Technology Mirror
Government Plans MoU with Stakeholders to End Menace of Tech Hub Monopoly by Universities 

Government Plans MoU with Stakeholders to End Menace of Tech Hub Monopoly by Universities 

The recurring challenge of monopoly of tech hubs by some facilities in Universities in Nigeria has become an issue of concern to stakeholders in the ecosystem, and as such the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is considering an MoU that would sort the issue out.

According to the Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Government intends to sign an MoU with individuals that will manage tech hubs in Universities across the country.

Inuwa who dropped the hint while speaking at a Stakeholders’ Engagement on the State of the Northern Innovation Ecosystem organised for northern tech innovator in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, said whoever manages the tech hub would be give targets to meet.

“To sustain and deal with the recurring challenge of monopoly of the hubs by some facilities in Universities, we are trying to come up with a framework where we can build innovation hubs outside of Universities, then sign an M.O.U with the ecosystem to bring in anyone that is willing to manage the facility, we will give the person targets and KPIs to aid the management of such hubs”.

“It is an idea we are trying to conceptualise and we are open to co-designing it with the ecosystem, so anybody who is interested can reach out to us, so that we can figure out how to achieve that”, said Inuwa.

Inuwa however challenged Northerners not to allow the identified challenges in the area to hinder their innovative ideas, as there are silver linings in each difficulty.

“Lack of funding is always one of the issues, yes, but we can start with the small we have. It is not enough to always mention the challenges, let us also look for innovative ways to tackle them”, Inuwa urged.

He disclosed that NITDA is conceptualising the idea of establishing Technology Development Zones, one in each geopolitical zone of the country, adding that there are plans to also have an average innovation hub in every state of the federation.

Inuwa expressed the hope that the Northern Innovation Ecosystem will be used to create jobs, solve agricultural problems, healthcare, transportation, education and many more in the region.

“In the North and Nigeria in general, our biggest opportunity is the large market and expansion we have, because we have a young population where more than 60% is under 25, which means they are digitally natives”.

“It is an idea we are trying to conceptualise and we are open to co-designing it with the ecosystem, so anybody who is interested can reach out to us, so that we can figure out how to achieve that”, the Director-General said.

Head of Experimentation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Jamila Mohammed, said in his remark that the whole idea around having the conversation with the stakeholders for the northern innovation ecosystem is to begin to engage key players in the innovation space to come together and help in positioning the ecosystem, in order to address developmental challenges in the region.

“The essence of all this is to galvanise action to catalyse action, to be able to disrupt the way innovation is done in the region itself”.

“There is a need for us to pull all our resources together to be able to position the resource system to accelerate the SDGs, because we know we are far behind in achieving Sustainable Development Goals and there is that urgency to be able to come up with new methodologies, and solutions that will take us to that promised land”, Jamila noted.

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