NITDA opens entry for tech innovation, enterprise support scheme

*Programme will ensure digital job creation, nation’s economic growth ─Head, Corporate Affairs/External Relations

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is inviting eligible Nigerians to apply for its technology innovation and entrepreneurship scheme programme.

Mrs. Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations at NITDA, in a statement Thursday, July 16, in Abuja, FCT, said that the programme would ensure digital job creation and nation’s economic growth.

Umar stated that the scheme is a capacity building programme for ICT hub managers, young Nigerians and innovative startups.

The capacity building is needed especially with the COVID-19 pandemic period, said Umar.

According to her, ICT hubs and startups in Nigeria have suffered from issues of capacity deficiency, such as ability to support startups, poor infrastructure and high operational costs.

It would ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda toward creating 100 million jobs in 10 years as well as the digital economy strategy is achieved, she stressed.

The Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA said: “There is the need to build support systems that would help in reducing the barriers of entry for startups while increasing the capacity of hubs and startups to create new bankable products and services.

“NITDA initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for building the capacity of both hub owners and start-ups to ensure massive creation of technology entrepreneurs and jobs within the industry.

“In line with the Digital Economy policy, the programme is designed to ensure that hub managers have the required skills set to support digital startups and build innovation ecosystems in their localities.”

The technology innovation and entrepreneurship programme would build capacity of hubs to support startups and build local innovation ecosystems, encourage innovation, increase technology and entrepreneurship skills among aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, Umar stated.

She added: “The programme will encourage local content solutions-based products, services, increase the potential for job creation in the innovation and technology sector.”

The programme comprised hub upskilling, technical capacity building, incubation and internship programmes.

The official said that the prospective hub managers to be selected would be required to sign an agreement with NITDA to train upcoming hub managers within their region.

She said that the agreement would cover equipping upcoming ones with the skills to run a hub, support innovative startups and build an innovation ecosystem in their localities.

According to her, this is a programme designed to support the ideas stage to move from ideas to the market.

Interested and eligible candidates have been directed to apply through https://scholarship.nitda.gov.ng/tiess, as the portal is now open, and would be closed by 12:00 a.m. July 24, 2020.

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