A continuous effort has commenced by the Nigerian government to realise its vision of making Nigeria the most technologically advanced and creatively vibrant nation in Africa. Following the first meeting of the Steering Committee on Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE) presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy Bosun Tijani made the announcement in an interview with Voice of Nigeria. Tijani said that young people in Nigeria now have a rare chance to take part in digital and creative industries.
It is an exceptional chance, in his view, and the Nigerian creative and technological ecosystem, which has been thriving recently, is the best on the African continent. Only Nigeria contributed 20% of the $5 billion that was raised across the continent last year. These funds signify an aspiration to move beyond regional dominance and become a global force in their field. And the only way to do that is to back the tech startups that are developing those solutions.
Access to funding will be given to local startups.
The government is effectively investing in the project. They’re interested in helping and want to see local communities gain self-assurance. Putting money into some of the startups is the only way to demonstrate this. Those young Nigerians who are active in the startup environment understand the significance of easy access to funding. There’s nothing one can do, no matter how brilliant the ideas, if one doesn’t have the resources to put them into action. So they realise this is a major shift. Things are about to improve dramatically.
He believed that the government had made steady efforts over the years to make the digital economy in Nigeria accessible to everybody. In the previous decade, his ministry has funded over 2,000 community and educational Data Innovation Hubs. So this is a major step forward for them. Kano and Sokoto all have thriving startup environments, and so does Cross River. The finances necessary to sustain them have been lacking up to this point, and this is where things now stand.
$617 million investment is being made under the I-DICE project.
Olukayode Pitan, managing director of the Bank of Industry, reiterated this, saying that all the funds needed for the project have been secured. According to him, Vice President Shettima has ordered the Digital and Creative Enterprises initiative to begin in its entirety in around four weeks. Pitan also said that the implementation of the scheme will cost more than $600. The Vice President has set them a deadline of the beginning of the following month to get started on this. A $617 million investment is being made under the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE) project.
Agreements for finance have been reached with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD). A portion of the financing will come from BOI (Bank or Industry), and it will be used to support initiatives in the digital, creative, and entertainment sectors, which are very relevant to today’s young people. Therefore, those under the age of 35 are the target audience. They’ve received some funding, by a number of loans have been made to them. In addition to the equity, he said that the government sees this initiative as a way to foster the development of future unicorns.
One of the key areas will involve 50% participation from women.
Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, asserted that President Bola Tinubu has fulfilled his commitment to create over a million digital employment opportunities. He remarked that his Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s promise to the young is crucial to this endeavour. He delivered on his pledge to generate 1.2 billion digital employment opportunities. The President has made job creation, economic development, and inclusion top objectives, and this $617 billion project will go a long way toward those goals. Women will make up half of the participants in one of the key areas.