2022 WCID: Nigeria Startup Bill will address 90 per cent challenges in IT ecosystem- Pantami


…as Five Startups win FG’s N6.5m cash prize for innovation, creativity

By Ogaga Ariemu 

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami has said Nigeria Startup Bill when passed by National Assembly into law will help address 90 per cent of challenges facing the nation’s Information Technology ecosystem.

He stressed that problem solving innovation, creativity, critical to addressing Nigeria’s challenges.

Pantami disclosed this during 2022 World Creativity and Innovation Day(WCID) celebration organized by National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) together with it subsidiaries, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), the Office For Nigerian Digital Innovation(ONDI) on Thursday in Abuja.

This is coming as Five IT Startups namely; GreenAI, FUELINTELLISENSE, Bridging Space, Fascinate technologies, XCMED, who participated in the Innovation Pitch Competition have been awarded cash prizes of N6,500,000 in total for their innovation creativity.

The Minister said, the situation of unemployment, unemployability is becoming worrisome due to over reliance on certificates, degrees rather than skills and innovations.

He urged that Nigeria and all strata of the society should prioritize digital innovation, entrepreneurship as the basic tool to reduce the Nation’s economic woes.

He added that Nigerians should concentrate on solving the Nation’s problems through innovative solutions.

According to him, “The best way to address the myriad economy challenges facing Nigeria in area of unemployment and  umemployability is reliance on skills, entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The WCID is designated to promote creativity and innovation through critical thinking aimed at solving real life problems.

“The proposed Nigeria Startups Bill when passed by the National Assembly will help tackled 90 per cent challenges in the Nigeria digital ecosystem. It will bring about adequate policies to encourage startups, seed-funds, capacity empowerments

“Let us not leave this celebration to end here, let’s think of solutions to solve challenges facing Nigeria”, he stated.

On his part the Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Abdullahi reiterated that his agency would continue to promote and encourage startups in Nigeria.

He explained that iHATCH Challenge,  Bridge to MassChallenge and others done in collaboration with partners are programmes designed to promote innovation and creativity within the Nigeria technology space.

Earlier, the National Coordinator, NCAIR, Engr Yau Garba encouraged Nigerians to utilize the myriad of opportunities the centre is offering on innovation, creativity.

Meanwhile first prize winner, founder of GreenAI, Mr Bryon Neji, an agriculture tech firm said he is delighted at the Innovation Pitch Competition.

He stated that the first prize award of N2,000,000 will hugely boost his business.

Other winners, FUELINTELLISENSE got N1,500,000, Bridging Space(N1,000,000),  Fascinate technologies(N500,000) and XCMED(N500,000) respectively.