Why Nigeria Startups growth is stunted
By Gina Emmanuel
Nigeria has lots of startsups begging to be discovered and those that have been discovered are looking for means of identification and how their discoveries could be translated to cash.
And the dreams of being recognised internationally could be a tall one because Nigeria, according to the President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Mr Rotimi Oladele is about much talk and no action.
For instance, 10 startups were taken to Gitex , Dubai this year for international exposure but the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is yet to brief the ICT community on how it would further assist these startups.
According to a critic, Mrs Chidinma Ibrahim, startups in Kenya, Ghana and other African countries have a strong support from their governments due to friendly policies, which serves as motivation as well as ensuring their software compete globally and are purchased.
“But aside the technology parade in Dubai, what next? Was there any business side of it? Or was there any handing over of these startups to bluechip companies who were in attendance? All these things are why we should go back to the drawing board and do the needful”.
Another reason that may be mitigating against growth and recognition is funding. For every government agencies including Nitda,budgetary allocations and release of funds have always been an uphill task as such projects at the final stage have always become abandoned projects.
Some couple of weeks, there was a denial on the approval of Nitda’s 2017 budget. And hopes of these startups may be dashed as the Agency, according to Isaac Nwane is striving to surve.
However, industry watchers also alleged some form of calculated financial appropriation within the Agency.
Prior to the Dubai trip,NITDA’s Director General, Dr Isa Pantami said NITDA’s remains committed to its mandate to build a technology ecosystem that thrives on indigenous manpower connected to the global IT community.
Pantami said young people are a critical focus of NITDA’s agenda to develop the IT sector. “Our young people are highly talented. With more training, exposure, funding and mentorship, a thriving IT industry can be encouraged to grow within international standards so that we can not only meet our local needs but also become an IT exporting nation”.
Recall that most hubs are gradually closing down in the country despite Nigeria’s plan to replicate a world class Silicon Valley, but the thought may be a wishful dream.