Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, met with indigenous innovators in Lagos on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022, to explore opportunities for developing the Ecosystem to further advance the digital economy agenda. Fostering an Enabling Environment for Start-up Growth was the focus of the interactive session hosted by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Professor Pantami explained that the goal of the session, which drew a large crowd of entrepreneurs, startups, innovators, and founders, is to learn firsthand what the ecosystem needed from the government in order to grow. “The value of a healthy, functional innovation environment cannot be overstated, which is why we have taken deliberate steps to organize this interactive session to address some key challenges.” First, we need to figure out how to strengthen our ecosystem, and then we need to figure out how to comprehend the market and its issues. Lastly, we need to map our market and define goals, improve our networking tactics, and, most importantly, collaborate and engage with the government. Because government has a fundamental role to play in providing an enabling environment, this is critical to the development of our ecosystem.” The Minister emphasized that the Federal Government is open to recommendations on what it can do to ensure the ecosystem’s continued success.

Professor Pantami went on to challenge startups and innovators in the Nigeria ecosystem to take ownership of existing regulations in order to further consolidate and strengthen the ecosystem’s success. “Please let us know if you have any difficulties executing any of the policies we’ve put in place to help the sector grow.” He cited the National Startup Bill, the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the National Policy for the Development of Indigenous Content in the Telecommunications Sector as examples of the government’s commitment to enact and implement policies that support the ecosystem.

Pantami stated that grants, tax and fiscal incentives, startup labeling, seed money for businesses, and tax holidays have all been included in the government’s strategy to give the required support. He stated that Nigeria, as Africa’s largest digital economy, is in the process of deploying fifth-generation networks (5G), and that the country’s immense human potential, as well as the necessary collaborations and partnerships between government and the ecosystem, will ensure Nigeria’s place as the continent’s technology giant in no time.

Following that, the Honourable Minister led a high-powered delegation to some of the innovation hubs, including Flutterwave, Treepz, and Reliance Health.

Uwa Suleiman, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy’s Spokesperson

February 23, 2022

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