches to grow the economy.
“The reason we gathered here today is to present a draft National Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy which has the primary objective of digital transformation of our economy with the potential of boosting economic growth and economic diversification. This is a task that requires all hands to be on deck,” said the DG, who was represented by Dr Usman Abdullahi, Director of Information technology and infrastructure solutions in NITDA.
He explained that for digital transformation to become a reality, Nigeria must pay attention to harnessing the quality and relevance of its population, while it continues to maintain the 60:40 ratio of STEM students in universities to other disciplines.
He noted that more attention should be paid to the curricular that are being used to teach and how relevant they are to digital economy.
“We are all aware that there is no innovation where new knowledge does not exist. The most innovative countries in the world that control the market share of the $11.5 trillion global digital economy are the countries with immense public and private sectors that are funding research and development.”
He said: “We must commit to accelerating our research and development; beginning with our intellectual property environment and solving the underlying problems of funding for innovation research.
“Also relevant to the realization of our digital Nigeria vision is the funding required for startups, spinoffs and already established companies in their quest for digital solutions development for the market. For it is in the application of knowledge and its conversion into useful products for the people that innovation ushers in prosperity.
“While many tax incentives exist already, we must bring together these initiatives in ways that ensure ease of access to those who need to access it. Beyond tax incentives, we must also create innovative ways of facilitating patient venture capital that will provide the runway that these innovative companies require.
“Even as we put all these in place, we must also commit to promoting digital entrepreneurship amongst our youth by all means necessary and put in place the framework that boosts demand for digital products in the economy through government patronage by procurement of these digital innovation products.”