By Sunday Oyinloye
Acting Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr Emeka Offor has reiterated the Commission’s commitment in seeking and exploring all viable options that can attract, grow and position the country as an investment destination of choice to investors.
He stated this when he led a team of the Commission’s staff to pay a courtesy visit to the Israeli Embassy in Abuja.
The visit was necessitated on the heels of the upcoming Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Investors and Researchers (i-FAIR) 2021/22 scheduled to hold on December 7 2021 at the Skill “G” Innovation Center, Abuja.
Mr Offor said: “Nigeria has the most startups in Africa and a dominant force in the tech space but falls short on critical elements that help startups to thrive beyond its founding.”
“These critical elements such as digital infrastructure and lack of investment requires investors engagements and start-up supports which the Government of Israel through the i-FAIR initiative is bridging,
“It is our hope that the spread gets wider and we will create awareness of the facility across our development partners.”
In a Press Release made available to Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable and signed by Head, Press /Protocol of NIPC Daniel Awurum , i-FAIR initiative was created by a partnership between the Embassy of Israel’s Skill G Innovative Center and the Nigerian Government. The initiative targets 5 focus areas – Agriculture & Food Security, Food Security, Food Technology, Renewable Energy/Environmental Management, Medical Devices/Simulation and Social Responsibility/Solutions for Personal responsibilities. The first phase of the programme has been concluded while the second is currently ongoing.
Speaking earlier, the host, H.E Yotam Kreiman, the Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul of the State of Israel in Nigeria expressed his appreciation for the support they have received especially by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The Vice President of Nigeria Professor Yemi Oshibanjo has been fantastic, so also the critical stakeholder Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government” he stated.
The i-FAIR was created to provide a platform for Nigerian innovators to unleash and channel their creativity into smart solutions, products and prototypes. Mr Kreiman informed that the upcoming programme will feature 50 start-ups rigorously scrutinized and selected whom upon completion will be exposed to ready to invest investors and mentors that will help in ensuring their growth and sustainability. “The project will cost $300,000,” he said.
He further related that the Skill “G” Innovation Center Abuja is one of the best in world and boasts of the latest tech savvy equipment manned by the best brains from Israel and Nigeria with proven records in the academia and science. He emphasized that sponsorship of candidates in the center is open to all developmental organizations and individuals who intend to use the facility. “We are indeed very proud of this center the only one affiliated to an Israeli Mission anywhere in the world” he enthused.