Tijani Unveils Blueprint to Boost Nigerian Startup Funding Rounds

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Mr Bosun Tijani, has announced a plan to help Nigerian tech startups raise a total of $5 billion yearly in funding rounds by 2027.

He disclosed the plan in the ministry’s 31-page Strategic Blueprint document titled Accelerating our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency, released and seen by Business Post on Monday.

Mr Tijani said the ministry’s primary objective is to stimulate the growth and sustainability of startups, with a specific focus on developing innovative solutions for critical sectors of the economy.

“Recognising the critical role of patient capital in the growth of startups, we are committed to increasing the local availability of patient capital. Our intent is to create an environment for startups to raise the funding they require to thrive locally and promote the domiciliation of startups within our nation.

“We will establish an active sandbox environment that encourages and empowers innovators and entrepreneurs to develop unique solutions for sectors historically considered to have limited exposure to technological innovation.

“By removing regulatory barriers and providing the required support, we aim to inspire innovative, problem-solving approaches to existing challenges,” Mr Tijani said.

He said with the goal of supporting the diversification of the Nigerian economy, the ministry will collaborate with other ministries and parastatals including private sector stakeholders to drive opportunities for startups to facilitate the application of technology for enhanced productivity in critical sectors across the country.

“We will back programmes focused on AgriTech, HealthTech, EdTech, MediaTech, CleanTech, and CreTech among others.

“Increase capital raised by Nigerian tech startups by 50 per cent year-on-year from $1 billion/year in 2022 to $5 billion/year in 2027.

“Increase domiciliation of local technology startups from less than (<) 1 per cent to 25 per cent by 2027.

“Identify opportunities for the digital economy in various sectors such as Agriculture, Financial Services, Healthcare, Education, Energy, Transportation and Logistics, Manufacturing, Retail and E-commerce, Textiles and Fashion, Media and Entertainment, eSports/Gaming, and Real Estate,” he said.

He explained that the ministry would launch at least one ministry-led Public-Private Partnership (PPP) pilot programme per sector by 2027.

Mr Tijani said this strategic blueprint is a detailed and progressive framework that encompasses five key pillars: Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and capital (IEC) and Trade.

He said each pillar is integral to the ministry’s mission and interconnected with others, forming the foundation of the strategy.

“Knowledge is the cornerstone upon which innovation thrives, and is built upon the bedrock of sound policies. Infrastructure provides the essential backbone for a thriving digital economy, while innovation and entrepreneurship drive economic diversification.

“Trade, the fifth pillar, represents our commitment to global collaboration and partnerships, recognising that innovation knows no borders. As we embark on this transformative journey, we do so with an unwavering sense of purpose.

“We understand that the road ahead may be challenging, but it is through these challenges that we find the impetus to evolve and adapt.

“Together, we will harness the power of technology to elevate Nigeria’s standing on the global stage, create sustainable employment opportunities and improve the quality of life for all Nigerians,” he said.

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