The Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa said the nation’s startup ecosystem has attracted an estimated US$1.2 billion, representing about 36% funding to African startups in 2022.
Inuwa made this known on Friday while wooing global investors at this year’s London Tech Week.
The DG who was represented by the Director, of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Usman Abdullahi, who coordinated a roundtable discussion on “How to Build a Viable Tech Ecosystem Between United Kingdom and Emerging Markets” said Nigeria is part of MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) countries, labeled as emerging markets with the potential to realize rapid economic growth.
“Nigeria has the largest economy and population in Africa. It is a major player in the tech space, home to five out of Africa’s seven unicorns, and has attracted about US$4.4 billion in FDI in the past four years – demonstrating Nigeria’s potential to create world-class tech solutions. That the Nigerian startup ecosystem attracted an estimated US$1.2 billion, representing about 36% of total funding to African startups in 2022,” he said.
According to a statement by the Head, of Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, The DG highlighted a series of reforms aimed at creating a business-friendly environment as key attractions to investors.
These include providing tax-free incentives, free fiscal duty for imported goods, machinery, and equipment, exemption from levies, the opportunity for foreigners to wholly own enterprises and be exempted from expatriate quota, as well as simplifying regulations and making it easier for businesses to start and operate.
Some of these policies include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, the Nigeria Startup Act, and the ongoing plans to kick-start its full implementation, which will further strengthen the ecosystem and create an enabling environment for the development and growth of Startups.
The National Digital Talent Strategy which aims to position Nigeria as one of the largest tech talent factories in the world, the National Blockchain Policy was developed to help Nigeria’s transition into the digital economy by using Blockchain technology in boosting innovation, improving public services, creating job opportunities, reducing corruption and driving economic growth,
The National Blockchain Adoption Strategy aims to harness a $1.76 Trillion Global Economy by 2030, driving sector-wide adoption, and generating 250,000 Jobs by 2024, the National Outsourcing Strategy implementation aimed at creating about 5 Million jobs by 2027, increasing revenue and attracting FDI through a thriving global outsourcing industry.
The National Data Strategy aims at creating a Data Analytics industry, driving security and economic growth with a ₦20 trillion Data Market by 2025, and several other business-enabling initiatives under the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) such as online business registration, online visa processing and visa on arrival are aimed at attracting investments and other business opportunities.
The NITDA Boss further reiterated that these and many other government policies make Nigeria a strategic gateway for investment in Africa. He, therefore encouraged those in attendance to look the way of Nigeria in their investment plans.
Those that attended the roundtable included delegates and investors from Malaysia, Australia, Austria, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Argentina, Turkey, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom – the host country.