The Federal government has commenced the process of making available over N240 billion facility to the technology, entertainment and creative sectors of the economy.
Report says the funding would be sourced from a $500 million African Development Bank (AfDB) loan would help harness the potential in the sectors.
According to the report, Government is planning to collaborate with the AfDB and other finance partners to set up the $500 million fund in support of the Nigeria Innovation Programme (NIP).
Already, eight states: Lagos, Osun, Edo, Cross River, Anambra, Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau and Abuja, have been selected as focus states, while Borno, Gombe and Kwara States were recommended by The Presidency for the programme.
“Arrangements for the establishment of a $500 million fund in support of what has been named the NIP, is now being activated, especially with a report of the first draft project proposal presented by the AfDB and other stakeholders recently at a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.’ The report read.
Meanwhile Vice president Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande, has confirmed that the vice president had spoken publicly about the $500m facility.
According to him, ‘details of how the facility will work were discussed at last Thursday’s meeting presided over by Osinbajo, and attended by ministers, a representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), among other stakeholders.”
He said the plan to get the funding follows the recommendation of the Technology and Creativity Working Group set up a few years ago with members drawn from the private and public sectors.
The working group is an offshoot of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council earlier set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, and chaired by Vice President Osinbajo.
The NIP is expected to close the gaps in the technology and creative industries in the country as well as boost innovation, job creation, and foster growth in the technology and creativity entrepreneurship ecosystem.