The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says it has launched the first Startup Friday programme to harness local tech talents in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Startup Friday programme is an initiative of NITDA’s Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, OIIE, aimed at identifying and developing indigenous talent in the various areas of the tech sector.
NITDA, which is government agency set up to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.
Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State, who was represented by Professor Nse Essien, Commissioner for Science and Technology in the State commended NITDA’s choice of Uyo for the initiative and pledged to support the programme.
“The choice of Akwa Ibom State by NITDA for such an important project shows that NITDA and the present administration exist to serve all Nigerians regardless of geographical location. Information technology is the assurance of a secure future and we are grateful to the agency for spreading the dragnet to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria”, the Governor says.
On the issue of NITDA’s empowerment agenda, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Director General of NITDA says the agency’s aim is to ensure that all Nigerians, especially youths, are carried along.
“Presidential executive orders 003 and 005 gave impetus to the agency’s mandate and strengthened our resolve to bridge the digital divide, establish, facilitate and support the Nigerian ICT Start-up ecosystem”, according to the NITDA boss.
Damilola Omoyiwole, whose application was adjudged the best among the 10 indigenous IT applications went home with a seed fund of N300,000. The second and third positions, won by unicorn.ng and touchable pictures received seed funds of N100,000 each.
Others went home with consolation cash prizes of N50,000 each to support and encourage their impressive efforts dedicated to finding IT solutions to problems peculiar to the societies in Nigeria.