FG Plans $5bn For ICT Firms, To Raise Telecom Access

FG Plans $5bn For ICT Firms, To Raise Telecom Access

The Federal Government is set to equip three million Nigerians with tech skills over the next four years.

It set a plan to help startups raise their yearly funding rounds to $5bn by 2027, and improve access in rural areas by at least 40 per cent.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, on Monday, disclosed this while outlining his plan for the ministry, in a document tilted, ‘Accelerating our collective prosperity through technical efficiency: A strategic plan for the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy’.

The minister highlighted that in today’s global technology landscape, innovation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital were critical components of a strong digital economy.

He stated that the primary objective of the ministry on this would be to stimulate the growth and sustainability of startups, with a specific focus on those developing innovative solutions for critical sectors of the economy.

Tijani said, “Recognising the critical role of patient capital in the growth of startups, we are committed to increasing the local availability of patient capital. Our intent is to create an environment for startups to raise the funding they require to thrive locally and promote the domiciliation of startups within our nation.”

Describing how the ministry would measure if its plan were working, he added, “Increase capital raised by Nigerian tech startups 50 per cent year-on-year from $1bn/yr in 2022 to $5bn/yr in 2027.”

Amid a funding drought, Nigerian startups raised $1.2bn in 2022, according to Africa The Big Deal (an African funding data insight firm). African startups raised $5.4bn according to Briter Bridges in 2022.

According to the minister, equipping talents with knowledge that can influence the generation of innovations and technologies that drive economic growth, expand the talent pool to drive competitiveness, improve productivity, and inform evidence-based policymaking is crucial.

He said, “Our commitment to talent development is unwavering. We have set an ambitious goal to train three million early to mid-career technical talents over the next four years. These trainings will cover tech-enabled and tech-adjacent skills, core tech competencies, and advanced proficiencies. This holistic approach is designed to empower our workforce to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape.”

Tijani noted that the government’s aim was to retain at least 1.5 million of the trained talents within its local talent pool and facilitate opportunities for the other 1.5 million to excel in the global talent marketplace, preferably through remote opportunities.

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