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How young innovators can accelerate ICT contributions to GDP

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Technological advancement is known to impact fast rate of economic development to countries of the world. In Nigeria,  technology has also not done badly as it has over the years contributed to the growth of the economy.

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At least, recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has it that Information and Communications Technology, ICT, contributed 13.8 percent to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP of the country.

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However, ICT experts are of the opinion that  deliberate support to more youth innovators  would yield excellent results.

Following with that vision, the  Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC,  recently shortlisted about 25 technological innovators at a three-day Innovation Competition and Exhibition focused on “Promoting Innovation and Creativity in the telecoms sector.

From the competition, three top innovations emerged and NCC rewarded the innovators with five million Naira.

The first winner who got three million was a learning contact firm from Lagos State, Qatalog followed by WiFi Hotspot Sharing project, WICRYPT, from Enugu who got two million and the third was a footfall energy resource firm, Phaheem Pharmaceuticals Ltd from Kano State that also got one million.

Founder of Qatalog, Martins Fidelis, said the platform already has about 350 contents uploaded by 1500 vendors.

He said they have partnership with e-libraries in Europe, America.

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Also, founder of WICRYPT, Ugochukwu Aronu, said its app is  peer to peer internet sharing and resale application software that enables subscribers to make more.

He said when subscribers share their mobile data, they make money, they can set their billing rates and people pay them in real time by connecting into their mobile data.

While founder of Phaheem Pharmaceuticals Ltd,  Isa Dahiru said with its device,  Nigeria companies can begin to save huge chunk of  money spent on fuel and diesel daily.

ICT experts, Mr. Chris Uwaje, who spoke to Hi-tech was optimistic with the creative abilities of the winners.

He said that with great motivation, they will keep creating more jobs thereby adding to economic growth.

Uwaje also regrets that a lot of youths doing great things are yet to be discovered. He said: “All that we are saying is that they have to be a structured innovation development fund in all States. Every state must establish IT innovation development fund targeted at the youths and competition must take place in all states not just in the federal.  Everybody must be involved and no one should be left behind.

Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, emphasised the commitment of the Commission to the promotion of ICT innovations capable of enhancing socio-economic growth in Nigeria.

He said the commitment is in line with item four of the Commission’s 8-Point Agenda which speaks to promoting ICT innovation and investment opportunities in the telecoms industry through promotion of digital knowledge and skills that can positively impact various sectors of the economy.

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Also, Director, Research and Development in NCC,  Ephraim Nwokennaya, said the Commission has planned to handpick the winners and take them to the next level by helping them commercialise the ideas and protect their intellectual property.

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