In 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari created an Industrial Competitiveness Advisory Council in order to enhance industrial policies and performance in the country.
As part of the council, on June 11, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, inaugurated a 50-man Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity which consists of ministers, heads of agencies as well as players in the technology and creative space in order to boost a public-private partnership.
Private players in the tech space included in the group are founders of innovations hubs across Nigeria, investors and tech entrepreneurs. They are currently in Silicon Valley with the Vice President in a bid to attract foreign investment into the Nigerian tech space.
Here’s a brief profile of each of the 28 tech players in the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity.
He’s an investor and the founder of Ventures Platform, an Africa focused early stage fund. Before VP he also founded Emerging Platforms Ltd. a tech company primarily focused on enterprise software solutions.
Kola holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Savannah State University and Masters Degree from the Bowling Green State University. He also attended the Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University and the Harvard Business School. Kola is currently a Google Launchpad Accelerator Mentor.
So far, Olufunbi has co-founded and managed a few technology hubs including Leadspace, Passion Incubator, iDEA Nigeria as well as the Hagues Institute for Internationalisation of Law (HiiL)’s Innovating Justice Hub. His areas of expertise range from enterprise support to startup incubation, mentorship, investment and acceleration.
Funbi Falayi has played key roles in helping many Nigerian startups grow from idea stage to market and has led several investment conversations in early stage startups operating in emerging markets.
She serves as the Managing Director of Endeavor in Nigeria — Endeavor is a multinational company dedicated to leading the high impact of entrepreneurship worldwide.
Over the past 15 years of her career, Eloho has worked with entrepreneurs, teams and companies across various sectors at different stages of development including First Bank of Nigeria and BudgIT.
She’s also a former investment banker and private equity investor. Before joining Endeavor, Eloho founded Amari, a proprietary firm focused on building, advising and investing in early stage Nigerian businesses.
Kola is the CEO and founder of Venia Group, a venture creation and development company with interests in technology, energy, investments, healthcare, infrastructure, insurance, fintech and consulting.
Under Venia Group, Kola manages Venia Business Hub, AutoGenius, The iLX Centre, Venia Gateway Services, The Boardroom, Coworking Conference Nigeria and Velocity.
Before launching CoLab, Sanusi founded two technology-focused media startups and worked as a customer service executive at MTN Nigeria.
He has over 10 years experience working in the information technology and service industry. In 2015, Daser founded nHub in Jos, the Plateau State capital — the first in the Northern region of Nigeria — to help build and transform talented individuals into world class software developers.
Daser’s expertise include PHP, Database, Java and HTML. He’s a graduate of Biochemistry from the University of Jos and holds a diploma in computer science from the same school.
He’s the founder of Civic Innovation Lab, a technology hub focused on harnessing innovation and technology to provide effective solutions to pressing social and environmental issues in Nigeria.
Mosope also played a lead role in the Aso Villa Demo Day, a pitch event organised by the Nigerian presidency in 2016 to promote entrepreneurship in Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Affairs from Redeemers University.
Mohammed Ibrahim Jega is a serial entrepreneur and tech savvy marketer with vast experience in Business Development, Project Management, Content Marketing, and Application Development.
Mohammed is the Head of Business Development Africa at VoguePay Africa, a Founding Director at the Young CEOs Business Forum,CEO of Emerge Tech Africa and convener of Startup Arewa.
Mohammed Jega is a graduate of Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, holds a postgraduate degree in Computer Science and a Masters degree in Information Systems.
He is the CEO and cofounder of Co-Creation Hub (CcHub). He was formerly an European Research Network Manager at Pera Innovation Network, a consultant at ICT4Trade (International Trade Centre) and a Deployment Manager for Africa-HP Global Micro-enterprises Acceleration Programme.
Bosun Tijani holds a Diploma in Computer Science, Bsc.in Economics from University of Jos and Msc. in Information Systems and Management from Warwick Business School.
Kingsley is a computer science and engineering graduate from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology. He’s the founder of Tenece Professional service, a consulting firm that offers enterprise solution services.
He’s also the founder of Genesys Technology Hub focused mainly on the startup community in the South Eastern region of Nigeria.
Tomi Davies has over 20 years experience in leading digital transformation, technology strategy, procurement, implementation and financial intervention initiatives cut across various industry including oil and gas, retail, technology, telecommunications and hospitality.
He’s an advisor at VC4Africa, a community of African investors and entrepreneurs, the cofounder and president of African Business Angel Network (ABAN) and the cofounder of the Lagos Angels Network.
Tony is an ICT consultant and the CEO of Infohob Technologies, a web service provider based in Abuja. Before Infohob, he worked in Ericsson and cofounded Layer3, an internet service provider and systems integrator. He remains a board member and shareholder of Layer3 till date.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Minna.
He’s the Managing General Partner at EchoVC, a Pan-African venture capital fund focused on high-growth startups. Eghosa sits on the board of a number of pan-African startups including Hotels.ng, Printivo, Frontier Car Group and Gro Intelligence.
He graduated with a law degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College.
Victor Asemota is a technology entrepreneur and investor with over 20 years of industry experience in enterprise applications consulting and implementation, transaction systems and information security.
He’s the founder of Swiftacorp, Alterna Capital Group, Afrinnova Accelerator and cofounder of the African and Diaspora Mentorship, Investment Network. He is also a Board Advisor at Flutterwave and a Google Launchpad Accelerator mentor.
Bankole is the Business Incubation Manager at Abuja-based Enspire Business Incubator. He’s also the creator of Abuja Techie meetup, a monthly gathering of freelancers and members of the Abuja tech community.
He is the cofounder of Nigerian Incubators and Innovators Network, 3rd Sector Support Africa and Social Good Nigeria/Abuja Social Good Hub.
Anna leads the team at AfriLabs, a Pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs focused on promoting the development of the African technology sector.
She graduated with a 1st class in psychology from Covenant University and holds a Masters degree in International Marketing Management from the Leeds University Business School, UK. Anna has experience years of experience in marketing and business development.
Fareed is the founder of Workstation, a coworking space based in Lagos. He’s also the managing partner at Pacific Vanguard Limited and Director at Midland Resources Limited. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in finance from Howard University.
Bunmi founded Venture Garden Group (VGG) in 2010 to connect western technologies to emerging markets, using XaaS models. Prior to launching VGG, Bunmi had played key roles in several technology companies based in the US. He graduated with a degree in computer science from the Michigan State University.
Shola is the co-founder and CEO of Paystack, an online payments company facilitating commerce in Africa by enabling frictionless payments. Shola’s company was the first to get accepted into Silicon Valley Based Accelerator, Y Combinator.
Prior to Paystack, Shola co-founded Precurio, an open-source collaboration software for businesses in emerging markets which was downloaded over 150,000 times and made available in 6 languages.
Iyinoluwa is the Co-founder of Andela and Flutterwave, two startups that have done very well. He is a Nigerian serial entrepreneur with several years of experience running social ventures in education technology and publishing.
He also contributes significantly to several efforts to build sustainable impact enterprises by bringing together financial, social, political and human capital together to support other impact entrepreneurs as an Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and Advisor.
Tobi has been able to work in multiple sectors bringing innovative solutions to African problems by leveraging technology as a business enabler. He is a former McKinsey associate and the Executive Director of Manifold Computers.
Yomi is the Managing Partner of Softcom Limited. Softcom is a group of professionals whose overarching goal is to add value. For three years, they have supported organisations in their quest for impact and growth using Technology.
Ngozi Dozie is the Co-Founder of OneFi and the Director of Kaizen Venture Partners. One of their major products is Paylater, a lending mobile app which enables people to get access to short term loans in Nigeria as quickly as possible.
He is involved in several other businesses such as Cafe Neo, a coffee chain with outlets in Lagos and Kigali.
Mitchell Elegbe is the founder and CEO of Interswitch Limited, and he maintains the leadership role since conceiving the idea in 2001.
Prior to setting up Interswitch he was the Head, Group Marketing and Business Solution in Telnet Nigeria; there he conceived the idea and led a team of young Nigerians to build and implement Nigeria’s first on-line, real-time transaction switching and payment processing infrastructure to enable the electronic circulation of money.
Tayo founded Pagatech Limited, and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors.
He is responsible for strategy, acquisitions, and private equity investments in four technology sectors — Virtual Computing, Application Networking, Security, and Network Management. He also helped lead Cisco’s investment before starting Paga.
Mark Essien is a Nigerian entrepreneur, software developer and startup investor. He is the founder and CEO of Hotels.ng, one of the first and most successful online hotel booking websites in Nigeria.
Tunde Coker is the Managing Director at Rack Centre. He has a 25-year background in the ICT Industry, and has worked for numerous global organisations across Europe, the United States, Asia, and Africa such as GSK, ABN Amro, UBS, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and The Prudential.
Other members of the group from ministries and government agencies
- Dr. Adebayo Shittu, Honorable Minister of Communications Technology
- Okechukwu Enelamah, Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment
- Lai Mohammed, Honorable Minister of Information and Culture
- Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Honorable Minister of Science and Technology
- Kemi Adeosun, Honorable Minister of Finance
- Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria
- Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, National Communications Commission
- Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency – Office of ICT Innovation and entrepreneurship
- Chidia Maduekwe, Director-General, Nigerian Film Corporation
- Rasheed Olaoluwa, Managing Director, Bank of Industry, ED, Microenterprises
- Olusegun Awolowo, Director-General, National Export Promotion Council
- Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council
- Copyright Commission
From the creative industry
- Kunle Afolayan – Golden Effects Productions
- Kelechi Amadi Obi – Photographer
- Bolanle Austen-Peters – Terrakulture
- Ali Nuhu – Film Producer
- Michael Collins Ajereh (Don Jazzy) – Mavin Records
- Mo Abudu – Ebony Life
- Abdul Amart – Film Producer
- Aituaje Iruobe (Waje)- Artist
- Jason Njoku – Iroko TV
- Bankole Wellington – Empire Mates Entertainment (EME)
- Pretty Okafor – President, PMAN
- Tajudeen Adepetu – Consolidated Media Associates
- Adetola Odunsi – Urban Vision Limited
Follow-up: 3 months after its inauguration, the Presidential Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity seems to be stalling.