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National Economic Council approves $617.7 million i-DICE programme nationwide 

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The National Economic Council (NEC) has endorsed the implementation of the $617.7 million Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) programme across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).  

The endorsement was made during the 140th meeting of the National Executive Council, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima, according to a statement by Stanley Nkwocha, the Vice President’s spokesperson. 

During the virtual 140th meeting, Vice President Shettima instructed state governors to nominate representatives for each geopolitical zone at the zonal level, as well as appoint focal persons to spearhead the programme’s implementation in their respective states. 

The Vice President assured that as the scheme becomes operational in the coming weeks, implementation nationwide will be diligent, committed, and forthright. 

In his opening remarks, Sen. Shettima pledged the government’s commitment to ensuring citizens benefit from promised opportunities. He emphasized the priority placed on skill acquisition and job creation, aligning with President Tinubu’s eight-point agenda, which emphasizes dignified livelihoods for Nigerians. 

  • He said, “But two things are clear: one, we won’t ever regret paving the way for the acquisition of skills that meet the needs of the global markets; two, our actions today will shape the economic landscape of tomorrow, and so it’s incumbent upon us to ensure that we leave a legacy of prosperity and opportunity for all Nigerians. 
  • “When we empower entrepreneurs and small business owners, we unlock the potential for innovation, job creation, and economic growth. By providing access to financing, training, and mentorship programs, we unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that lies within every Nigerian, catalysing a wave of economic prosperity that benefits us all. We cannot achieve this without inclusivity and equitable access to opportunities. This is the ladder we must offer to every disadvantaged citizen.” 

The Vice President highlighted that the government has progressed from discussions to the implementation phase, actively pursuing short-term objectives as part of its journey towards achieving medium and long-term strategies. 

More insights  

  • During his presentation on the i-DICE programme, Mr. Shekarau Omar, the Executive Director overseeing SMEs at the Bank of Industry, stated that the i-DICE programme, aims to fulfill the commitment made by the Tinubu administration to generate millions of jobs in the technology sector.  
  • Mr. Omar elaborated that the programme aligns with the government’s agenda to create more enduring employment opportunities, diversify the economy, and establish digital and creative incubation hubs/innovation centers nationwide. 
  • He outlined the African Development Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the Islamic Development Bank as some of the organizations that will finance the program, detailing the breakdown of funding sources as follows: AfDB, $170 million; IsDB, $70 million; AFD, $116 million; Bank of Industry on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), $45.50 million; Fund Manager (For Equity Fund only), $8.70 million, and private investors, $205 million. 
  • Regarding the programme’s impact, Mr. Omar projected that 1,269,757 youths would receive training and certification in ICT skills, with a minimum of 25,000 youths trained in each state of the federation and the FCT.  
  • He highlighted the creation of at least 100,000 jobs per state and estimated about 5,581,231 indirect jobs generated through i-DICE interventions nationwide.

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