• Tech - News - Startups
  • Updated: October 19, 2022

President Buhari Signs Startup Bill Into Law

Minister of communications and the digital economy, Isa Pantami, has announced that the Nigeria startup bill has been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Pantami announced this information via a tweet. He also noted that his office and the nation's Office of the Chief of Staff had started the law, currently known as the Nigeria Start-up Act.

The Nigeria Startup Act had several readings before receiving the president's approval, beginning with its submission to the president and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the nation last October.

This is due to the government's establishment of an N10 billion investment fund for young inventors as well as the inclusion of tax breaks and incentive programmes to support homegrown innovators.

While briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Pantami said that Microsoft had chosen to train roughly five million Nigerians in highly in-demand skills focused toward job development as recognition for the government of Nigeria's efforts in information and communication technology (ICT).

According to him, the ICT sector generated 18.42% of the GDP this year alone, compared to 40% from the communication and digital economy as a whole.

According to him, the new Act was an executive bill that President Buhari had drafted with the help of the Minister of Communication and the Digital Economy and the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.

Young innovators from the nation's six geopolitical zones were involved, he claimed, prior to the bill's passing.

He continued by saying that the Act gives the innovators the legal and tactical framework they need to contribute to the nation.

He claimed that five of the continent's seven unicorns—each worth $1 billion on the open market—are indigenous to Nigeria.

According to the Minister, the President would serve as the head of the Presidential Council on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with the Deputy President serving as vice chairman.

He added that members of the Council would come from the public and private sectors, as well as from academics.

According to Pantami, the Council presided over by the President, would work to stop the security agencies' constant harassment of young people using laptop computers and referred to as "yahoo Yahoo guys."

The bill will be governed by the Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Its members include president Buhari, the head of the country's central bank, representatives of the Startup Consultative Forum, the Director-General of the country's information and technology regulatory body, as well as other important public and corporate leaders.

They will be in charge of ensuring that the bill's goals—including encouraging cooperation between startups and policymakers—are realised and that Nigeria's laws and regulations are well-thought-out and supportive of the digital sector.

The Nigeria Startup Bill was designed to prevent future setbacks like the prohibition on two-wheelers and cryptocurrencies while also fostering a climate that will allow Nigerian businesses to establish and scale their products.

Over the past few years, numerous African nations have introduced measures with similar goals. They consist of Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Tunisia.

The measure aims to address three primary issues facing Nigerian businesses, including a lack of an enabling environment, a murky regulatory landscape, and insufficient local content support, according to its draught from last year.

The Nigeria Startup Bill also calls for protection, incentives, and access to a select group of public and private-led local funding opportunities, including a $10 billion fund from the federal government, as well as tax breaks, incentives to draw foreign investment, and incentives to attract foreign capital.

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