TO further strengthen the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) climate in Nigeria, the Federal Government has inaugurated the Development Committee for Information Technology Business incubation centres in Nigeria.
This move, according to the Ministry of Communications Technology is at aimed nurturing small and medium size entrepreneurs in the ICT industry for economic growth.
In her inauguration remarked in Abuja recently, Communications Technology Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said SMEs had been widely acknowledged as being the most viable vehicle for sustaining industrial development because they possess the capacity to promote an indigenous enterprise culture.
The minister stated that the intent and expectation of the ministry was that IT incubation centres would address many of these challenges and would provide an enabling environment that fosters ICT innovation from incubation to commercial success.
She charged the committee to develop a sustainable framework for a domestic IT Business Incubation framework that would amongst other things, discover, nurture and unleash local talent to drive the growth of the ICT industry, facilitate the commercialisation of research results as well as the acquisition and use of state of the-art technologies, promote domestic resource exploitation and improve the international competitiveness of the Nigerian ICT industry.
The new committees, which comprised of 19-member with Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, as the chairman was given six weeks to submit its report to the minister.
The committee members were drawn from professionals and institutions vast and bias in the ICT industry. Members include Chima Onyekwere of Linkserve; Leo Stan Ekeh of Zinox; Barbara James, CEO of Henshaw Capital partners; Mr. Toyin Abdulmalik Ibrahim of SMEDAN; Kemi Abonta of NITDA; Emmanuel Onyeje of Microsoft; Mrs Olufunmilayo Ajayi of Oracle; Pius Okigbo Jr, of ISPON; Juliet Ehimuan of Google; and Teemu Kijarvi of Nokia, among others.
Johnson outlined the terms of reference to include but not limited to; defining appropriate model for Technology incubation centers; defining governance and ownership model of the incubation centers; defining legal status and type of ownership of the incubation centers; defining funding structure and sourcing requirements for the centers and defining the rules, condition and criteria for selection, admission and exit of incubators.
Others are defining the financial planning, particularly identification of financial resources, estimation of capital investment needed, operating expenses, income structure, pricing policy and cash flow forecast.
Responding on behalf of the committee, the chairman, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, thanked the minister for offering members of the committee the opportunity to contribute their quota to national development. He said the committee would work assiduously and diligently to discharge this onerous responsibility which he said was a ‘call to pay to serve’.
By Adeyemi Adepetun