Nigeria must employ entrepreneurship in Information and Communications Technology to tackle graduate unemployment, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development, Dr. Isa Ibrahim, has said.
Ibrahim said this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the ICT entrepreneurship in Abuja, saying it was in the realisation of this that NITDA created a subsidiary known as the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The NITDA boss said the OIIE was established to help start-up ecosystem players, adding that the office was never in competition with the ICT start-ups in the country.
He said, “It is the target of the OIIE to create an environment that will produce entrepreneurs who will develop world-class IT products and services. As a solution to graduate unemployment and unemployment generally among youths in Nigeria, the OIIE intends to encourage and support the ICT entrepreneurship and promote it as an attractive career option.
“We took time to study and listen to stakeholders and as a result, it became apparent that we need to reposition as agile facilitators to create an enabling environment for the ICT entrepreneurship to thrive. In this regard, NITDA through the OIIE serves as the connector by bringing all the necessary stakeholders together to form an ICT start-up ecosystem.”
He added, “The OIIE will influence government policy by sharing research findings from markets similar to Nigeria. This will assist in packaging Nigeria as an attractive ICT start-up ecosystem.
“It will also be an opportunity for educational institutions to turn ideas into spin-off businesses that will provide funding for research and innovation in the long term. I believe the modest achievements of these institutions should shape our educational policy and inspire our universities to rethink the content of their curricula.”
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, said it was not enough for government to provide security to the people as it also had a responsibility to cater for their welfare.
He said since the government could not absorb all the citizens in public service, it had a responsibility to provide the enabling environment for them to thrive in entrepreneurship.
The minister said, “There is no doubt that government has no choice but to support this effort. The indices of our national growth are very clear.