… Innovation Award provides a quick look at technological growth for Nigeria
– NSIA MD, Aminu Umar-Sadiq
The Sovereign Investment Authority of Nigeria on Saturday launched the latest edition of the Innovation Program Award, aimed at encouraging development in Nigeria’s fast-growing digital ecosystem.
The announcement took place at an event in Lagos attended by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; NSIA Managing Director, Mr. Aminu Umar -Sadiq; NSIA Board Investment Committee Chairman, Mr. Ikemefuna Isiekwena; and members of the Executive Management Team, Mrs. Olubisi Makoju, and Mr. Kola Owodunni.
Among the other dignitaries present at the launch are Ms. Odunayo Eweniyi of PiggyVest; Mr. Ralph Oluwole of Helium Health; Mrs Amal Hassan from Outsource Global; Mr. Kola Aina from Platform Ventures.
The event also featured panelists such as Mrs. Abimbola Olufore from UNIDO; Mr. Obi Emetarom of Zone; Dr. Chibuzo Opara of Drugstoc; Mrs. Serah Makka Ugbabge of One.org; Mr. Abayomi Awobokun of Orbit54; Mrs. Temi Awogboro of New Lion Capital & Magic Innovators among other technopreneurs, and capital providers.
The NSIA Demand Award Program is structured as a business accelerator program to support early-stage, growth-driven ideas through education, mentorship and finance.
The Program is a strategic initiative of the NSIA Board that will run for at least three years.
Through the NPIP initiative, the NSIA is poised to identify, build and channel the country’s latent potential in innovation and technology to promote economic growth, increase the country’s productive capacity, create jobs, and optimize resource sustainability.
In addition, the NPIP is designed to encourage and support creativity and innovation within the technology space and to fund new ideas that may bring positive impact in terms of cost, scalable and transformative.
NPIP priority sectors are technology enabled industries in top seven priority sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The main sectors are Financial Services, Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing, Renewable Materials and Energy.
Speaking at the event, the NSIA MD said the strategic intent of the Program is to assist the Authority to establish direct access to the Nigerian technology sector.
He recalled that, for centuries, prizes in various fields of human endeavor have been both a reward and a catalyst for ideas that solve pressing challenges for humanity.
Today, he said that such an Innovation Program has helped to foster new ideas and creative innovation in science, technology, and many other fields.
He said the NPIP is the NSIA’s philosophy of choosing to accelerate innovation as a tool to promote developments in Nigeria’s rapidly growing digital ecosystem.
He said, “Some may ask, ‘why an Innovation Award?’ Our answer is simple. ‘Why not?’ Over the past ten years we have explored various strategies to deliver our vision which has seen us play an increasing role in promoting investments for the economic development of Nigeria.
“We see the innovation award as just another thing under our strategy. We have explored the path of sponsor, co-developer, and financial investor on several projects.
“The award’s approach is a different but equally compelling approach. With this, we aim to be not only a catalyst for the fast-growing domestic technology and innovation industry but also a deliberate enabler across various levels of the ecosystem. -system.
“Our Board is confident that this approach will mobilize partners and capital, spread the burden of risk, set a problem-solving agenda, and be an effective accelerator for viable projects.”
Umar-Sadiq further explained that the Award for Innovation program is designed for national coverage, adding that the NSIA is committed to working as diligently as ever to deliver a program that is -inclusive, transparent and results-based, covering the whole of Nigeria. digital hubs.
Through this, he told the gathering that the Authority would identify and promote early stage projects with transformative economic potential.
MD NSIA said, “We will start the program by opening the innovation award application portal in short order. Once we open them, we expect to receive a number of high-quality entries that reflect Nigerian innovation.
“From this, eligible participants who qualify for the accelerator will have access to knowledge and insights that will allow their ideas to scale.
“In addition to selecting a winning entry, the program is designed to inspire and challenge participating technopreneurs to build well-designed strategies that connect ideas and concepts new to the market.
“We see a future where Nigerian tech companies rise to global relevance and leadership in the next ten years. The Nigerian film and music industry is already looking in this direction. It is time for our technology and innovation sector to deliver a similar path.
“So today, we welcome you all to the start of a unique approach to promoting change in the domestic digital ecosystem.
“As we launch the NSIA Award for Innovation, we’re really looking forward to seeing entries from disruptors, creators, and climbers driving a new vision for innovation in Nigeria.”
In his remarks at the event, the Lagos Governor described the NSIA as representing the value of a catalytic system.
Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his Special Adviser on Technology, Mr. Tunbosun Alake said the NSIA for coming up with the initiative because it aligns with the global philosophy where innovation and technology is being used to change the global community.
He said, “I am pleased that the announcement of the NSIA Award for Innovation is an indication of NSIA’s embrace of this philosophy and its commitment to drive value creation through innovation.
“This philosophy is something that we in Lagos State share with the NSIA. Not only because the governor signed the Lagos State Sovereign Wealth Fund, but it has to do with our understanding that the main call for economic security of the country is linked to innovation and scientific research.
“I congratulate the NSIA once again on the launch of this whole initiative. An initiative whose time has come and one that will move the innovation pendulum forward.
“But despite our need to fulfill the potential of this country, we must eliminate shallow implementation across the many institutions of government. We must cooperate. We invite you to work with us as we build a Nigeria we can truly be proud of.”
Also speaking, Isiekwena told the gathering that like all good ideas, the Innovation award itself is not the end the Authority hopes to achieve but a means to an end .
He said, “The result we are looking for is an ‘idea’ economy for Nigeria. In this age, success in any sensible economy is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than the competition.
“We hope that this program will encourage ingenuity, creativity, and ingenuity among our growing youth who will come up with ideas that will become viable businesses and by doing so, which will lead to positive economic trends in our country as we diversify away from traditional.”
Other dignitaries in the technology and innovation ecosystem who spoke at the event praised the NSIA Board and management for coming up with the Programme.
They said that through this Program, the Authority will be able to unlock the potential of innovators and attract talents to the target sectors of the initiative.