The Federal Executive Council,(FEC), approved the Nigeria Startup Bill on Wednesday, sending it to the National Assembly for consideration.
Dr. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s virtual council meeting at the Presidential Villa’s Council Chamber in Abuja.
The 11-chapter bill, according to Dr. Pantami, replaces the National Investment and Startup Policy. With this development, he stated that his Ministry will collaborate closely with the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to liaise with the National Assembly in order to convert the bill into law.
According to the Minister, if the new bill is passed into law, it will create an enabling environment for Nigerian startups. Furthermore, the bill includes provisions that allow for easy access to grants, such as a Startup Investment Safe Fund for young innovators.
“The Federal Executive Council has approved the Nigeria Startup Bill and has directed my humble self, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to ensure that we immediately liaise with and transmit it to the National Assembly to begin the legislative process of converting it into a law.”
According to the minister, the law will also establish the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which will be in charge of collaborating with various regulatory bodies to ensure the provision of support services and incentives to startups.
“As a result, our National Digital Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Startup Policy has been replaced by the Nigeria Startup Bill.” This bill has 11 chapters, all of which have been carefully crafted to create an enabling environment for our startups to thrive. To begin, the bill will create the National Council.
“This council will be chaired by his Excellency, Mr. President himself, who will also be a member of the council.” He will be aided by the Vice President as well. “I will also support both of them, and the council includes many relevant ministers and government parastatals.”
There is also the council’s operational structure, which includes all of the relevant institutions that play a role in providing an enabling environment for our startups to thrive. Furthermore, this addresses the startup labeling process, which is where a startup will be labeled. Following that, there is grant eligibility.
If a startup is looking for a government grant, there is a simple process to follow, and the government will eventually be able to provide the grant. There is also a process for issuing the certificate.
“There are also tax and fiscal incentives where the government will provide tax breaks, where the government will support our startups to even liaise with international or multi-tech giants globally.” As a result, the government will provide tax breaks and other incentives as needed.
“There is also a chapter dedicated to regulators, where they have been mandated to come up with initiatives promoting developmental regulation, because many investors and young innovators today believe regulators are doing nothing but stifling the development of their startups.”