The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, has said that the agency was empowering youth with relevant skills for self-development and employment opportunities towards the digital economy agenda.
Mr Inuwa said this on Wednesday while giving a keynote address on “Problems, Possibilities and Potential of Nigerian Youths”, at the Youth Entrepreneurship Dialogue, YED.
YED featured in the Global Entrepreneurship Week, organised by Global Entrepreneurship Network, GEN, in Abuja.
The DG commended Nigerian youth for their consistent drive and enthusiasm towards the deployment of technological innovations in their various entrepreneurship ventures, hence national growth.
“The fact that Nigerian entrepreneurs, mainly the youth, keep delivering on innovation, promoting inclusion, leading to positive socio-economic impact and economic growth, is an indication of Nigeria’s entrepreneurship dexterity.
“Entrepreneurs are and will remain the backbone of the Nigerian economy”, he said.
Speaking on the challenges bedeviling the entrepreneurship, ICT ecosystem, Mr Inuwa assured the youth that the Federal Government was in total support and commitment to the giant entrepreneurial strides taken by the Nigerian youths.
He said the government was providing the infrastructures, policies and initiatives that would create an enabling environment.
Mr Inuwa further said that NITDA had shown commitment in promoting entrepreneurship and Innovation Driven Enterprises, IDEs, by developing its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, SRAP.
“NITDA has always been committed to driving youth entrepreneurship and we have continued to train and equip young innovative Nigerians aspiring to realise their entrepreneurial dreams through strategic programmes,” he said.
Some of the initiatives, he mentioned include the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support, TIES, scheme and the Idea Hatch, iHatch, incubation programme in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA.
He also mentioned the Bridge to MassChallenge, B2MC, among other programmes geared towards building skills.
Speaking on the Federal Government’s support for the promotion of entrepreneurship and the creation of more IDEs in the country, Inuwa recalled the newly signed Nigeria Startup Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Inuwa urged youth in the country to take full advantage of the initiative, NSA, while stating that the Act would give them limitless opportunities in harnessing its benefits.
He recognised that the youth of the country were the most critical elements in the evolutionary process as they were the drivers of change with significant impact on the economic, social, political and cultural transformation in the country as well as globally.
“The youth, their talents, potential, skills and capacities should be healthily and sufficiently channeled to the growth of the society.
“As a nation blessed with young and talented youth, Nigeria can attain economic independence, economic sustainability, and economic invulnerability, through enterprising our developed talents and potential,” Mr Inuwa added.