The Nigerian government has said that it’s developing a National Digital Innovation Entrepreneurship Policy(NDIEP) that would eradicate all forms of barriers that are militating against indigenous innovations and promote entrepreneurship.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Pantami, stated this in Abuja, at the Stakeholders Review and Validation Workshop of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy (NDIEP) organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The Minister said that building the enabling environment for indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive is the key to driving digital economy which will in turn increase Nigeria’s GDP.
“If we give our local innovations the necessary support; they will lift Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. The policy is to remove all barriers working against indigenous innovations,” he added.
NDIEP focuses on providing an enabling environment for indigenous innovation to thrive.
“In Nigeria we have many potential to produce and deploy what we need and the government is working on providing the enabling environment by introducing the NDIEP. When we support our innovators and entrepreneurs, they will increase our products and position Nigerian goods for more exports,” Pantami said.
He encouraged young Nigerians to be consistent and focused noting that the path to being an innovator is demanding adding that “the FG will engage ICT hubs, start-ups, among other innovators, to evaluate their innovation for support”.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said that “We are in a period of crisis and that this policy is coming at the right time. We are passing through a time of unprecedented crisis. A quadruple crisis started with health crisis, which led to the economic crisis that led to the humanitarian crisis and the mental health crisis.”
According to him, the Federal ministry of Communications and Digital Economy views entrepreneur from two perspectives: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Innovation-Driven Enterprise (IDE) Entrepreneurship. And the IDE is the way forward, “the IDE is the game changer in terms of job and wealth creation.”
The policy is designed to create an enabling environment to start and grow IDEs in Nigeria. By implementing the policy, we will create IDE mindset and skill sets and learn how to do business in our communities.
He said, unicorn companies (Unicorn is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a start-up company with a value of over $1 billion), are expected to create over three million jobs by 2025 and that with this policy Nigeria will not miss out. “By 2025, unicorn will create 3m jobs and this policy will enable us to benefit from that and help the government lift Nigerians out of poverty”, the NITDA Boss reiterated.
Inuwa stated that government is committed to mentoring start-ups to develop the innovation ecosystem and translate their ideas into products for commercialisation.
The Technical Assistant to the Minister, Dr Femi Adeluyi, while reviewing the policy draft, said it targets to leverage digital innovation and entrepreneurship for job creation, as well as empower youths in the country.
“The policy will promote research, indigenous content development and adoption while protecting the intellectual property of indigenous innovators,” Adeluyi noted.
In their Goodwill messages the Director General Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat), Abimbola Alale,
Post Master General Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST),Bisi Adegbuyi, Director General Galaxy Backbone, Mohammad Abubarka, DG,
Director General, National Identity Management (NIMC),Aliyu Aziz,
while commending the Minister and DG NITDA, said this policy will help to provide, promote guarantee the growth of digital economy and will drive African Free Trade Agreement.
With this policy things are expected to change for the better as local innovations will get priority attention from the federal government and the necessary support needed by start-ups to grow fully and support the economy in the areas of job and wealth creation.
Source: Voice of Nigeria