The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has launched the first Start-up Friday programme, an initiative of NITDA’s Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, OIIE, aimed at identifying and developing indigenous talent in the sector, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Commending NITDA’s choice of the state for the initiative, Governor Emmanuel Udom, represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Professor Nse Essien pledged the state’s support to the agency.
“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.”
Director General of the agency, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said NITDA is determined to ensure that all Nigerians, especially youths, are carried along in its empowerment agenda. “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,” he said.
The event featured 10 indigenous start-ups pitching various IT applications they had developed over time, and were rewarded with cash prizes by NITDA, to support and encourage the impressive efforts dedicated to finding IT solutions to problems peculiar to the society. Damilola Omoyiwole, whose application was adjudged the best, went home with a seed fund of N300,000, while 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.