Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communication Progress Report on Projects & Programmes Implementation has announced that the Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA) should become financially self-sustaining by 2016.
iDEA provides essential support to entrepreneurs to build software skills, solutions and businesses critical to their success.
Entrepreneurs accepted into iDEA Centres receive support in the way of physical work space, shared facilities, training, mentoring and access to capital.
The report which covered July 2011 to February 2014, said that the iDEA centres which are currently being wholly funded by the government through the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEVF), should be able to fund themselves more independent of government by 2016/2017.
iDEA will be funded through funds from multi-lateral agencies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, etc., local companies, private individuals and revenue generated by iDEA itself.
In 2013, the government working through reputable financial investment institutions, sought to raise $15million through private equity.This is in addition to government’s initial seed capital of $3.1milllion, approximately N500million then, from the NITDEVF.
Omobola Johnson, minister of Communications Technology said in the report that, in under three years, the FMCT has pursed its mandate evenly and assiduously, delivering the first integrated National ICT Policy, Nigeria’s first ever National Broadband Plan and a National Content Plan for the ICT sector, to increase the participation of Nigerian companies and domestic value added in the lucrative and fast growing sector.
She said, “The Model is proven, ICT is the fourth pillar of the Nigerian economy contributing about 7.8 percent to the country’s GDP and fastest growing sector”.