In a bid to identify and develop indigenous talent in the information technology sector, The National Information Technology Development Agency has unveiled 10 start-up ICT initiatives.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the Tech Start-up innovators were showcased at the 10th edition of ‘Startup Friday’ which was held in Abuja on Tuesday with the theme: ‘Creating an Enabling Environment For The Technology Entrepreneurial Ecosystem To Thrive’.
The young innovators who made impressive presentations on their various ICT innovations on health, agriculture, software applications, electronics and many others, met with experts who exposed them to better ways of packaging, fund-sourcing and investment skills
In his remark, the Director General of NITDA, Isa Ali-Pantami, said the program was aimed at identifying the youth potentials and converting them into reality.
Mr Ali-Pantami commended Tech Startups on their passion and desire to provide ICT solutions that would impact positively on the lives of Nigerians especially as the country is migrating from resource-based economy to Knowledge-based.
He said: “One of Nigeria’s key areas of strength is our young population, about 65% of Nigerians are youths and many of them ICT-savvy.
“Leading business personalities around the world have acknowledged the potentials of our startups, an example of such personalities are Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Bill and Melinda Gates and President Macron of France.”
According to him, following the country’s policies on ICT and its enforcement, the sector has contributed to 13.63% to Nigeria’s GDP.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Bashir Galandanci of Bayero University, Kano, advised the young innovators to properly package their innovations to attract investors.
“Every investor wants to see commitment, experience and professionalism. Also, investors want to see a good team and a good business plan.
“Investors measure achievable prototype, they want to see intellectualism in your product.
“They also want to see potential customers because it is difficult to raise funds for a successful business, but don’t be discouraged because there would be disappointments”, he said.
Giving some tips on generating skills, Prof. Sahalu Junaidu of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said we must first of all reform our ways of teaching and training, adding that Job readiness is first because human skills interface with workmates, clients and the rest.
In his goodwill message, the Head, Digital Financial Services, Stephen Ambore, said the innovation is timely as over 40.1million Nigerians don’t have access to financial services.
He, however, said that the country is seeking creative ways to reduce the number by 2020.
“Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is working endlessly towards bringing financial inclusion close to the citizens”, he said.