NITDA presents innovation, entrepreneurship policy draft

The National Information Technology Development Agency on Thursday presented the Nigeria Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startup Policy reviewed draft designed for a digital Nigeria to stakeholders.

Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General of the agency, at the policy review in Abuja, said coming up with a policy for entrepreneurs was in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

Represented by Dr. Usman Gambo, the Director, IT Infrastructure and Solutions, Inuwa said the policy focused on advancing human capital, unlocking access to capital, enabling infrastructure, boosting demand, supporting Research and Development, as well as promoting innovative entrepreneurship.

He said as the nation recently exited recession, the NDIESP was proposed to help fast track the recovery of other traditional economic sectors by supporting the provision and adoption of indigenous and tailor-made solutions.

According to him, nationwide implementation of the policy can be through automation, smart processes and ICT solutions by stakeholders in government, innovation-driven enterprises, consumers of innovation, technology start-ups, innovation hubs and labs, investors, academia, funding agencies, civil society organisations and service providers, among others.

Inuwa said: “For digital transformation to become a reality, Nigeria must pay attention to harnessing the quality and the relevance of its population, while it continues to maintain the 60:40 ratio of Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students in universities to other disciplines.

“More attention should be paid to the curricular being used to teach and ensure its relevance to the 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.

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“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.”

Inuwa also mentioned that relevant to the realisation of the digital Nigeria vision was the funding required for startups, spinoffs and already established companies in their quest for digital solutions development for the market.

According to him, it is in the application of knowledge and its conversion into useful products for the people that innovation ushers in prosperity.

He said: “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 patent venture capital that will provide the runway that these innovative companies require.

“We must also commit to promoting digital entrepreneurship among our youths by all means necessary and put in place the framework that boosts demand for digital products for economic growth.”

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