Innovation, especially in ICT, has become the strong catalytic force for sustainable economic growth across nations. It is not only indispensable for developing new products and services but also for ensuring the survival of any business in the competitive world by providing ample opportunities for growth and profitability. It is the creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into new products, processes, or services meeting market needs, which culminates in successful enterprises. It is believed that the competitiveness of any economy in the long term depends on innovation potential of the economy gained through entrepreneurship and effective technology transfer.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was established by NITDA Act 2007 “to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria”.
Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) is established under NITDA with the responsibilities of continuing to nurture, cultivate and expand the ICT innovation and entrepreneurship within Nigeria in line with National ICT Policy and NITDA Act 2007.
The establishment of OIIE as a specialized and focus organization will address the challenges that are inhibiting the growth of entrepreneurs, as well as create enabling environments to foster innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. It is expected that through the initiatives and programs of OIIE, there will be increased contribution of other sectors of ICT to national GDP, more job and wealth creation.
OIIE vision is to drive ICT innovation and entrepreneurship through policies, initiatives, partnership and programs implementation by focusing on socio- economic impact, competitiveness, and sustainable & inclusive growth.
It will focus amongst others on innovation and entrepreneurship by fostering a more innovative digital economy through turning new ideas and inventions into products and technologies that spur job growth and competitiveness while promoting economic development. OIIE will also be responsible for identifying and recommending solutions to issues critical to driving the ICT innovation economy, including enabling startups, entrepreneurs and firms to successfully build their businesses as well as access and develop a skilled, globally competitive workforce.
This will further ignite the entrepreneurial culture and bring together the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the federal and state governments.
Its mandate will include:
a) Drive programs and policies that support innovation in ICT development such as innovation-based entrepreneurship and innovation clusters
b) Develop, establish, support and incentivize ICT innovation hubs, information technology parks, community enterprise hubs across Nigeria
c) Implement, monitor and revise guidelines for setting up of information technology parks and incubation centres across the country
d) Collaborate with private sector, Ministries, Departments and Agencies at both federal and state levels on policies and programs that support ICT entrepreneurship and commercialization
e) Support the Federal and State MDAs in formulating and implementing ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs
f) Render advisory services in all ICT innovation and entrepreneurship matters to the public and private sectors
OIIE will primarily focus on five pillars that will drive its operation, namely:
i. Innovation Ecosystem
iii. Inclusive Development
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