The Federal Government, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has announced a target of N100 billion per annum for an investment seed fund aimed at supporting start-ups in Nigeria. This announcement comes following the recognition of Oluwatosin Olaseinde of MoneyAfrica as the winner of the inaugural Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Prize for Innovation program.
Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director General of NITDA, revealed during a media briefing in Lagos over the weekend that Nigeria has initiated the implementation of the start-up Act, which includes the establishment of a start-up investment seed fund. While the act specifies a minimum requirement of N10 billion per annum for the fund, the government is setting its sights on raising N100 billion.
According to Abdullahi, the Nigerian start-up Act provides a legal and institutional framework to foster the growth and development of start-ups, with NSIA designated as the fund manager for the start-up investment seed fund. The act stipulates that a minimum of N10 billion should be allocated to the fund annually. However, the government aims to exceed this amount by targeting N100 billion. This higher target would allow for the seeding of at least 1,000 early-stage startups and over 400 late-stage startups.
The establishment of the investment seed fund is a significant step towards supporting the start-up ecosystem in Nigeria. By providing access to funding, early-stage and late-stage start-ups will have greater opportunities to grow, innovate, and contribute to the country’s economic development. The fund aims to empower entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to turn their ideas into successful businesses, create employment opportunities, and drive technological advancements.
The commitment to raising N100 billion for the investment seed fund demonstrates the government’s recognition of the importance of start-ups in the nation’s economy. It highlights the government’s efforts to create an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, ultimately fostering a culture of technological advancement and economic diversification.
As the implementation of the start-up Act progresses, close collaboration between NITDA, NSIA, and other relevant stakeholders will be crucial. The design and establishment of the fund should prioritize transparency, efficiency, and accessibility, ensuring that start-ups across various sectors and regions can benefit from the financial support and mentorship opportunities it offers.
This initiative aligns with the broader goal of positioning Nigeria as a hub for technology and innovation on the global stage. By investing in start-ups and nurturing entrepreneurial talent, the government aims to harness the potential of the country’s youth and drive sustainable economic growth.