President Muhammadu Buhari has signed Nigeria’s Startups Bills into law.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, disclosed this to State House reporters after the brief signing ceremony which activated the Nigeria Startups Act 2022 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the new Act will be establishing the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council.
The minister said the new law was born out of the government’s desire to provide the required enabling environments for Nigerian young startups and innovators to address their various challenges, including those of intellectual property, financing, regulation, and incentive.
Pantami, who said President Buhari, through the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and the Office of the Chief of Staff, broached the bill from the onset, stated that the government has earmarked N10 billion start-up funding for startups and innovators to draw from.
He said in recognition of the efforts of the Nigerian government in Information Communication Technology, ICT, Microsoft has decided to train about five million Nigerians on high demand skills geared towards job creation.
He said ICT contributed 18.42 percent to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP this year alone, while the entire contribution of Communication and Digital Economy was 40 percent.
He added that before the passage of the bill, young innovators from the six geo-political zones of the country were engaged, stressing that the Act provides the legal and strategic framework for the innovators to make their contributions to the country.
He said that out of the seven unicorns in Africa, five are Nigerians, adding that the market value of each unicorn is worth $ 1 billion.
A unicorn, he explained, is a privately held startup company valued at over US$1 billion.
Speaking further on signing of the bill, Pantami said: “Mr. President has assented to the bill, and also conveyed to the relevant institutions of government for gazzeting and we are all excited, knowing the benefits that our economy is going to generate from the bill.”