The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa said Nigerian StartUps had attracted over $4 billion into the economy in terms of investments.
Inuwa spoke at the Innovation Support Network (ISN) 2023 annual summit with the theme: “Unlocking Potential: Collaborating for Growth and Impact’’ in Abuja.
He said that NITDA currently has over 500 startups, that had either gone through its programmes or those that ran in partnership with other stakeholders within the ecosystem.
Based on statistics, he said, Nigeria had over 3000 startups, which was a far cry looking at the 200million population of the country.
He said the theme of the gathering was not only appropriate but also underscored the reality that collaboration was a new innovation leading competitive edge across all spheres of socio-economic activities.
Inuwa commended the efforts of ISN in sustaining this annual event, adding that its contribution to the growth of tech innovation ecosystem remains invaluable.
He also congratulated ISN on the successful launch of ‘Omniverse’, the premier ecosystem platform for tech, innovation, and connected industries on the continent.
The director general said that the initiative would go a long to build collaborations, connections, community, and content that drive the entire ecosystem to scale investments and share knowledge for a positive, lasting impact.
Inuwa said: ‘‘The inauguration of the Omniverse is a testament to your collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders in the ecosystem.
“This annual gathering of tech innovation ecosystem stakeholders comprising researchers, creators, innovators, investors, regulators, and tech enthusiasts, provides a profitable platform for nurturing ideas into industry-changing products, services, and business processes.
‘‘Stakeholders also have the opportunity to network, connect, and foster new sustainable relationships with their relevant target audience and people.”
He said that there were quite a lot of challenges in terms of regulation and policies.
Inuwa said: “The StartUp Act aims to address the challenges in the ecosystem, providing funding, capacity building and infrastructure to the STartUps.
‘‘The tech industry thrives on collaboration. Research by the MIT Sloan School of Management revealed that collaborative innovation, where different organisations work together on research and development, has been on the rise.
‘‘Over 60 per cent of global innovation now involves some form of cross-organisational collaboration.
“In addition, a 2020 report by Microsoft indicates that over 95 per cent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Cloud services, illustrating how digital collaboration is driving business operations and innovation.
‘‘These statistics are indicative of the fact that the world becoming is increasingly interconnected, interdependent, and collaborative.”
He, therefore, stated that collaboration was no longer an option, but a necessity for progress and growth.
Inuwa urged that all levels of government, corporations, investors, Venture Capitalists, the academia, hubs, and entrepreneurs must deepen their collaboration.
In her address, the Legal Partner to ISN, Beverly Agbakoba said by organising the summit it wanted to boast home grown and organic tech businesses, starting from home and stepping out to the larger world.
Agbakoba, who described ISN as the ‘Hub of hubs’ in Nigeria said over 200 hubs across Nigeria were gathered at the summit, with capacity building support, skill acquisition to engage other youth in job and wealth creation.
‘‘These hubs done a lot of advocacy training over 7000 girls in the north. We are also here to give guidance to the hubs. For us, future leaders are all in this room and are ready to contribute their quota to the economy.
‘‘We want to boast of home grown and organic tech businesses, starting from here and stepping out to the larger world. The law are not too far away from the industry,’’ she added.
She said the cardinal focus of gathering was to encourage and strengthen collaboration towards assisting innovators in discovering innovative and efficient solutions to the various problems confronting the economic, social, and governance realms.
‘‘Collaboration thrives when people with diverse knowledge, talents, and skills agree to work together to find solutions to our everyday problems.
“Innovative thinking that results in the creation of new goods, services, or procedures is the foundation of long-term economic progress and success,” she said.
The Director Corperate of ISN, Mrs Maryam Lawan said, ‘‘by this summit, we are bringing innovation support together under one umbrella to collaborate and achieve greater height.
“For us to win as a team, we need to come together ensure innovation and nurture talents and to network with enterprise support network.’
“ISN is also guiding startups on how to structure their business and provide them with right serves, as well as access to investment,” she said.