The National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA, to collaborate with Baze University on innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
This is part of NITDA’s commitment to implement the Strategic RoadMap and Action Plan SRAP 2020-2023 of agency as innovation and entrepreneurship, a pillar in the document, has been identified as one of the driving forces to place Nigeria as a key entrepreneurial country in Africa.
The Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa stated this at the 1st Baze University’s ‘Information Technology, Research, and Innovation week’.
He said that NITDA is putting a lot of effort and resources into ensuring that the bulk of graduates from universities and other tertiary institutions are focused on creating jobs rather than seeking jobs.
The NITDA boss who was represented by the National Director of National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, NCAIR, Yau Garba, gave the assurance that the Agency, being the IT regulator in the country, and through the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, is working with startups as key contributors to developing an entrepreneur economy.
Inuwa mentioned that major subsidiaries of NITDA that cater for entrepreneurial activities are the Office for IT Innovation and Entrepreneurship OIIE and the Office for Nigerian Content ONC which were merged to become Office for Nigerian Digital and Innovation ONDI.
“We also have the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, whose core mandate is to conduct Research and Development in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence AI, Drones, BlockChain, Internet of things IoT, etc.“ The NITDA Boss affirmed
He added that other activities of the Centre focus on Capacity Building and Partnerships with relevant Agencies and Universities in areas of national interest that challenge the nation also referred to the topic of the session “Challenges and Opportunities of Entrepreneurship Startups”.
According to him, the Agency deals with companies that have global impact to solve challenges and create entrepreneur opportunities noting that the focus is not about profiting, he explained that ventures like Risk Capitalists and Angel Investors promote businesses that produces a substantial number of jobs such as Uber, Jumia and the Nigerian unicorns like Flutterwave and Paystack needs to be replicated as much as possible to ensure a digital economy.
He noted the Agency has the support of some international organizations like the Japan International Cooperation Agency on new models for incubation and acceleration programmes. “We have a project called ‘Hives’. The idea is to build Centres within the Universities to support students and the lecturers’ learning and research development”.
The NITDA Boss noted that the Centre would be based on practical and not the usual courses on entrepreneurship to ensure the promotion of true entrepreneurial activities right from the University towards industrialization.
Inuwa charged the students to look forward to being a force in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “Nigeria must not be left behind, hence, the reason we are looking forward to collaborating with Baze University in search of people who are willing to take risks and scale their ideas to provide jobs and create innovations that would make the world a better place”, he added.
Source: Voice of Nigeria