Since 2016, Nigeria’s government through the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) has supported more than 4 million beneficiaries in a bid to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women.

One of these programmes is the N-power programme, which is designed to assist young Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 35 to acquire and develop life-long skills for becoming change-makers in their communities and players in the domestic and global markets and given a stipend of N30,000 monthly.

In October 2016, Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinabjo said that the government would support eight private sector-led innovation hubs in the country, one in each of the six geopolitical zones, with one each in Lagos and Abuja.

As part of its effort to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which is under the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria introduced Startup Nigeria, an intervention programme to support private-sector innovation hubs for the strategic increase of entrepreneurial and technological capacity across Nigeria.

This 3-month incubation programme designed to help Nigerians with great innovative ideas to create viable products, go to market and gain traction, will provide training, mentorship and equity-free funding to selected startups in two zones — North Central and South East.

The government startup initiative is looking for individuals or startups that have solutions to the challenges in Agriculture and Governance in the North Central region as well as solutions to the challenges in Commerce or Fintech that could impact the South Eastern region or the country at large.

Interested applicants have up until Saturday, April 21 to submit their innovative ideas and solutions via the Startup Nigeria website where they can either apply to participate in the Startup Nigeria Hackathon which could qualify them for the incubation programme or apply directly for the incubation programme.

The programme is being driven by Abuja-based Emerging Platforms in partnership with Ventures Platform Foundation and Enugu-based Genesys Tech Hub.