THE Federal Government, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has flagged off the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support (TIES) Scheme, a project geared at harnessing Nigerian youth talents for job creation and business development.
The Director General and CEO of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa officially flagged off the TIES Scheme during a hybrid session that took place live in Abuja, while other locations like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Katsina, Kano, and Enugu joined virtually.
The project, according to NITDA is in furtherance towards the delivery of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administrative ambitious policy of uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
By this scheme, NITDA will be harnessing the innovative talent of the nation’s youths and providing them with the necessary support to build the required digital skills and viable tech businesses to significantly contribute to job creation and economic prosperity for Nigeria.
While applauding tech startups for seeking to provide solutions to identified gaps in the society, he gave a brief narrative of the impact of the startup community on the Nation’s economy within the last two years.
Accordng to him: “Nigeria’s flourishing startup ecosystem has continued to attract global attention as evidenced by a total investment of $2.9 billion between 2021 and 2022, as reported by Africa: The Big Deal, the highest raised by any startup ecosystem in Africa. Additionally, Nigeria is home to 5 unicorn startups out of the 7 in Africa. These, and other significant milestones, point to the enormous potential of the ecosystem in contributing to creating wealth and economic growth for Nigeria’’.
Kashifu additionally noted that, President Buhari’s administration had recently enacted the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA), which is aimed at, among others, providing a legal and institutional framework for the development of startups; providing an enabling environment for establishment and operation of startups; providing opportunities for the development and growth of tech-related talents; and to position Nigeria’s startup ecosystem as the leading digital technology center in Africa.
He affirmed that the NSA was the outcome of the collaborative efforts of the ecosystem and the Presidency, as spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, under the leadership of the Minister, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and a clear pointer to the government’s commitment to developing a more successful and thriving tech ecosystem for the development of Nigeria’s digital economy into a knowledge-based and IT-driven economy.
He further disclosed how NITDA had conceptualised and designed the TIES Scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a capacity-building programme targeted at addressing the digital skills gaps through trainings for hub managers, provision of incubation work to ensure massive creation of entrepreneurs and jobs within the ecosystem for young Nigerians.
“As an Agency, we noticed that most of the young talented people who have ideas lack mentorship.” He added that “innovative solutions are needed to tackle the problems in the country which NITDA is helping by creating the avenue that would provide a balance between the innovators and the markets,” he added.
He was optimistic that the TIES Scheme would accelerate the prosperity of the country, while enabling NITDA on delivering the target of achieving 95% digital literacy by the year 2030.
The Chairman of the TIES committee and Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS) at NITDA, Dr. Abdullahi Usman Gambo, expressed his optimism about the success of the program through the support of the industry partners. He said that NITDA is expecting the partners to help achieve the target number of trainers within the stipulated time frame through the train-the-trainer method.
Also in his remark, the General Manager of Venture Park Hub, Mr. Jayeola Okuazun expressed his gratitude to the Federal government for providing a scheme that bridges the gap for your young talented entrepreneurs.
Other partners to the scheme include Quantum Business; Blue Saphire Hub; Venture Park; Young Innovators; and Cherish Enterprise Institute.
Mr. Okuazun later took the NITDA team on a tour of the facility, showcasing the various opportunities available to young digital natives.