Nigeria and AfDB create $ 500 million fund for tech and creative sectors

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With the aim of boosting the entertainment, creative and tech sectors in the country, the Buhari administration has launched a process that will provide the sectors with around 240 billion naira of financing and investment which is expected to take off from here. the end of the year.

The government says the funding equivalent to $ 500 million, which is to come from the AfDB, will be used to establish a $ 500 million fund in support of what has been called the Nigeria Innovation Program (NIP ). A report of the first draft project proposal was presented by AfDB to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last week. The AfDB is expected to give its approval in October.

Confirming the meeting, Laolu Akande, senior special assistant on media and advertising to the presidency, said it was common knowledge that the vice president spoke publicly about the $ 500 million installation.

He added that the details of the operation of the facility were discussed Thursday during a meeting chaired by Mr. Osinbajo which was attended by ministers, representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), among others.

Mr. Akande explained that the plan to secure the funding is the result of the Technology and Creativity Working Group set up a few years ago with members from the private and public sectors chaired by the Vice President. The working group emerged from the Nigerian Advisory Council on Industrial Policy and Competitiveness previously established by President Muhammadu Buhari, also chaired by the Vice President.

The Nigeria Innovation Program, NIP, offered by the federal government, aims to stimulate innovation and job creation, and to foster the growth of the technological and creative entrepreneurship ecosystem.

According to Akande, already nine states including Lagos, Osun, Edo, Cross River, Anambra, Kaduna, Adamawa and Plateau were initially selected as target states, while Borno, Gombe and Kwara states were recommended by the presidency for the program.

READ ALSO : AfDB reprimands Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for “questionable practices”

In addition, PwC, which consults the project during its feasibility study, considered the potential innovation community and state innovation clusters / blocks in the selection of other states, resulting in inclusion of Akwa-Ibom, Ogun, Delta, Edo, Enugu and Oyo states. .

The NIP will focus on four pillars of development, namely: human capital, finance, infrastructure and an enabling environment.

The NIP is expected to create approximately 285,000 tech and creative jobs over the next five years.

Mr. Osinbajo had on various occasions and forums ensured the establishment of a fund to stimulate growth in the technological and creative industries.

For example, on January 27, 2020, at a town hall commemorating 50 years after the end of the Nigerian civil war, the Vice President said “we have listened to the voices of some of our youth in the South East expressing their discontent , however, we do not hear a war cry, but rather a cry for help.

“We are committed to continuing to provide them with the tools and resources to help them get the most out of their lives.” This is the reason for our collaboration with the African development bank, the AfDB will provide a facility of $ 500 million for startups and loans to entrepreneurs. This is outside of the N10billion fund set aside by the Bank of Industry for the same purpose.

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