VENTURES AFRICA – In order to develop the potential of Nigeria’s ICT sector, the country is establishing a venture capital worth $15 million, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson announced in Abuja.
Nigeria’s budding ICT innovators and entrepreneurs have welcomed the development with much cheer, stating that it is a step in the right direction.
Financially challenged entrepreneurs are however fortunate as selection for the funding would be made without collateral requirement considering financial prospects only. “We will use those Venice capital fund to fund them because there is no collateral we are taking a risk,” the minister said.
The fund, which would be used to finance commercially viable indigenous ideas, initiatives and projects in ICT, would be privately managed in collaboration with technocrats as decision makers of the beneficiaries of the fund.
“The fund will be managed by independent fund managers who would, working with the ICT incubation team will identify projects or initiative that we believe are great ideas that will be commercially successful,” Mrs Johnson said at the announcement.
The minister also disclosed the state’s capital development fund would manage the execution and development of the selected ideas to a commercially viable stage, after which investors can earn from the incubated projects by issuing an Initial Public Offer (IPO) of the resultant companies.
The minister stated in summary that if the $15 million venture capital proves successful the capital base would be raised to increase financing for more initiatives.
The Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has been identified as the first investor of the fund with a proposed $3.6 million investment while the $11.4 million balance would be made up investments from local and international investors.