The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Issa Pantami, revealed that the N12 billion National Center for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be ready for use by 2023.
Pantami announced this to the DAILY POST on Wednesday during a tour of the project site in Abuja.
The minister said Nigerian youth have a lot to gain from the mega project when it is completed.
He said the project is part of the diversification initiative launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that the center will stock the recently approved Startups Act and its smooth implementation for the benefit of Nigerians.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that any approval by the Federal Executive Council, the FEC, under our supervision is carried out in accordance with the agreement.
“That’s exactly why I’m here to make sure execution is according to agreement when it comes to capacity, rooms, offices and training centers; based on what I’ve seen, it’s all in line with what the federal government approved twice on November 11, 2020 and April 6, 2021. Second, The quality of work is commendable.
“On the 5th of April 2021, an increase was approved by the FEC after my presentation; based on what I saw, all of those were accommodated. I commend the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, the management team and its board for the implemented government policy. Their effort is commendable, Because the reward for hard work is more work.
“The first project, which was approved on November 11, the price is N9.56 billion inclusive of VAT and other taxes, and an additional facility approved on April 5, 2021, N2.65 billion, totaling N12 billion inclusive of VAT and other taxes. To be fair to you, if it wasn’t for the judicious way NITDA handled the project, if it were another agency, the cost of the project would have doubled.
“The completion date is 36 months, starting from November 2020; however, given that this is an old project by President Muhammadu Buhari, we have been able to engage the contractors to ensure the completion of the project within this current government.
“There are many ways, 1001 ways, Nigerian citizens will benefit from this project when it is completed.
“First, the National Startup Act of 2022. It was our idea, an executive bill by this administration. This building will play an important role in implementing the startup law, especially if you look at the floors for training. The building will coordinate the topic of tax exemption, entrepreneurial status, and intellectual property. And other advantages.”
Earlier, NITDA General Manager Kashfu Abdullah urged the contractor to ensure the completion of the project in record time.
He explained that the center will influence the growth of startups, manufacturers and investors within the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cosgrove Limited, Omar Abdullah, represented by Eng. Baba Khaled, praised the federal government for facilitating the progress of the project.
The total construction area of the project is more than 1,500 square meters; There are two floors with different categories of short-stay apartments, twelve standard rooms, four two-bedroom apartments, and six studio apartments. The subsequent floors contain a world-class data center, network operating center, double-volume network operating center and ballroom.
The second tower hosts the NITDA office space, 3D printing lab, IT museum, media studio, showroom, staff gym, storage unit, patient room and more.
N12bn National Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship Center ready by 2023 – Pantami