The Federal Government through the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved Nigeria’s internet technology bill known as the Startup Bill, which would be transmitted to the National Assembly for passage into law.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Digital economy, Isa Pantami, on Wednesday after the FEC meeting presided over by the President, according to NAN.
He stated that the bill will encourage young entrepreneurs in the country who have skills and want to do business in the telecommunications sector. He said the bill will also replace the National Digital Innovation Entrepreneurship and Startup Policy.
Mr Pantami said, “The first one is on the Nigeria Startup Bill, which is exciting news to our innovators all over the country, particularly those who are working within the tech industry.
“The Federal Executive Council has approved the Nigeria Start-up Bill and has also directed my humble self, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and also the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to ensure that we immediately liaise and transmit same to the National Assembly to begin the legislative process of converting it into law.
“By this, the Nigerian Startup Bill has replaced our National Digital Innovation Entrepreneurship and Startup Policy.”
He added that the bill has 11 chapters and all of them have been crafted in order to provide the enabling environment for our startups to be very successful.
He also stated that the bill will establish the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“This council is going to be chaired by Mr President himself and part of the council 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.
“Furthermore, there is also the operational structure of the council in which all the relevant institutions but have a role to play in providing the enabling environment for our startups to thrive, part and parcel of this operational structure,” he said.
He also stated that the bill will address the startup levelling process, where a startup is going to be labelled. And after that, there is eligibility for grant.
“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 levelling for the start-up,’’ he said.
The bill will also establish the startup investment Seed Fund, where there is going to be a dedicated fund to be provided by the federal government for young innovators all over the country to apply for the startup investment Seed Fund.