The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has embarked on a tour of critical ICT facilities in Akwa Ibom State. This is in line with the “Executive Order 3” issued by the Federal Government in a bid to enforce the procurement of IT local contents by Ministries, Depeartment, Agencies (MDAs) and promote the country’s burgeoning ICT industry for economic growth. The ICT facilities that were visited include Start Innovation Hub , Roothub and other ICT clusters.
The tour is to promote “StartUP Friday” which is designed to bridge the gap that exist amongst ICT startups, and investors.
Dr. Amina Sambo, the National Coordinator for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), who represented NITDA visited the ICT stakeholders in the state to for assessment and promote “Startup Friday” Akwa Ibom Edition.
During her visit to Start Innovation Hub, one of the innovation hubs in the Niger Delta region, she was received by Hanson Johnson, the CEO Start Innovation Hub who took her round the ICT facilities while also introducing the various programmes and startups in the hub to her.
In her words “ We at OIIE are impressed with the level of work done by young people in Akwa Ibom despite the very limited resources they are exposed to. We hope that with this facility on the ground, there would be change of narrative from an oil dependent region to an ICT hub.”
She added that “ in 2017, we met the met the Jiggle team at Lagos and congratulated them again for the cheque they won and also noticed that some of the startups that competed in the programme came from various places outside Lagos and this is why government and investors will have to look beyond high income areas of Nigeria for their programmes.”
Other places visited by the National Coordinator are Roothub and Hubitz where she interacted with members of the hub and had a first-hand experience with their needs and aspirations. She also met with Mr. Iboro Otu, the Director of Alert Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation collaborating with hubs and other higher institutions in the state to create capacity centers and hubs on various campuses.
Hanson Jonson remarked that “ we are pleased with this visit, it has demonstrated that the government is serious with ICT and the drive for a diversified economy which ICT would be the driver. We believe that this recognition would spur us to achieve greater things in future.”
Dr. Amina Sambo in her engagement with the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology in Akwa Ibom State, Prof. Nse Udo Essien said that the state would work with OIIE to ensure they have a wonderful “Startup Friday” event experience in Uyo.
Others that graced the occasion are The SA to the Governor on ICT Mr. Solomon Eyo,Mrs. Meflyn Anwana , SA on New Media and other notable dignitaries.
StartUP Friday is a “meet-up” designed to bridge the gap that exist amongst startups,investors, mentors, buyers and other players in the Nigerian ICT ecosystem. This event was established by ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) which under NITDA, with the responsibilities of continuing to nurture, cultivate and expand the ICT innovation and entrepreneurship within Nigeria in line with National ICT Policy and NITDA Act 2007.
ANTHONY EMEKA NWOSU
“ we are pleased with this visit, it has demonstrated that the government is serious with ICT and the drive for a diversified economy which ICT would be the driver. We believe that this recognition would spur us to achieve greater things in future.”