The NSB facilitated an event titled “What is in the Nigeria Startup Bill” to educate members of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem and the general public on the NSB and its importance.
The programme, hosted by Yewande Adewusi (Regional Director, BBC Africa), had Davidson Oturu (Partner/Head of Tech, AELEX Legal), Ifeoma Uddoh (Strategy Lead, Shecluded), Deji Sarumi (Co-Founder, TechHive), and Eloho Omame (Co-Founder, Firstcheck Africa) as panelists.
In his keynote speech, Davidson Oturu explained that the bill contained many incentives such as tax incentives for Startups and investors, grants for new Startups, and a governing council containing all members of the ecosystem to streamline the regulations in the startup place, among others. In creating the bill, the ecosystem players agreed that “there is no need to reinvent the wheel” as other startup bills are at play in Africa and the world.
It was also noted that the President and key members of his cabinet, such as the Honourable Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, have highlighted the importance of technology in Youth development in several speeches.
Eloho spoke about how the bills can protect investors just by allowing the Startups to thrive and bloom. She went on to ask about other ways investor funds can be protected. To answer this question, Mr Oturu stated that the bill made provisions for the repatriation of such funds. He also added that “when you look at the bill holistically, you can see that there’s adequate protection for investors.”
Ifeoma Udoh stated that there is a need for all members of the tech ecosystem to learn about the Nigeria Startup Bill. This will enable them know how the bill benefits them even from the basic level, as “a lot of people want to build Startups without adequate knowledge of the law.”
Deji explained the need to follow the Bill even as it is undergoing legislative processes by engaging with organisations that follow these proceedings, such as the Nigeria Startup Bill secretariat.
To Eloho’s question on when the bill will be made public and whether consultations will be carried out, Davidson Oturu noted that while the team has “been careful with how the bill has been managed and there has been careful incubation. All ecosystem stakeholders had a say.” That being said, the bill is being protected till it has gained traction in the National House of assembly to deter sensationalism.
To further clarify the powers of the Startup council, Davidson Oturu stated that members of the council were picked based on their ability to affect the ecosystem from an economic standpoint.
Startups to be affected by the bill and its incentives are Nigerian and Nigerian registered Startups.