The Buhari administration has commenced the process that will pump the technology, entertainment and creative sectors with over N240 billion in financing and investment set to take off by the end of the year.
A presidential source said at the weekend that the financing, which is a $500 million loan to be sourced from the African Development Bank (AfDB), could harness potential in Nigeria’s creative and technology industries.
The plan, the sources said, was to collaborate with the AfDB and other finance partners to set up the $500 million fund in support of the Nigeria Innovation Programme (NIP).
Already, eight states: Lagos, Osun, Edo, Cross River, Anambra, Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau and Abuja, were initially selected as focus states, while Borno, Gombe and Kwara States were recommended by The Presidency for the programme.
Arrangements for the establishment of a $500 million fund in support of what has been named the NIP, is now being activated, especially with a report of the first draft project proposal presented by the AfDB and other stakeholders recently at a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Confirming the meeting, Osinbajo’s media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said yesterday that it was public knowledge that the vice president had spoken publicly about the $500m facility.
According to him, details of how the facility will work were discussed at last Thursday’s meeting presided over by Osinbajo, and attended by ministers, a representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), among other stakeholders.
Akande stated that the plan to get the funding is an outcome of the Technology and Creativity Working Group set up a few years ago with members drawn from the private and public sectors.
The working group was carved out of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council earlier set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, and chaired by Osinbajo.
The NIP proposed by the federal government, will close the gaps in the technology and creative industries in the country.
It will also seek to boost innovation, job creation, and foster growth in the technology and creativity entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja