By Oluwaseyi Ajadi

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has emphasized the important role of collaboration between the government and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in empowering the younger generation to translate their ideas into impactful ventures.

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Collaboration is the engine of growth for the sector, the NITDA boss said at the just ended NITDA Co-Create West Africa Tech Expo, a collaborative effort between GAUGE Award and the federal government IT agency.

With the event’s theme, ‘Evolve,’ he highlighted the critical need to provide startups with essential resources such as access to capital, networking avenues, and knowledge exchange within the ecosystem.


“We need to help our start-ups to have access to capital for that will enhance their ideas and provide a platform for them to network and learn from the ecosystem,” said  Abdullahi while acknowledging the Nigerian Start-up Act implementation as a significant stride towards forging strategic partnerships to enrich the ecosystem. He lauded the event as a prime exemplar of public-private collaboration, fostering co-creation to collectively generate value within the ecosystem.

The NITDA Co-Create West Africa Tech Expo stands as a testament to the collective effort aimed at spotlighting innovative enterprises, both local and global, with a significant footprint in Nigeria. The initiative not only showcased groundbreaking ideas but also served to bolster NITDA’s unwavering commitment to nurturing an environment ripe for innovation and entrepreneurship, as articulated in its Strategic Road-map and Action Plan 2.0.

Abdullahi noted in his keynote address that the event aligned with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda of “Accelerating Diversification through Industrialization and Digitization,” even as he unveiled NITDA’s new Strategic Road-map and Action Plan 2024-2027.


He emphasized the pivotal role of stakeholder collaboration with the government in transforming services into solutions conducive to a thriving ecosystem.

His words:  “I want to invite you to embrace the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. If you and the government can work together, we can do better things; because there are things you can do, the government cannot do and there are things the government can do, you cannot do, but together, we can do greater things.”

Scheduled for unveiling in the first quarter of 2024, the Strategic Road-map and Action Plan delineate eight pillars, including fostering digital literacy, strengthening cybersecurity, and nurturing an innovative ecosystem.


Addressing the challenges and opportunities inherent in Nigeria’s tech market, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, represented by Mr. Rueben Mouka, advocated for a strategic approach in tapping into global markets while acknowledging and addressing existing challenges. He stressed the imperative of fostering an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

In his welcome address, Mr. Johnson Aroh, the convener of the GAGE Award, emphasized the broader significance of the NITDA Co-Create West Africa event. He described it not only as a platform for showcasing technological concepts but also as a catalyst for fostering creativity, driving digital transformation, and cultivating an ecosystem conducive to idea generation.

In recognition of NITDA’s leadership in co-creating the event, Mr. Aina commended the agency’s steadfast commitment to promoting technological innovation and digital inclusion, underscoring its significant role in Nigeria’s technological advancement

COVER PICTURE: NITDA boss Abdullahi with Commissioner, Innovation, Science & Technology, Lagos State, Olatubosun Alake ·

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