Nearly 30% of Africa’s foreign direct investment, according to Kashifu Inuwa, Nigeria’s Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, goes to Nigeria. He claims that the Nigerian tech sector drew $4.4 billion in investments in 2015, 2019, and 2020 combined and that ICT made up around 18.5% of the nation’s GDP. Inuwa made this statement at the 2023 Leaders Without Borders Annual Business Summit and International Honours, which had the theme “Business Beyond Borders, Global Partnerships and Sustainable Investments” and was held in London. This event brings together business executives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from all over the world to encourage cooperation and innovation in the business world.
The DG reminded that NITDA, a government organization founded in 2001 to assist Nigerians in using information technology, has sponsored roughly 753 companies in various ways including grants, training, and initial capital. It also stated that 120 million Nigerians now have access to the internet, not only computers, thanks to the agency’s efforts. He pointed out that the digital economy has paved the door for new technology, giving outstanding African adolescents the chance to realize their potential and become global leaders.
The head of NITDA asserts that the nation’s fintech businesses are almost twice as large as its largest bank. The largest bank in the nation, according to him, is worth roughly $1.6 billion, whereas Flutterwave is worth about $3.6 billion. “Nigeria is thriving and has the most vibrant tech ecosystem in Africa. Recently, we took some startups to Riyadh for competition, and two of them emerged as global winners and won $150,000 each,” he said.
Inuwa pointed out that the agency had been working hard to promote digital literacy by utilizing local languages to make it possible for every Nigerian to utilize digital devices and access online services. “We have trained over 3.3 million Nigerians on digital literacy to boost the economy. NITDA embarked on the development of many regulatory frameworks for Information Technology development in government establishments. The projects are to give rise to digital skills in educational institutions and rural areas and cities, to develop human capital, and provide universal access to digital services with the aim of creating a knowledge-based economy,” the NITDA DG said.
Inuwa said that by preventing ministries, departments, and agencies from duplicating projects, the agency has saved the nation money through IT project approval. According to him, from 2019 until the present, NITDA has saved the nation over N305 billion by implementing the project, which has improved efficacy and efficiency in carrying out government IT initiatives across the nation.