Nigeria’s government commits $15M to indigenous ICT ventures

The Federal Government of Nigeria has earmarked US$15 million as start-up capital for its ICT sector, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communications Technology, said yesterday.

Speaking to journalists at the Presidential Villa in the country’s capital Abuja, Johnson said the main fulcrum upon which the fund will revolve is the private sector, with preference given to projects that are commercially viable, ideas that are revolutionary and innovations that provide jobs for more Nigerians, especially the unemployed youth.

Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will dedicate US$3.6 million towards the fund, while local and foreign partners expected to investa further US$11.4 million in the project.

The federal government has appointed the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to oversee the fund.

“The fund will be managed by independent fund managers who would be working with the ICT incubation team to identify projects or initiatives that we believe are great ideas that will be commercially successful,” Bolanle said.

She said that since there is no collateral, the project would progress with full knowledge of the risks involved.

“It is in this regard that Venice capital fund is being disbursed for the project. We use that capital development fund to fund the development of those ideas until they get a commercial viability,” the minister said.

The aim of the federal government of Nigeria’s latest fund for the nation’s ICT sector is to transform ideas and innovations into products that are commercially viable and could be traded on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) via an Initial Public Offer (IPO).

“The fund is initially $15million and as we get more successful we will raise additional money,” the minister added.

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