Nigeria’s Startup Ecosystem Attracted Over $1.5bn In 2021 – Abdullahi

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The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.
The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi.

The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has revealed that the Nigerian start-up ecosystem attracted over $1.5 billion in 2021.

Speaking during a virtual NITDA Nigerian Innovation Ecosystem Engagement today (Jan. 27), he said the country was able to achieve this by building the most investment-appealing ecosystem in Africa.

“It is amazing that you have succeeded in building the most investment appealing ecosystem in Africa, attracting over 1.5B USD representing 35 per cent of total investment in Africa in 2021. This is unprecedented, but for me, there is no passion playing small and settling for leading only in Africa if we can compete globally. We have the talent, passion and energy to be reckoned with globally,” he said.

Abdullahi underscored the Federal Government’s commitment to making the sector even more viable by providing a conducive environment and the requisite policies to help boost the sector.

“Never in the history of our country has there been an administration friendly to the innovation and tech ecosystem like this one led by President Muhammadu Buhari. Please, permit me to put it in a historical perspective.

“In October 2019, the president redesignated our ministry to cover the digital economy. In November same year, he unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

“In March 2020, he unveiled the National Broadband Plan. In December 2021, he approved the draft start-up bill for onward transmission to the National Assembly. This week he launched the 5G policy – all in a bid to create an enabling environment for you to thrive.

“The minister, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim, is so passionate about you to the extent that he hardly says “no” to anything that accelerates growth in the sector, no matter what. He formulated more than 16 policies to make life easier for you,” he told the gathering.

Abdullahi further said the NITDA is currently rebranding and recalibrating to reimagine its place in the ecosystem, adding they cannot succeed in isolation. “You need the government and the government needs you. Government can do things you cannot and you can do things the government cannot. Together, we can do great things, redefine, create and shape our tomorrow,” he added.

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