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‘NITDA Committed To Supporting Young Nigerian Innovations’

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

The director-general, National information technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has reiterated the agency’s commitment to supporting young Nigerian innovators. According to him, the nation’s apex IT regulator will continue to maintain itself as the champion of innovation in the country.

He committed during the opening ceremony of the APP-LAB Fellowship Programme in collaboration with Young Innovators of Nigeria in Abuja.

Represented by Dr. Salihu Abdulkareem, Abdullahi noted that the APP-LAB Young Innovators Fellowship Programme 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 the IT 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 to participate in the knowledge economy and create wealth for themselves and the country at large,” he said.

Abdullahi maintained that government cannot do it alone, and it is encouraging to see organisation 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 startups’ 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 startups ecosystem in Nigeria for inclusive development, the DG emphasized.

While Highlighting the NITDA initiatives, Abdullahi said the agency initiated the start-up voucher programme to support viable business ideas for incubation in any technology hub of their choice across Nigeria. In 2022 the agency also launched the iHatch Programme, 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 enterprise (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 a connection between start-ups and investors, enable NITDA to analyse 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. He, however, remained confident that at the end of the programme, fellows will come up with various futuristic solutions to impact Nigeria’s quest to be one of the biggest digital economies in the world.

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