The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) , on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at the launching of it’s maiden edition for the initiative Prize for Innovation Programme in Lagos, promised to open the portal for applications in the next one month.
The initiative which is targeted at stimulating development in Nigeria’s fast-growing digital eco-system also entails helping to nurture novel ideas and ingenious innovation in science, technology and many other fields in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director of NSIA, Mr. Aminu Umar-Sadiq said the company which had over the years explored various strategies to deliver vision as well as played an increasing role in promoting investments for Nigeria’s development saw the innovation prize as another strategy towards achieving not only growth in the larger society but also mobilizing domestic capital towards the digital ecosystem.
Giving reasons for the Innovation Prize, Umar-Sadiq said NSIA’s aim was to serve not just as a catalyst for the fast-growing domestic technology and innovation industry, but also as a deliberate enabler across the various tiers of the ecosystem.’’
‘’Our Board is convinced that this approach, will mobilize participants and capital, spread the burden of risk, set a problem-solving agenda, and serve as an effective accelerator for viable projects.
‘’We see a future where Nigerian tech companies ascend to global relevance and dominance within the next decade. Nigerian film and music industry are already tracking in this direction. It is time for our technology and innovation sector to deliver a similar trajectory.
‘’As we launch the NSIA Prize for Innovation, we eagerly look forward to seeing entries from disruptors, creators, and trailblazers driving a new vision for innovation in Nigeria’’, he said.
In his remarks at the event, the Lagos Governor, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, 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 hailed the NSIA for coming up with the initiative as it aligns with the global philosophy where innovation and technology are being used to change the global community.
He said, “I’m glad that the launch of the NSIA Prize for Innovation is an indicator of the NSIA’s subscription to this philosophy and its commitment to drive value creation through innovation.
“This philosophy is something we, at the Lagos State, share with the NSIA. Not just because the governor signed into law the Lagos State Sovereign Wealth Fund, but it has to do with our realization that the Central call of the nation’s economic security is tied to innovation and science research.
Congratulating the NSIA for the launch, Alake said that it was an initiative whose time had come and one that will move the innovation pendulum forward.
“However, the need that we achieve this nation’s potentials, we must do away with shallow implementations across the myriads of government institutions. We must collaborate. We invite you to collaborate with us as we build a Nigeria that we truly will be proud of,” he quipped.
Also speaking, Non -Executive Director and Chairman of NPIP, Mr. Ikemefuna Isiekwena explained to the gathering that like all great ideas, the Innovation prize itself is not the end that they hope to attain, but a means to an end.
“The outcome we seek is an ‘idea’ economy for Nigeria. In this age, success in any discerning economy is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than competition.
“We’re hopeful that this programme will inspire ingenuity, creativity, and inventiveness amongst our teeming youths which will result in ideas that become scalable businesses and in so doing, cause positive economic shifts in our country as we diversify away from traditional,” he said.
Other dignitaries in the technology and innovation ecosystem that spoke at the event commended the NSIA Board and management for coming up with the Programme.
They said through this Programme, the authority will be able to unlock the potentials of innovators and attract talents into the target sectors of the initiative.
Through the NPIP initiative, the NSIA is poised to identify, build, and channel the country’s latent potential in innovation and technology to catalyze economic growth, enhance the nation’s productive capacity, create jobs, and optimize resource sustainability.
In addition, it is designed to encourage and support creativity and ingenuity within the technology space and to fund new ideas that could result in cost-effective, scalable, and transformative positive impact.
The NPIP priority sectors are technology-enabled businesses in key seven priority sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The key sectors are Financial Services, Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing, Renewables and Power.