The federal government has reiterated its commitment to implement policies and initiatives to improve digital entrepreneurship and boost start-up business among the youth, especially tertiary education students in the country.
Director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said this in his keynote address during the opening of the National Innovation, Research and Software Summit (Innovation Challenge 2021) organised by the National Association of Computing Students (NACOS) in collaboration with the Financial Services Innovators (FSI) tagged “TechonDemand Hackathon”.
Speaking on the theme “Technology Renaissance For Innovation and Productivity” during the event held at the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja yesterday, the NITDA boss encouraged the youth to make impact by turning their innovations into products and services that can be commercialised.
“We have so many initiatives to help those with ideas to develop soft skills, to expose them to networks, to ecosystems and access to funding. We want to challenge the Nigerian youth to come up with solutions to the problems of the country. This is the only way to create prosperity,” he said.
He said further that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government through infrastructure and policies was diversifying the economy by creating the enabling environment for the youth to thrive in their software development and create indigenous content.
He said the agency was collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other agencies of government to get funds for the youth to develop their products, adding that they are working with universities to develop and build start-ups.
He said that COVID-19 pandemic has provided a “golden opportunity for Nigerian youths to use technology to come up with new businesses, products and services”, adding that the NITDA Action Plan 2021-2024- has mapped out these strategies through its developmental initiative, which the youth can key into.
President of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) Professor Adesina Sodiya, in his remarks noted that the NCS remains committed to promoting rapid national growth by providing necessary technical and professional support to technology providers.
National President of NACOS, Olamilekan Toyeeb Abolade in his welcome address, said the innovation challenge is to develop an interconnected, integrated and all-inclusive ecosystem of the Nigerian citizens with the requisite services that enable individuals, retailers, small businesses to transact with one another seamlessly daily using digital channels.
“Our primary goal is to empower a new crop of innovative and creative young men and women, who will add technological value to every sector of the economy and solve real-life problems.
“We are geared towards building a generation of new technoprenuers, entrepreneurs, software developers and an army of skilled and employable young people matching industry needs in priority sectors,” he said.