For the first time, a law that will give ample opportunity to startups in Nigeria to grow in nearing top gear between Executive, Legislature and the Nigerian Startup ecosystem.
The Nigeria Startup Bill project began as a joint initiative by the private sector, Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to improve the fortunes of Startups by harnessing the prospect of a digital economy via better regulations.
One of the goals of the Bill is that it will ensure that regulations governing the economic space are friendly, clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.
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As part of the implementation of the Startup Bill initiative, a timeline to achieving this has been set.
By July 2021, the First Draft had been validated after Startup Ecosystem leaders in Nigeria, their representatives and the Presidential Working Group reviewed the first draft as well as the critical components towards implementing the bill.
As part of the targets set for August are series of Town Hall meetings for public consultation and validation with ecosystem stakeholders at the state level in the 6 geopolitical zones to produce a second draft of the bill.
It is expected that by September 2021, having adopted inputs and making revisions to feed into the final bill, a Final Draft of the Startup Bill will be produced by the drafting teams.
A final bill is expected to be submitted to the presidency for presentation to the National Assembly by October 2021. The President will then submit the final bill as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for debates and possible passing.
If the bill is able to leave the president’s desk early enough, it is believed that the 9th Assembly which seemed to always ‘rubber-stamp’ all of the Executive’s propositions should have no qualms passing the Startup Bill.
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However, the positives that such a Startup Bill would add to the dwindling economy of the nation is gargantuan.
It is expected that the Startup Bill will harmonise existing laws and regulations in each Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), parastatals, and across States.
All of these should aggregate to help improve the Ease of Doing Business index which Nigeria currently ranks low at. Aside from improving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), this initiative will also create an enabling environment for attracting, growing and protecting investment in tech startups.
As some will say, that entrepreneurs cannot innovate their way out of infrastructural deficit and regulatory inconsistencies; what this Startup Bill in the works might achieve at the end of the day is a well structured Nigerian digital economy that will be good for all.Featured image source: NSB
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