Lockdown: DG NITDA expresses optimism as second virtual startups clinic kicks off

April 22, 2020
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THE Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has described Nigeria as a fertile ground which start-ups could explore to  provide solutions that could solve myriad of problems bedevilling the nation.

Abdullahi expressed this view through the agency’s Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Abdullahi Gambo, while addressing start-ups who are undergoing a one-week start-up clinic programme in Kebbi, the second online edition of the programme.

Start-up clinic, Kebbi (Online) with 18 participants was the second in the series of virtual start-up clinic programmes which had become the norm since the lockdown caused by COVID-19 in order to keep engaging the tech ecosystem.

The director-general stated that the government was aware of the economic benefits and contributions of technology entrepreneurship to the nation’s economy, hence, the pursuance of reforms that would bring about improved skills and more competitive digital job market.

He said, “we are committed to ensuring that you succeed because when start-up thrives, jobs are created, local content  is promoted and used, peers are inspired to try and a chain reaction is activated.”

The NITDA boss added that this would gradually move many youths away from job chasers to job creators and dependence on government would be reduced with resultant effect of increased  Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

He reiterated that the development of a thriving and sustainable technology and innovation ecosystem were key  economic drivers for the nation, noting that the leadership of the nation was seeking to minimize dependence on oil by diversifying the economy and developing entirely new industries and supporting the existing ones.

While assuring that NITDA would support  policies and public-private partnerships that would stimulate and sustain the demand for the use of digital platforms, the director-general observed  that such  policies and partnerships would foster growth of innovative technology, which would create more jobs and contribute to the GDP of the country.

He commended the participants for their doggedness and determination. saying, “it also means you have taken on the tedious journey of being innovators and entrepreneurs.

“As a start-up, the most popular words you hear include capital, investment, equity and being consistent. All these are important but more importantly, you will require passion.”

“This is because passion keeps you going during the turbulent time. As the lead innovator, if you are not passionate about what your start-up has set out to achieve, you are more likely to quit when the chips are down”, he said.

Mallam Abdullahi expressed his optimism that the start-ups would succeed if they take cognisance of what the clinics offered them by evaluating their enterprise and reviewing their models where necessary, accessing the mentors and facilitators to help with Pro Bono professional services, advice and mentorship among other practical approach measures.

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