Naankwat Dariem

The Japanese government says it will encourage its innovative indigenous Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies to partner with small and medium-sized businesses as well as innovators in Nigeria to solve the country’s socio-economic challenges.

Japan’s Ambassador to Nigeria Matsunaga Kazuyoshi stated in a speech at the opening workshop for 20 selected ICT companies from the northeastern region of Nigeria.

The program is labeled; Northeast Commissioning Training, (NEST)

NEST is a project of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Japan International Corporations Agency (JICA), where participants receive two weeks of free intensive training in Abuja, the capital of the nation

Mr. Kazuyoshi in a virtual address said that Japan, known worldwide for its innovative ideas, was interested in partnering with Nigeria and is enhancing its potential to be the ICT and technology hub in Africa.

“There are many companies in Japan that have excellent technology and are eager to work with you to solve social problems in the northern states and throughout Nigeria..

Ambassador Kazuyoshi said that Internet access in the Northeast was increasing rapidly and the trend will greatly boost the innovative ICT sector in the region.

“With the development of 5G, which will bring high speed in accessible satellite Internet service and installing which will bring better Internet access, especially in the rural area, the start of this operation will be a game changer to bring more benefits to the northeastern community of digital transformation”

“Therefore, I believe that the latest technology will be the key to solving the challenges and winning business and then your future.” Kazuyoshi stated

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director General Kashifu Abdullahi said the workshop is aimed at boosting market-driven digital businesses while making Nigeria a viable market for the global sector. of ICT.

Inuwa, represented by the National Coordinator of the National Digital Information Center (ONDI) Office, Yakubu Musa, said the government would work with all relevant stakeholders to create an enabling environment for innovations and startups to grow.

According to the head of NITDA; “We will do this by working with relevant stakeholders to create the enabling environment for youth because we teach around 60% of our population to continuously innovate and achieve their dreams of turning their innovative ideas into thriving businesses.

“By creating jobs and improving the quality of life for Nigerians, the recent enactment of the Nigerian Startups Act is an important milestone that will strengthen the legal and institutional framework for the development and operation of start-ups in Nigeria, It will encourage the development of technology-related companies. business in the country and further consolidate the position of the Nigerian startup ecosystem as the leading digital hub in Africa.”

Mr. Inuwa emphasized that the enactment of the Nigeria Start-up Act is aimed at fostering digital technology in the country. “We are on a journey to shape and win our future. That is why we leave no stone unturned in providing the necessary support for Nigerian innovation..

He applauded JIACA for its continued support, saying it has proven to be a trusted partner fully aligned with our goal of cementing Nigeria’s position as Africa’s leading business hub and emerging global digital talent hub.

One of the participants, Khalid Abdullahi Yero, founder of Gombe State’s Dopals Technologies, said he uses his platform to help local people learn from undergraduate courses.

“The platform aims to help people learn skills from their own neighborhood instead of conventional education. As a student at the university; you can register on the platform and publish a course. And those courses will be delivered to students within your neighborhood in the language of your choice. We facilitate the program and make it successful and charge a commission based on the course.

“My goal here is to network and learn from the experts.” she added.

Another participant from Bauchi State and founder of Five Star ICT LTD, Muhammed Aliyu Sambo, said that his is an online platform that provides solutions to farmers’ needs.

“We provide solutions to farmers in terms of necessary information and we also provide them with services such as drones and the platform does not need internet connectivity. It’s like the USSD that works without internet.

“We provide them with information that will help them sell or export in partnership with our export partners.

“I look forward to taking this opportunity to network and make connections that can accelerate the growth of our company. We currently serve five thousand farmers, and after this training, if we do things right; we hope to reach about 200,000 by the end of next year.”

More than 8,500 small and medium ICT companies applied to the program and only 20 were selected with a focus on the northeastern states of the country.