The Director-General of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mal. Kashifu Inuwa has challenged tech innovators in Nigeria to build solutions that can compete globally.
The DG, who threw up the challenge while delievery his opening remarks at the virtual NITDA Nigerian Innovation Ecosystem Engagement held today, admitted that though innovators in Nigeria have succeeded in building the most investment appealing ecosystem in Africa, there is no passion playing small and settling for leading only in Africa.
“It is amazing that you have succeeded in building the most investment appealing ecosystem in Africa, attracting over 1.5B USD representing 35% of total investment in Africa in 2021. This is unprecedented, but for me, there is no passion playing small and settling for leading only in Africa if we can compete globally,” he said.
He noted that innovators from Nigeria have the talent, passion and energy to be reckoned with globally, adding that what it takes to win in the global market, is to build trust within the ecosystem.
An excited Mal. Inuwa also narracted how he started as a tech innovator in 2013, when himself and some friends built a cross border payment platform using bitcoin. He said the platform was successfully tested and remitted over 130 million Naira from the UK within a month. But they failed to take the product to market because of the same challenges of enabling policies and infrastructure that are still around today.
He disclosed that the present administration has displayed a lot of commitment to the innovation and tech ecosystem, revealing that in October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari redesignated the ministry to cover digital economy. In November same year, he unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy. In March 2020, he unveiled the National Broadband Plan. In December 2021, he approved the draft startup bill for onward transmission to the National Assembly, and this week he launched the 5G policy. All this is to create an enabling environment for you to thrive.