Funding: Nigerian Government Establishes New Specialised Bank for Tech Innovators
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Nigerian Government aimed to set up a specialised bank for tech innovators.
This was disclosed at the recent International Workshop on Science Parks and Innovation Eco-System for National Development held in Nsukka, Enugu State. The four-day workshop was held between the 21st and 24th of February, 2018.
The Minister shared that the specialised bank project has been in the works for quite some time now. He is optimistic that the bank would address funding problems in the Nigerian tech scene.
A feasible idea or what?
Despite the Minister’s pronouncements, it is important to note that this is not the first time he is talking about this lofty plan. In 2016, the minister declared the government’s intention to create a specialised tech bank.
The bank was expected to fund the technological development of Nigeria.
The bank would make Nigeria an industrialised nation where mechanical and electronics products would be produced.
The expectation back then was that the bank would provide funding for both tech entrepreneurs and research institutions.
The fund is not for agencies alone. It is for all research institutes in all ministries, laboratories in universities and for young creative Nigerians in science and engineering.
However, two years after, the bank is yet to be a reality. Sadly, no concrete proposal has been developed to pave the way for an actualisation, either. Meanwhile, during this period, investments in Nigerian tech by private companies have soared. More and more startups are emerging, with few getting the support that they deserve from the government.
A silver lining soon
The Minister admitted that the existence of the bank had been delayed by the recession in the country. But he shared that he was hopeful that the Nigerian government would establish the bank soon.
Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu reiterated his optimism:
… I believe that with the picking up of the economy and other economic activities now, I believe it would not be long, it would be a reality.
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