Kashifu Inuwa, Director General, National information technology Development agency (NITDA), has affirmed the Agency is dedicated towards supporting young Nigerian innovators.
He asserts that the nation’s top IT regulator would continue to uphold its position as the nation’s advocate of innovation.
Inuwa announced the commitment at the Young Innovators of Nigeria and APP-LAB Fellowship Program’s Abuja launch event.
Inuwa, who was represented by Dr. Salihu Abdulkareem, noted 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 undoubtedly create a platform for creating jobs in the IT sector.
He added that if the fellowship concept is successfully executed, it will create a group of developers who will start their own companies and work for other businesses as technology entrepreneurs in the 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.
According to Inuwa, the government cannot close the digital divide on its own, thus it is good to see organizations developing programs to that end.
He continued by saying that NITDA has been instrumental in developing a number of initiatives and programs that assist innovative startup concepts.
“At NITDA, we believe innovation and entrepreneurship has become a strong catalytic force for economic growth, wealth creation, and sustainable development. We are supporting Start-ups ecosystem in Nigeria for inclusive development”, the DG emphasized.
While highlighting NITDA initiatives, Inuwa stated that the agency established a startup voucher program to promote viable business ideas for incubation in any Nigerian technological center of their choosing.
The Agency also introduced the iHatch Program in 2022. Its goal was to help Nigerian business owners improve their business plans through a series of lectures, bootcamps, and mentoring sessions so they could develop scalable, viable business plans that would lead to the development of innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs).
The overall objective of iHatch is to enable NITDA to analyze the startup ecosystem and take necessary actions to improve the ecosystem through government actions and incentives. Young Nigerians will create companies that are legally incorporated under (CAC), produce a minimum viable product (MVP) of their innovative ideas, and connect startups and investors.
Mr. Andrew Abu, coordinator of the APP-LAP and Young Innovators of Nigeria, addressed the difficulties the young innovators are facing while turning to thank NITDA for their assistance.
He acknowledged that one of their problems is finding funding for talent, but he remained optimistic that at the end of the program, fellows would have developed a number of cutting-edge solutions that would have a significant impact on Nigeria’s efforts to become one of the leading countries in the digital economy.