National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has rewarded various tech startups through its subsidiary organisation, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital.
The event which was held at the Emerald event center, had 10 Startups accorded the opportunity of pitching their solutions to the audience, with Damilola Omoyiwola of Budgetier emerged best and received the seed fund of 300,000, while others got 200,000, 100,000 and 50,000 respectively.
In his remarks, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State represented by Prof. Nse Udo Essien, Commissioner for Science and Technology, stated that ICT remains the best alternative to diversify Nigeria's economy.
He expressed delight over the choice of the state as the beneficiary of a developmental event of its magnitude. "The choice of Akwa Ibom state by NITDA for such an important project is an attestation that NITDA, and indeed the present administration, exists to serve all Nigerians regardless of geographical locations or any challenges.
"Information Technology is the guarantee to a secure future and we are proud to be a part of this epoch making event .
"We are immensely grateful to the DG for spreading the dragnet to all he nooks and crannies of Nigeria".
He pledged to integrate ICT in all aspects of governance in the State.
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami ,DG NITDA, in his remarks, disclosed that the Agency was mandated to develop, implement and regulate the IT industry in the country and that in discharging its functions, NITDA is determined to ensure that all Nigerians, especially the youths are carried along in its empowerment agenda.
He stated that the "Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was established by the Agency to drive programs and policies that support ICT development, develop, establish and support ICT innovation hubs, Information Technology parks and community enterprise hubs across Nigeria while, collaborating with the private and public sectors at both federal and state levels on programs that support entrepreneurship and commercialization".
Dr Pantami emphasized that the presidential executive orders 003 and 005, further gave impetus to the Agency's mandate and strengthened its resolve to bridge the digital divide, establish, facilitate and support the Nigerian ICT Startup ecosystem.
He also revealed that NITDA will be setting up a Digital Capacity Building Center at the Goverment Secondary School, Afaha Eket, Eket LGA of Akwa Ibom
He concluded that, "our future as a nation relies on ICT", "ICT is the global driver of all aspects of the economy".
Startup Friday is a smart gathering that aims at bridging the Startup growth gap by enriching the development processes of innovative technology driven businesses through interactions
It's also to promote Information Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship, create an enabling environment for an innovative ecosystem to thrive in Nigeria,
This ninth edition of Startup Friday is the first held in the South-South region of the Country, past gatherings were successfully organised in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna and Gombe State respectively.
In attendance were representative of Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Prof. Nse Udo Essien, Commissioner for Science and Technology, the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FBCS, top officials of the State Government, Hub Operators, Techpreneurs, IT Professionals, conventional and Online media practitioners, Academics among others.