Nigerian Startups Record N38bn Investment In 2018

LAGOS –Significant success was recorded in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry, as foreign and local investors invested about N38 billion into Nigerian start-ups in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2018, of which 75% of this funding went into Nigerian FinTech.

This was disclosed by Dr. Isa Pantami, Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) during NOTAP/NITDA Stakeholders Roundtable/ Discussions on the Use of Nigerian Software in the Financial/Banking Services Sector organised by Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc at Radisson Blu-Hotel Ikeja, yesterday.

According to Pantami who was represented by Mr. Christopher Okeke, Director, Zonal Offices Directorate, NITDA, “I must congratulate the financial service industry as led by the Central Bank of Nigeria for granting spaces to these young and keen minds to develop products that have continually redefined the Financial Technology Space (FinTech); the growth of our FinTech market has been in no small part due to the willingness of financial institutions to become a fodder for these adventurists to step up and spin brilliant ideas that have shaped how we pay for services and conduct transactions.

“We have come a long way and we are proud of these achievements occasioned largely by the ICT and the Financial sectors working together. Notably, local and foreign investors invested about N38 billion into Nigerian start-ups in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2018, of which 75% of this funding went into Nigerian FinTech. This growth underscores the upward trajectory of ICT as a significant contributor to Nigeria’s GDP, currently at about 11.81 percent as at Q3, 2018.”

Speaking further, Pantami said every stakeholder in the ICT ecosystem should wake up and defend the indigenous products and services so as to save the country from capital flight and also create jobs for the millions of youths who are unemployed.

In his words: “Please, let me remind you that we have no other country but Nigeria; and our destinies are inexorably linked. Therefore, our actions and decisions will affect us as it affects every citizen of Nigeria. Even more specifically, how we decide to use and consume what we develop, and produce will have a significant impact on our livelihood and the opportunities we create for other citizens, particularly young Nigerians whose relentless spirit and incredible energy is propelling the country forward as a significant market for software development.”

NITDA DG said the Agency is doing its best to ensure the protection of local software developers and products manufacturers from foreign domination.

“To compliment these efforts, Government has identified the need for concerted action and policy to utilize the significant spend of Government to promote local content as a core pillar of economic diversification and for building targeted industries in Nigeria. You may recall that in 2013, NITDA issued the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, essentially mandating Agencies of Government to compulsorily prioritize indigenous ICTs for procurement where available in-country.

“The regulation mandates a compulsory consideration of indigenous hardware, software, networking service, ICT services and data management first before any non-Nigerian service provider. The policy has resulted in growth of the purchase of indigenous content in the public sector, where last year recorded the highest figures of purchase of indigenously-assembled hardware and software with a total of 355,647 units sold, compared to 154,424 from the previous year. Implementation of this policy has also ensured that 95% of the Federal Government’s data is hosted locally. 

“With the issuance of the Presidential Executive Orders 003 and 005, the Nigerian Content Guidelines of NITDA received a significant boost and has strengthened the arm of the Agency in implementing these Guidelines. The IT Project Clearance process of NITDA has  save the country over N13billion of bogus spending and has ensured over N5 billion worth of software related projects will be procured from Nigerian Companies from 2018 till date,” he explained.

In his remarks, Mr. Christopher Okeke, Director Zonal Offices Directorate, NITDA stressed the need for collaboration among stakeholders sos as to achieve a steady and sustainable progress.

“Our goal at NITDA is to develop indigenous IT industry in our quest to diversify our economy for sustainable national development and the growth of global IT market. We believe with partnership and collaboration, this can be achieved significantly.

“With plenty of business hatchlings growing bigger every year via incubators, it’s clear that the adoption of our indigenous software technology would boost our economic growth in Nigeria. It would offer small companies resources beyond their wildest imagination. Hence, touching lives, steering professionalism and boosting economic competitiveness,” 

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