Indigenous innovations key to unlock Nigeria’s position in global digital stage—Minister

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he Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has stated that digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship in Nigeria will help position the country in its rightful place in global digital space.

The minister who was speaking at the stakeholders review and validation workshop of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy (NDIEP) organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja on Thursday, said, the federal government through this policy is building an enabling environment for indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.

He noted that encouraging local innovation, entrepreneurship will ensure that Nigeria become a producing and not a consuming nation. “In Nigeria, we have many potentials to produce and deploy what we need and the government is working on providing the enabling environment by introducing the NDIEP.

“When we support our innovators and entrepreneurs, they will increase our products and position Nigerian goods for more exports,” adding that, the FG is willing to engage ICT hubs, startups, among other innovators, to evaluate their innovation for support.

He therefore charge young innovators to be consistent and focused.

Director-general NITDA Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi Inuwa said the policy is designed to help the country create an enabling environment to start and grow Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs). “Government is committed to mentoring startups to develop the innovation ecosystem and translate their ideas into products for commercialization.

By implementing the policy, we will create the IDE mindset and skillset and learn how to do business in our communities.”

He added that the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) is more on short term and regional benefits, while the IDE grows exponentially and can expose an idea to the international market.”

Giving an overview of the policy draft, technical assistant to the Minister on IT Dr Femi Adeluyi said it targets to leverage digital innovation and entrepreneurship for job creation as well as empower youths in the country.

He said the policy is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, while its priority areas of the focuses on developing human capital, unlocking funding, developing infrastructure, among others.

“The policy will promote research, indigenous content development and adoption while protecting the intellectual property of indigenous innovators.”

The workshop which was with the theme “Developing an Enabling Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy” expects stakeholders from different sectors of the national innovation ecosystem to review, suggest amendments and propose implementation strategies for the policy.

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