The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has called on eligible Nigerians to apply for its technology innovation and entrepreneurship scheme programme.

NITDA’s Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Hadiza Umar, made the call on Thursday in a statement issued in Abuja saying that the programme would ensure digital job creation and nation’s economic growth.

Mrs Umar explained that the scheme was a capacity building programme for ICT hub managers, young Nigerians and innovative start-ups.

According to her, the capacity building is needed especially with the COVID-19 pandemic period.

She said it was because ICT hubs and start-ups in Nigeria suffered from issues of capacity deficiency such as the ability to support start-ups, poor infrastructure and high operational costs.

Mrs Umar also said it would ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda toward creating 100 million jobs in 10 years, as well as the digital economy strategy, were achieved.

“There is the need to build support systems that would help in reducing the barriers of entry for startups while increasing the capacity of hubs and startups to create new bankable products and services.

“NITDA initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for building the capacity of both hub owners and start-ups to ensure massive creation of technology entrepreneurs and jobs within the industry.

“In line with the Digital Economy policy, the programme is designed to ensure that hub managers have the required skills set to support digital startups and build innovation ecosystems in their localities.

“It will also build capacity of hubs to support startups and build local innovation ecosystems, encourage innovation, increase technology and entrepreneurship skills among aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.

“The programme will encourage local content solutions-based products, services, increase the potential for job creation in the innovation and technology sector,” Mrs Umar said.

She added that the programme comprised hub upskilling, technical capacity building, incubation and internship programmes.

Requirement

The official said that the prospective hub managers to be selected would be required to sign an agreement with NITDA to train upcoming hub managers within their region.

She said that the agreement would cover equipping upcoming ones with the skills to run a hub, support innovative start-ups and build an innovation ecosystem in their localities.

According to her, this is a programme designed to support the ideas stage to move from ideas to the market.

“It will be implemented in partnership with the hubs that are part of the programme and the participants will be assigned to hubs where they will get access to infrastructure.

“Infrastructure such as internet connectivity, power supply and a rich network of other innovators.

“The participants will also be matched with mentors and guided by coaches as they build out their products and services.

“At the end of the training period, participants will be required to choose if they would like to begin a startup or to get a job,” she said.

Mrs Umar further said that those interested in beginning a start-up would be moved into the incubation programme, while those that needed a job would be moved to the job matching, internship programme.

“Those that opt for this track will be placed on six months internship opportunities with the startups in the incubation programme or in other organisations to allow them to utilise acquired skills and gain practical work experience in the process.”

She directed interested and eligible candidates to apply through https://scholarship.nitda.gov.ng/tiess.

(NAN)

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