Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has reiterated the Agency’s commitment to supporting young Nigerian innovators. According to him, the nation’s apex IT regulator will continue to be the country’s champion of innovation.
Inuwa made the pledge in Abuja at the launch of the APP-LAB Fellowship Programme in collaboration with the Young Innovators of Nigeria.
Represented by Dr Salihu Abdulkareem noted that the APP-LAB Young Innovators Fellowship Program which seeks to identify, mentor and train young Nigerians for free in Emerging Technology skills and match them with industry practitioners, will surely create a platform for creating jobs in IT the Sector.
He added that the fellowship concept if implemented properly, will produce a team of developers who will become Technology Entrepreneurs for themselves and other companies in the nearest future.
“NITDA believes that our youth must be trained and given the prerequisite skills in order to participate in the knowledge economy and create wealth for themselves and the country at large,” he said.
Inuwa maintains that government cannot do it alone, and it is encouraging to see organizations coming up with initiatives that help the country in bridging the digital gap.
He added that NITDA has been playing a key role in creating various initiatives and programmes that support innovation-driven Startup ideas.
“At NITDA, we believe innovation and entrepreneurship have become a strong catalytic force for economic growth, wealth creation, and sustainable development. We are supporting the start-up ecosystem in Nigeria for inclusive development, the DG emphasized.
While Highlighting the NITDA initiatives, Inuwa said the Agency initiated a startup voucher programme to support viable business ideas for incubation in any technology hubs of their choice across Nigeria. In 2022 the Agency also launched iHatch Programme, which was designed to refine the business model of Nigerian entrepreneurs through a series of mentoring, lectures and boot camps, and enable the creation of viable and scalable business models, hence, the creation of innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs).
The overall goal of iHatch is to establish companies, which are legally Incorporated under (CAC) by young Nigerians, produce minimum viable product (MVP) of their innovative ideas, establish connections between start-ups and investors, enable NITDA to analyze the startup ecosystem and take necessary actions to improve the ecosystem through government actions and incentives.
While taking turns to appreciate the NITDA support and support, the convener of the APP-LAP and Young Innovators of Nigeria, Mr Andrew Abu, shared the challenges being faced by the young innovators.
He said one of their challenges is funding talent, nevertheless, he remains confident that at the end of the programme, fellows will come up with various futuristic solutions that will make an impact on Nigeria’s quest to be one biggest digital economy nations.