US$6300 kitty up for grabs as Nigeria’s NIG flags off an Internet job initiative

With 23.9 percent of the more than 155 million Nigerians unemployed, almost half of them consisting of the youth, according to 2011 statistics by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) has come up with an initiative set to reduce the unemployment trend.

NIG says it found out the youth in Nigeria spend most of their time on the Internet and hence came up with the Internet for Jobs Initiative (I4J) to transform Nigeria into an information society where business and government services are available online — as a majority of the country’s population has access to the Internet.

Backing on Nigeria’s more than 45 million internet users, the I4J Initiative is set to use the Web to create Internet entrepreneurs that would engage the Nigerian youths, bridge the digital divide between Nigeria and the developed world, create local Internet content and create jobs using the Internet.

The NIG President Bayo Banjo said on Monday the group aimed at identifying good solutions and turning them into great and marketable solutions with the help of its expert network.

Each year, the NIG’s holds a contest called I4J Grant Competition to identify young and innovative information technology entrepreneurs who have built Web-based solutions that have the potential to create thousands of jobs.

The 2012 I4J Grant Competition will be different from the previous years’ in which theme governed the entire contest, said NIG.

In view of this, Banjo said NIG had called for submissions for the 2012 edition of the I4J grant to enable Nigerian Internet entrepreneurs participate in the contest to scramble for the prize money.

He added that a grant of N1 million (appx US$6363) would be given to every winner. The winners would also undergo rigorous entrepreneurial training as well as extensive mentoring sessions.

The competition is themed Web solutions for national development and incorporates various categories including e-commerce, e-Business solutions, mobile Web solutions and apps, e-government solutions, cloud solutions and social entrepreneurship solutions.

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