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Nigeria seeks $500 million technology innovation fund from AfDB

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The government of Nigeria is reportedly seeking for $500 million technology innovation fund from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Speaking at the just concluded  Africa Investment Forum (AIF), organised by AfDB, in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said, the move is part of the plans to further deepen the country’s ICT sector and make it more competitive.

Osinbajo also  said the Federal 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.

Meanwhile, the VP has 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.

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