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    After much back and forth, President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Startup, passed under law as the Nigeria Startup Act (2022). What began as a meeting between stakeholders and the federal government has now materialized into actual law. 
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In a statement released by the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, on his Twitter account, he states:

BREAKING!

His Excellency, @MBuhari has just assented to Nigeria Start-up Bill. It has now become Nigeria Start-Up Act, 2022. It was an Executive Bill, initiated by both Office of the Chief of Staff & the Office of the Minister of Comms & Digital Economy. Congratulations to all! — Prof. Isa Ali Pantami (@ProfIsaPantami) October 19, 2022 The Bill was first drafted between June and September 2021, by the Nigerian presidency, in partnership with 30 tech leaders comprising Ventures Platform founder, Kola Aina and Future Africa founder, Iyin Aboyeji, NITDA officials, and the minister of digital economy Isa Pantami. A blueprint of the bill is proposed to the Presidency and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in October 2021. And in December 2021, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the bill. In February 2022, the President of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari, passed the bill to the National Assembly and in March 2022, the bill reached the National Assembly and is accepted by the Nigerian Senate.
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In June 2022, the Lagos State Government announced its plans to domesticate the bill at the state level. In July 2022, the Nigerian Senate approved the bill and passed it to the House of Representatives and the House of Reps passed the bill to the president for approval.  On the 19th of October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the bill into law.

What Is The Significance Of The Startup Act?

This news is coming after the bill was first drafted and submitted to the Presidency and the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Also, it is coming after three months the Nigerian senate passed the bill. With this new signing, many are asking about the implications of the Startup Bill. Experts have noted that with this signing, the Nigerian tech ecosystem will experience an improved enabling environment shortly. Before this signing, many Nigerian tech startups faced a lot of barriers from regulators as well as infrastructural deficiency and lack of basic amenities like constant power supply and limited funding.
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For example, crypto startups were forced to adopt new innovative solutions following the ban on crypto trading by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2020. Also, the Lagos State Government’s regulatory bodies placed a ban on bike-hailing startups from operating in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, sending mobility startups like Gokada, Pride and Max. ng parking from Lagos. Therefore, among the objectives listed in Nigeria Startup Act, is the bridging of the engagement gap between startups and regulators to ensure that harmful regulations that hinder the growth of the tech ecosystem are removed. Further, captured in the Act is the possibility of encouraging the establishment of incentives such as tax breaks, government loans and credit guarantee programs that will foster the growth, development and continuous improvement of startups in Nigeria. Finally, the Nigeria Startup Bill (NBS) which is now Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) makes provisions for tax breaks and as well provides tax incentives for foreign service providers. Also, it outlines the requirements for registration and licensing or labelling of startups.  Featured Image  Source: TechCrunch
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This article was first published on 24th October 2022

nnaemeka-emmanuel

Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.


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