Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), highlighted the significant growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, stating that it has attracted a total investment of $4.4 billion between 2015, 2019, and 2020.
He also emphasized that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributes approximately 18.5 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Speaking at the Leaders Without Borders Annual Business Summit and International Honours 2023 in London, Inuwa mentioned that almost 30 percent of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment flows into Nigeria.
The summit aimed to foster global partnerships, sustainable investments, and collaboration among business leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world.
Inuwa highlighted the role of NITDA, a government agency established in 2001 to promote the use of information technology among Nigerians.
He stated that NITDA has provided support to 753 startups through various means, including training, seed funding, and grants.
As a result of these efforts, around 120 million Nigerians currently have internet access, not just through computers but also other digital devices.
The NITDA DG emphasized that the digital economy has opened up opportunities for talented African youths, enabling them to emerge as global leaders by harnessing their potential.
He pointed out that Nigeria’s fintech companies are almost twice the size of the country’s largest bank. While the biggest bank is valued at around $1.6 billion, Flutterwave, a prominent fintech company, is valued at approximately $3.6 billion.
Inuwa also highlighted NITDA’s initiatives in digital literacy, including efforts to provide training in local languages, enabling every Nigerian to use digital devices and access digital services. Over 3.3 million Nigerians have been trained in digital literacy to boost the economy.
The NITDA DG further mentioned the agency’s work in developing regulatory frameworks for IT in government establishments, promoting digital skills in educational institutions, rural areas, and cities, and ensuring universal access to digital services to create a knowledge-based economy.
Under IT project clearance, NITDA has successfully saved the country over N305 billion from duplication of projects by various ministries, departments, and agencies.
These savings have contributed to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of government IT projects across Nigeria since 2019.
Inuwa highlighted the positive impact of NITDA’s initiatives in driving Nigeria’s digital economy, empowering startups, enhancing digital literacy, and fostering innovation and technological advancements across the country.