FG secures $500m for innovators, says minister

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, has revealed that the government has secured access to approximately $500m to initiate a local funding programme.

This initiative, he said, would boost innovation and entrepreneurship within the country’s digital sector.

The minister stated this at a dinner in partnership with the World Bank in Abuja on Friday.

He said, “So we’ve got access to about half a billion dollars to start local funding.”

Speaking on the creation of an ICT hub for young innovators by the ex-minister he said, “Because typically what you get is there’s a lot of investment that goes into infrastructure. As you know, I used to run the most successful technology in Africa, which means I understand not only how to build hubs but how to make them sustainable. So, one of the legacy investments that we’re looking to take advantage of is that the former minister and his team invested a lot in the technology hub.

“Our mandate is to ensure that these technology hubs are actually being used by the people. Our mandate is to ensure that the hub that is somewhere in Kano or Ogun actually serves the young innovators in those cases. So, that’s one of the things I will be prioritising; in fact it is one of the programs that I will be hitting the ground running.”

Meanwhile, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, has reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to eradicating poverty, improving lives, and creating job opportunities for the country’s teeming youths.

Chaudhuri emphasised the potential of leveraging digital technologies to drive transformation and outlined two key areas of partnership with Nigeria to achieve these goals.

Speaking to journalists, Chaudhuri highlighted the importance of a digital national ID as the foundation for digital transformation, adding that the World Bank was collaborating with the National Identity Management Commission to ensure the successful rollout and registration of digital national IDs for all Nigerians.

(Punch)

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