The Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprise project of the African Development Bank has concluded an agreement to provide $618 million to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the Nigerian government is currently in the process of appointing a fund manager for the project, according to the Country Director-General for Nigeria at the AfDB, Mr. Lamin Barrow, in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Sunday.
Nigeria inaugurated the iDICE program on March 14 which includes a 618 million-dollar technology fund for young investors.
The fund was established by former Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo with the goal of helping investors in Nigeria’s creative and technology industries who are having trouble raising capital.
The Islamic Development Bank will invest $70 million, the Agence Francaise de Developpement will provide $116 million, and the AfDB will provide $170 million.
According to Barrow, the project’s implementation was delayed due to Nigeria’s political shift.
“The change in government caught us off guard, and you have to give the new administration time to get established.
“The steering committee convened and was briefed. The vice-president presided over the group, which included representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Investments, Communication, Science and Technology, Information, and Culture.
“The team has put together the required procurement work and we are now at the disbursement point.”
He explained, “This has to do with the Expression of Interest for firms that want to manage the DICE funds and the recruitment of the transaction adviser.”
He added that The initiative also received permission from the French government, which committed millions of dollars in funding.
Remember that during her visit to Nigeria last week, French Minister Catherine Colonnade vowed to support the initiative, pointing out that it had the potential to establish 65,000 new businesses in the country.
Barrow, the African Development Bank’s Country Director-General for Nigeria, concurred with the minister, stating that the bank and the French government were working together to invest in the project.
“The co-financing deal for DICE was signed by the French Development Agency and the Islamic Development Bank last week, during the minister’s visit to Nigeria. At this point, every procedure is practically finished.
“What matters is that the fund will soon be established and that the hiring procedures for a fund management will start.”
According to Barrow, “the fund manager will oversee it independently and serve as a contributor by helping new businesses.”