Presidency to announce Nigeria Startup Bill in August with final draft expected in September

startup bill

Preparations for the Nigeria Startup Bill have moved up a notch as the official website containing information about the startup bill was launched on Monday. The website includes details of what to expect in the coming months.

The bill is being put together to foster the growth of startups in the tech ecosystem in Nigeria. In May, a town hall comprising some stakeholders in the space as well as some government representatives discussed the need for a startup act, especially for tech companies.

Some of those that were in attendance include Future Africa’s Iyin Aboyeji, Thrive Agric’s Adia Sowho, Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Digital Transformation, Oswald Guobadia, and Special Assistant to the Vice President on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ife Adebayo.

Thrive Agric Acting CEO, Adia Sowho

Since the bill is for the tech ecosystem, a space that has seen rapid growth over recent years, insights and suggestions from as many players in the space are going to be needed to make it work. Founders and other players have made contributions on the regulatory issues that should be prioritized as on which existing laws have favoured the tech sector and which have not.

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Recent happenings like the Twitter ban, Ride-hailing shutdown in Lagos state as well as the restrictions placed on cryptocurrency trading companies in Nigeria have weakened the confidence of many about the chances of survival of startups in the country.

Preventing harmful policies like this from coming into effect is why the startup bill is being put together. As a portion of the website reads, “The Bill will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are friendly, clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.”

Also Read: Does Nigeria Need a Startup Act?

According to the timeline provided, the first draft of the bill was prepared in June and is validated this July by leaders in the tech ecosystem as well as the Presidential Working Group. All of the people involved are critical to implementing components of the bill.

In August, there will be a presidential announcement of the bill as well as town hall meetings that will allow for public consultation. All of these activities will lead to the validation of the second draft of the bill. To put the bill together, i4policy, a foundation that helped Senegal to create its own startup act, is also working together with members of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem to create a startup bill.

Nigeria's Vice President Visits Google HQ, Ends Tour of Silicon Valley Today
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with Nigerian Tech entrepreneurs

In September, all of the inputs about the bill will be looked into and a final draft will be put together and presented to the president who will then present it to the National Assembly in October. The entire project is managed by Ventures Platform Foundation and supervised by the Presidential Strategic Advisory Group.

If all goes according to plan, Nigeria should have a Startup Act very soon. This will ensure that innovation is encouraged in the tech sector and policies nurture new and disruptive ways of solving societal problems.

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