President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Nigeria Start-up Bill 2022.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, confirmed this to State House correspondents shortly after the president appended his signature on the bill to become an act.
“The president has assented to the bill and conveyed it to the relevant government institutions for gazetting,” he said.
Mr Pantami explained that the bill, which emanated from the executive arm of government, was passed by the Senate on July 27 and the House of Representatives on July 28, 2022.
He said the bill resulted from engagements with young innovators and start-ups across the country.
“The approach we adopted was to allow our young start-ups, our young innovators all over the country, to identify the challenges they were confronted with in regards to intellectual property, financing, regulation and incentives, among others.
“And from their inputs, we discovered there was the need to have Nigeria start-up Act in place so that it will provide the enabling environment for them to continue to thrive and be successful,” he added.
The minister noted that the digital economy sector had contributed a lot to the economy of Nigeria, adding that in the first quarter of 2020, the ICT sector contributed 14.72 per cent to the nation’s GDP.
“In 2021, this administration set up a new record by contributing 17.92 per cent to our GDP; this year, in the second quarter of 2022, another record was set, with the ICT contributing 18.44 per cent to our GDP. These are all new records,” he said.
According to the minister, the new law will now provide the legal and strategic framework for the sector’s growth.
It also provides for the establishment of a presidential council called the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, to be chaired by the president, with the country’s vice president as vice chairman.
He added that the ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Industry, Trade and Investment; Science and Technology, among others, are council members.
According to Mr Pantami, there are provisions for a minimum investment fund of N10 billion and other incentives that will be disbursed to start-ups to encourage them.