Tobechukwu Okigbo, the Chief Corporate Services Officer (CCSO) of MTN Nigeria, has stated that investment by major Nigerian companies in startups will allow the ecosystem to grow.
Okigbo talked about the current state of the tech ecosystem at the Technology Breakout Session Panel at the Ehingbeti Economic Summit, which was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites on October 12, 2022. He said, “From a funding point of view, big Nigerian companies can help the ecosystem grow by investing in these startups.
This will signal the Outtside community and almost certainly increase the amount of investment these startups receive. “As a corporate social investment, Nigerian companies should partner with startups to create shared value,” he said.
MTN Nigeria recently announced the MTN Pulse Blow My 6Hustle initiative, which is in line with the brand’s promise to help established and new businesses.
The program, which started on Friday, October 14, 2022, is meant to help 100 young Nigerian business owners between the ages of 16 and 30 with grants and training.
The 100 people who made the shortlist will undergo a two-week training session. After that, the 20 finalists will compete for grants of up to N10 million, which will be given out based on how good their pitches were at the finals.
According to The Nigerian Start-Up Ecosystem Report 2022 by Disrupt Africa, Nigeria is one of Africa’s “big four” startup ecosystems, along with Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. The country has at least 481 active startups.
A total of $2,068,709,445 was raised by 383 tech startups in Nigeria between 2015 and 2022, making the country one of the most popular investment destinations on the African continent.
In January of this year, the Nigerian fintech company, “Flutterwave”, closed the largest funding round in the company’s history with a Series D round of $250 million USD. This demonstrates the increasing maturity of the Nigerian ecosystem and the country’s prowess in fintech.
Despite this growth, Nigeria is confronted with significant challenges, such as an insufficient supply of broadband internet infrastructure and a lack of available financing options.
For Nigeria to succeed in the tech ecosystem, it needs to keep investing in its infrastructure to keep up with places like Silicon Valley, New York, London, Boston, and Beijing.
Recent developments, such as the Nigeria Startup Bill and the commercial rollout of MTN’s 5G network, are anticipated to propel growth, enabling Nigeria to catch up with its competitors in other parts of the world.