Nearly US$3.2M set aside to kickstart software economy in Nigeria

The sum of N500 million (approx $US3.2 million) has been set aside by the federal government of Nigeria as part of the $15 million Technology Venture Capital Fund required to set up a Nigerian software economy through software incubation centers in Nigeria, the minister for communications technology Omobola Johnson has said.

The minister said the funds would be made available through the Nigeria Information Technology Development Fund (NITDA), a government agency, and it is expected that the amount the government releases will attract the remaining $12 million from participating investors.

“The software incubation programme would initially be government-funded with the aim of attracting more investors in the long run,” she said.

The government, she said, has selected Lagos and Cross River states as the locations for the innovation centers – a project she said is part of her ministry’s initiative aimed at building a knowledge-based economy for Nigeria.

In Lagos, the communications minister said the state’s software incubation centre would be sited at the popular e-learning centre, while in Cross River state, at Tinapa Knowledge City.

Describing how the centers would be operated, she said while the project was inspired by the government which is also catalyzing its take off, it would eventually be operated by a non-profit organization.

In addition to Lagos and Cross River states, the goal of the project is to have the centers across the nation hence she stressed that while Lagos and Calabar would serve as pilots, the project is not limited or restricted to just the states.

 “We have chosen two different locations for test pilots. We will deliver Lagos by year end or early next year. Calabar will be delivered by end of the first quarter of 2013,” the minister said.

Posted in: Internet

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