By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Executive Council has approved a plan to incentivise and further harness Nigeria’s digital innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
This followed the presentation of a memo by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The approval, according to the ministry will enable the implementation of strategies to encourage and support the development and growth of more Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs), which have the potential to create millions of additional jobs in the country.
This will also help to develop innovative solutions to societal problems, and rapidly grow, as well as diversify the Nigerian economy, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.
The ministry said a number of the proposed strategies resulted from recommendations that were made at an interactive forum held on 22nd February 2022, where the Honourable Minister led a Federal Government Delegation on a working visit to the Lagos digital innovation ecosystem.
The delegation included the Director-General of NITDA, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Post Master General and the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Plc.
The visit provided a useful platform for open and interactive discussions on the ecosystem’s pertinent challenges and interventions required from the government to enable the ecosystem achieve its full potential.
The forum was attended by 143 ICT and Startup Companies.
The delegation also paid a visit to 3 selected tech startups, namely: Flutterwave (currently valued at US$3 billion), Treepz (with a current funding of US$3.1 million) and Reliance Health (with US$48.3 million in funding).
The Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) was earlier approved by the Federal Executive Council and forwarded to the National Assembly and the process is about 90% complete. The approval of the incentives at the Council will consolidate the gains recorded for far in the NSB process. The implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) emphasises the importance of the innovation and startup ecosystem to the development of an indigenous digital economy. The Ministry will continue to position Nigeria to develop this ecosystem in order to transform Nigeria into a country with a sustainable and thriving digital economy.