The Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa, has said that almost 30 per cent of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment ends in Nigeria.
According to him, the Nigeria tech ecosystem has attracted about $4.4bn investment in 2015, 2019 and 2020 commutatively, and ICT contributed about 18.5 per cent to country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Inuwa said this at the Leaders Without Borders Annual Business Summit and International Honours 2023 in London with the theme: “Business Beyond Borders, Global Partnerships and Sustainable Investments”, a global event that brings together business leaders, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from around the world to promote collaboration and innovation in the business world.
The DG recalled that NITDA as a government agency established in 2001 to help Nigerians in the use of information technology had supported about 753 startups in different ways through training, seed funding and grants.
It added that through the agency’s efforts, 120 million Nigerians currently have access to the internet not just computer.
He noted that the digital economy had created a pathway for emerging technologies, providing opportunities for talented youths in Africa to emerge as global leaders, through harnessing their potential.
According to the NITDA boss, fintech companies in the country are almost twice bigger than its biggest bank.
He claimed that the biggest bank in the country was valued at about $1.6bn, while Flutterwave was almost $3.6bn.
“Nigeria is thriving and has the most vibrant tech ecosystem in Africa. Recently, we took some startups to Riyadh for competition, and two of them emerged as global winners and won $150,000 each.
“In addition to making an effort in IT development as well as enhancing the capacity of the citizenry, hundreds of IT Hubs, IT Parks, and community ICT centres were established, furnished and equipped with worlds class facilities across the states of the federation.
“The agency through its strategic relations with techpreneurs, supported startups, and IT ecosystem builders through Nigeria ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision (NIIEV) which have created employment for Nigerian youths,” he explained.
Inuwa noted that the agency had been doing a lot in the area of digital literacy, using local languages to enable every Nigerian to be able to use digital devices and consume digital services.
“We have trained over 3.3 million Nigerians on digital literacy to boost the economy.
“NITDA embarked on the development of many regulatory frameworks for the Information Technology development in government establishments. The projects are to give rise to digital skills in educational institutions and rural areas and cities, to develop human capital and provide universal access to digital services with the aim of creating a knowledge-based economy,” the NITDA DG said.
Inuwa further revealed that under the IT project clearance, the agency had saved the country money from duplication of projects by ministries, departments and agencies.
According to him from 2019 to date, NITDA through the project has saved the country over N305bn from IT project implementation in MDAs towards improving effectiveness and efficiency in executing government IT projects across the country.