Facebook, others to review Nigeria’s digital entrepreneurship policy document – NITDA

NEWS DIGEST – The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has selected representatives from Facebook Nigeria, Innovation Support Network, Blue Sapphire and other notable hubs to review the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy document.

Recall that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, had publicly presented the draft document last Friday with a view to promoting digital entrepreneurship across the country.

The NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa, in a statement on Tuesday, said the rationale behind co-creating the document with stakeholders was for Nigerians to own up and be carried along in the implementation of the policy.

According to him, the organizations will come up with unique strategies of drafting the policy which would make implementation seamless and for it to be owned by the stakeholders.

He said: “We want you to see this assignment as a national assignment that is the reason we deviate from the usual engaging the consultant to prepare the policy for us, if we had engage the consultant we may not see the document as ours and we want it to be owned by us.”

The DG who was represented by the Director of e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji, further stated that the idea would be a game changer in the country, “because the country has a start-up ecosystem that can compete with anyone in the world”.

“I keep saying it, we have ideas and these ideas can be compared to any other in the world.

“We want an ecosystem that can develop tech solutions from ideation stage to commercialization and this cannot be easily achieved without properly having a plan that can really guide us in doing the right thing.”

According to the DG, co-creating a document of such magnitude would prevent people working in silos without proper direction of what we want to do adding that, that is why it is very important to have “this kind of document that is jointly prepared.”

He said: “We want to properly understand what we want to do, how we want to do it, who are the Stakeholders and where do stakeholders come from.

“This is why we selected people from academia, industry, public sector, private sector and start-ups ecosystems in the country.”

While decrying the attitude of Nigerians for not patronizing the local solutions upon the proclamation of Executive Orders 003 and 005, Mr Olatunji advised for patronage of local ICT products and services.

In her remarks, the National Coordinator of OIIE, Dr Amina Sambo-Magaji, advised the stakeholders not to be over-ambitious in their efforts at preparing the document because, according to her, its implementation would be within three years.

She said: “We want to prepare a document that is very simple and achievable within three years’ time frame. We want a document that would super charge the start-up ecosystem”