The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigerian startup bill drafted by the tech industry. The bill proposes the government creates the Startup Investment Seed Fund, and make President Muhammadu Buhari its council head.
The bill was drafted to replace the criticised national digital innovation entrepreneurship and startup policy, enabling conducive business environment for entrepreneurs to innovate and startups to scale.
It was gathered from the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, that the Startup bill will be sent to the National Assembly, with support from the the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice office.
Why Nigerian startup bill is important?
Some of the major highlights of the eleven chapters bill is funding and conducive business environment guaranty from the Nigerian government which has been known to be strict on innovations and startups.
Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, cryptocurrency and tech-enabled securities exchanges have been banned, with the former winning a court case – the long arm of the government has affected investors confidence, innovations and jobs within the tech market.
The bill was drafted by the startup industry to set the industry standard, limiting the continuous faceoff between the government and innovators, who have always been ahead of government regulations.
Cash-strapped innovators, entrepreneurs to get government investment funds
According to Pantami, the Startup Investment Seed Fund will make capital available for budding entrepreneurs and innovators who are cash-strapped to develop their ideas.
“The bill also addresses startup leveling process, where a startup is going to be labeled. And after that, there is eligibility for the grant.” he said at the end of the council meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister explained that, “If a startup is looking for a government grant, there is a process to follow, which is very easy, and at the end, the government will be able to provide the grant and also there is a process of issuance, this certificate of leveling for the startup.
“The bill also will establish the startup investment seed fund, where there is going to be a dedicated fund to be provided by the federal government for our young innovators all over the country to apply for the startup investment Seed Fund to begin their own process if they need that.”
President, Vice to head startup council
Part of the provision in the bill gives room for national council for digital innovation and entrepreneurship in the startup industry, which will be led by President and Vice President.
The council will also comprise of the minister of communications and digital economy, as well as other relevant ministers and government parastatals.
“This council is going to be chaired by Mr. President himself and part of the council he will be supported also by the Vice President and I will also support both of them and many relevant ministers and government parastatals are part of the council.”
The operational structure of the council will have, “all the relevant institutions” expected to play a role “in providing the enabling environment for our startups to thrive, part and parcel of this operational structure”, Pantami said.
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