The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), yesterday rewarded some techprenuers with cash prizes ranging from N50,000-N300,000 at the launch of the Startup Friday programme in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State capital, South-South Nigeria.
Over ten indigenous startups, who are producing IT solutions to problems peculiar to our society pitched various IT applications they had developed over time, at the program, which is an initiative of NITDA, executed by its subsidiary office, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entreprenuership (OIIE) that is aimed at identifying and developing indigenous talent in the Nigerian IT sector.
Damilola Omoyiwole who carried the day, went home with a seed fund of N300,000:00, while the second and third positions, won by unicorn.ng and touchable pictures received seed funds of N100,000:00 each. Others went home with cash prizes of N50,000:00) respectively. Aside the seed funds, they also stand to benefit from strategic partnerships, invitation to Agency’s events, introduction to investors and a three (3) month mentorship among others.
Welcoming the techprenuers and the management of NITDA to Uyo, the Governor of the state, Mr. Emmanuel Udom, who was ably represented by the commissioner of Science and Technology Professor Nse Essien expressed delight over the choice of the state as the beneficiary of a developmental event of its magnitude.
He said the choice of Akwa Ibom state by NITDA for such an important project is an attestation that NITDA, and indeed the present administration, exists to serve all Nigerians regardless of geographical locations or any challenges. “Information Technology is the guarantee to a secure future and we are proud to be a part of this epoch making event .We are immensely grateful to the DG for spreading the dragnet to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria,” Udom stated.
He also pledged the state’s support to the Agency, urging the youths to take full advantage of the opportunity and leverage on the platform provided by Information Technology to empower themselves in order to be fully prepared for the future.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FBCS, DG NITDA, disclosed that the Agency was mandated to develop, implement and regulate the IT industry in the country and that in discharging its functions, NITDA is determined to ensure that all Nigerians, especially the youths are carried along in its empowerment agenda.
He stated that the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was established by the Agency to drive programs and policies that support ICT development, develop, establish and support ICT innovation hubs, Information Technology parks and community enterprise hubs across Nigeria while, collaborating with the private and public sectors at both federal and state levels on programs that support entrepreneurship and commercialization.