NITDA, JICA Establishes Job-Creation, Startup Agency For N’east 

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A cross section of participants and organisers during the training in Abuja.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI) has established the North East Startup Training (NEST) programme to create an enabling environment for innovators to expand their business ideas and create job opportunities in the northeastern region.

The director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi stated this at the opening ceremony of the NEST’s training programme in Abuja.

Abdullahi, represented by the acting coordinator of ONDI, Yakubu Musa said that 20 of the 8,541 applicants were selected for the startup business plan training just as he tasked them to take advantage of the knowledge-acquisition opportunity.

“[I] Call on the 20 participating startups to take full advantage and knowledge that this programme offers as a means to transform and reposition your businesses for greater impact on the economy of the northeastern region and Nigeria,” Abdullahi said.

He explained that the startup is a significant milestone that will strengthen the legal and institutional framework for Nigeria’s technological development.

“The outcome of this programme will provide you with the resources and skills to move your business to a higher level and become drivers within the Nigerian and global tech and innovative ecosystem.

“JICA has been supporting us to develop and expand the number of innovation-driven Nigerians. JICA has proven to be a dependable partner, supporting the third ecosystem. 

“The programme will create an enabling environment for the youths.”

In his address, JICA expert, Naonobu Fuwa disclosed that the Japanese government is set to support the NEST programme to promote more digital transformation and green energy.

“We encourage Nigerian youths to push up the indigenous ideas and maximise this opportunity for empowerment.

“I hope this programme will contribute to their taxes, not only in the Nigerian market but globally,” Fuwa said.

One of the participants and founder of Gombe-based Dopals Technologies, Khalid Abdullahi expressed his gratitude to NITDA and JICA for the “great opportunity to develop” his three-year-old business.

“I expect to have more skills and create a better business model and have the opportunity to network and learn from others [here],” Abdullahi said.

Oluchi Okorafor
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