To deepen the emerging innovativeness among Nigerian youth and catalyse the economic growth of the country, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has championed the MIT REAP programme in Abuja.
The team consist of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami as champion; executive secretary Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board Alh. Ahmed Bobboi (Co champion); director general National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi; managing director Sigma Pensions Limited Dave Uduanu; deputy dean Faculty of Management Sciences, Nile University of Nigeria professor Ibrahim Keles; founder Verdant Agri-Tech Nasir Abdulqadir Yammama; founder First Icon Mutual Capital Limited Moses Saromi; special projects and Innovation, Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board Aminu Ahmed; national coordinator office for ICT Innovation and Enterpreneurship (OIIE) Dr Amina Sambo-Magaji; talent management officer Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board Halima Halilu; consultant Abdulsalam Umar; Innovation and Industry Cluster specialist Bashir Yusuf and managing director TeasyPay Musa Ali Baba.
However, for wider stakeholder inclusion, an advisory board of senior and experienced personalities and supplementary team members representing identified stakeholder groups has been co-opted.
The minister while inaugurating the board appreciates the “members of the advisory board of the Abuja Team for Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme (REAP) promoted by Massachusete Institute of Technology (MIT).
He stated that “the aims of the project transcend the FCT; as it is being done for Nigeria as a whole. The learning and principles applied through REAP are transferable to any town, city, state or region of Nigeria.
According to the minister, “The main purpose of the programme is to adopt, and adapt, MIT’s proven frameworks on accelerating innovation to create localized strategies for developing and sustaining enterprises driven by innovation (IDEs).
MIT-REAP is designed for high-level teams selected from regions dedicated to working alongside MIT faculty over a two year period to drive innovation-driven entrepreneurship in their city and region.
“I have humbly taken up the role as champion of the Abuja Team and have with me talented group of people with varied but valuable backgrounds that have kept working hard towards implementing REAP for Abuja.
REAP is not and cannot be a short term gimmick, but actions emanating from it can begin to take root now. It is strategic and will be incorporated into our digital transformation plans,” he said.
He added that this undertaking was inspired by the President’s fight against Poverty and his focus on Economic Development.
NITDA director general Kashifu Inuwa said the MIT-REAP project is a tonic in the federal government’s move to digitise the economy and create millions of jobs to unemployed youth.