The Nigerian Government is soliciting a $500 million technology innovation fund from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The fund is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology industry.
This was disclosed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) organised by AfDB, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He also said that country’s government had directed the Bank of Industry (BOI) to put in place a $10 billion technology fund to support techpreneurs and start-ups.
“We have also constituted the technology and Creativity Advisory Council, where we have brought together lots of the young men and women in ICT, entertainment and creativity and I have the privilege of chairing.
“That Council at the moment is working on policies. We need new policies to drive new wave of growth, but the right policies are still missing. So, there is money and the readiness of the Federal Government to get things done very fast in the ICT sector…Approaching the AfDB for technology innovation fund was another move we are taking, knowing fully well that the bank has invested so much in innovation in Rwanda, Ivory Coast and some other African countries,” Osinbajo stated.
On the other hand, the VP urged banks to get more creative because of the disruptions coming financial technology companies (Fintechs).
He said the “Fintech companies, as you know, are challenging some of the old laws on banking and all of that…The major issue is that technology is clearly going to disrupt the financial space, and is doing so already, so banks have to reform.”
“They have to invest in some of the Fintech companies themselves, and they have to see this revolution as inevitable,” Osinbajo said.
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