BY CHIOMA OBINAGWAM
NIGERIA will be playing host to the first venture capital summit holding between 28th and 30th June in Lagos.
The Summit being organised by Alfe City Company Limited with the support of the Senate Committee on Trade & Investment and the House Committee on Commerce will feature the maiden introduction of the concept of venture capital and provide an opportunity for interaction with international experts and seasoned investors.
According to Mr Soji Adeleye, Chief Executive Officer, Alfe City Company Limited, “The total collapse of the crude oil sector in recent months is a reminder if we need one that the over-reliance on that sector was short-sighted in the extreme. Investment in the people on the other hand is the only risk free investment as they will always be there hence organic growth of the people’s sector the private sector provides an insurance for the future. The bottom-up growth invention, innovation, imagination, creativity; attributes Nigerians are renowned for.”
While reaffirming the Senate commitment to the Summit, Senator Fatimat Raji Rasaki, Chairman Senate Committee on Trade and Investment said, “We share the principle and objectives behind the Summit, we hereby convey our commitment to work with you and other stakeholders for the success of the summit and subsequently perform our legislative responsibility to ensure a successful entrenchment of venture capitalism culture in Nigeria.”
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Similarly, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Commerce, Rt Hon Sylvester Ogbaga said the committee considered the summit’s objectives as very laudable.
“I wish to therefore convey the decision of the committee to collaborate with Alfe City Company Limited in that regard,” he said.
On the participation of the state governments, the Alfe City boss said, “For the economic growth of a federation like Nigeria to be successful and sustainable, federating unit’s governments must be seen as caterers for the Oasis that must converge for the national economy to prosper.
He said State governments must necessarily pursue economic policies that are conducive for private sector investment. Universities and Colleges of Technology environments must essentially be supported to breed entrepreneurs that could rely on venture capital to translate their inventions and creativity into economic power.
On the expected benefits of the Venture capital/summit to Nigeria, he said it will open up a new avenue for turning ideas to products. “The Venture Capital ecosystem will create jobs, know-how that at the moment does not exist because it will be a new beginning for a lot of people and a lot entities,” he said.