With Nigeria becoming the continent’s most thriving ground for tech startups and holding the record for the highest number of tech venture capital funding as of September 2022, It appeared that a piece of the puzzle is missing: a big government plan to grow and support the ecosystem.
For years, startup founders and tech companies in Nigeria have had to deal with regulatory hurdles and a lack of basic amenities like a steady supply of electricity, among other problems.
So, in the middle of 2021, the Nigeria Startup Bill was passed. The main goal of the Bill is to help technology-enabled startups in Nigeria create and improve an environment that will help them grow faster.
The Bill became law on the 19th of October when President Muhammadu Buhari signed it. It is now called the Nigeria Startup Act 2022.
However, not only will the Startup Act encourage the expansion of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem, but it will also bring about new investment incentives for the country’s startups. It will also prepare the economy for foreign investments, creating more jobs, bringing in more government money, and adding to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
And what else?
The Nigeria Startup Act 2022 also wants to make it easier for regulators and the rest of the startup ecosystem to work together, which is usually challenging. Startups will also talk to government officials about policy and be aware of policy obstacles, including those that are still being made but could hurt their businesses.
Among other things, the Bill wants to make it easier for new businesses to start up, grow, and run in the country by giving them tax breaks, government loans, and credit guarantee programs.
Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, announced via Twitter that the Bill was initiated by his Office and the country’s Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
The Nigerian Startup Act was subjected to several readings and discussions over a year before it was finally enacted into law. The Nigerian Senate finally approved the Bill in July 2022, which has now been enacted into law.