The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it is working on modalities to allow tech startups in the country to sell their solutions to the government with ease. The Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, disclosed this at Co-Create 2022, a tech exhibition event organized by Gage Awards in Lagos.
According to him, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently gave approval to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and its agencies to work closely with the startup ecosystem on how the government can procure solutions from startups without the usual bureaucratic processes associated with government’s contracts.
As the first step in that direction, he said NITDA would soon invite all startups in the country to come and showcase their solutions, while all government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) will also be there to look at solutions that can meet their needs.
What they are saying
- Addressing an audience of young innovators and startup founders at the event, Inuwa said: “In the area of government procurement, we know that some of you are having challenges because of the bureaucratic processes involved. But the Federal Executive Council has approved that we should work with you to come up with a simpler process so that government can buy from you.”
- “We have so many problems in Nigeria today which require innovative solutions. So, this kind of collaboration can open doors for that. And collaboration is very important because, in innovation, you cannot succeed in isolation; it is about the ecosystem. If you look around the world, innovation is not distributed evenly. It happens in clusters. Then what is so unique about those clusters? It is all about the ecosystem.
- “The government as a key component of the ecosystem will continue to create the enabling environment and interventions in terms of policy and infrastructure. But you also need capital to grow. One of the major challenges we’re having in Nigeria is that every startup needs a seed fund from the government, and we know this is not possible. Government cannot provide seed funding for everyone, but we have people with money, and if you can convince them, they can invest in your startup,” he added.
- Speaking earlier, the Convener of the Co-Create event, Johnson Anorh, said the Co-Create 2022 was the maiden edition of the Gage Awards Tech Expo aimed at showcasing innovative businesses and individuals with solutions that make life simpler and better.
- “This year’s International Tech Expo is themed ‘Collaborative Innovations for a Better Tomorrow,’ and we are celebrating the process of collaboration that has influenced the most solutions. Through collaborations, technology has solved some of the most complex problems faced by humanity,” he said.
The two-day event, which opened at the Landmark Event Centre in Lagos yesterday, June 9th, 2022, had in attendance startups from different sectors such as fintech, edtechs, among others.