Bill seeking to regulate tech startups in Nigeria passes second reading at Senate

The bill was referred to the committee on cyber security. The panel is expected to report back in four weeks.

Nigerian Senate

A bill seeking to establish a regulatory framework for tech startups in Nigeria has passed second reading at the Senate.

The bill passed second reading after Abdullahi Yahaya, senate leader, led a debate on the general principles of the bill on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the national assembly to pass the bill seeking to establish a council for digital innovation.

Contributing to a debate on the bill, Ajayi Borrofice, deputy leader of the senate, said the bill is imperative because it would create the needed atmosphere for startups to thrive.

Borrofice said the bill, when passed and assented to, would unlock the potential of the country’s youths.

I support this bill and recommend it for second reading. MSMEs form the bedrock of industrial development in civilized countries and these enterprises emerge from startups,” he said.

This is the right time for us to encourage startups and put the right environment for startups to exist.

This is one of the ways we can unlock the potential of our youths to create their own contribution to the development of our country.

The bill was passed when it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The bill was referred to the committee on cyber security. The panel is expected to report back in four weeks.

The bill specifically seeks to create National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the mandate to provide the policy direction for the council, which include the creation of the Startup Support and Engagement Portal.

According to the Bill’s draft, section 31(1) proposes 35 per cent tax holiday for eligible employees of start-ups in Nigeria for a period of two years from the day of engagement.

The bill also seeks to create a startup investment seed fund to be managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. The fund is to provide a labelled startup with finance, provide early-stage finance for a labelled startup and provide relief to technology laboratories, accelerators, incubators and hubs.

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