President Muhammadu Buhari has signed Nigeria’s State Bill 2022 into law.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, confirmed this to correspondents from the House of Representatives shortly after the president put his signature on the bill to become Law.
According to Pantami, the new Law will enter into force with so many economic benefits for the country.
“On behalf of my director, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, I am here to inform you of his approval of the Nigeria Start-Up Bill today, October 19, 2022.
“The president approved the bill and also forwarded it to the relevant government institutions for publication.
“We are all excited to know the benefits that our economy will generate from the Law,” he said.
Pantami explained that the bill, which emanated from the executive arm of the government, was approved by the Senate on July 27 and the House of Representatives on July 28, 2022.
He said the bill was the result of engagements with young innovators and startups across the country.
“This bill was an executive bill that was initiated by the President through the office of his Chief of Staff in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
“The two offices coordinated and laid the groundwork for the Nigeria Commissioning Act of 2022.
“The approach we took was to allow our young startups, our young innovators from across the country, to identify the challenges that they were facing with respect to intellectual property, financing, regulation and incentives, among others.
“So young innovators got involved across the country across their geopolitical zones, where we encouraged them to voice their challenges regarding the ease of doing business.
“And from their input, we found that it was necessary to have the Nigerian Start-Up Act to provide the enabling environment for them to continue to thrive and be successful,” he added.
The minister noted that the digital economy sector had contributed a lot to the Nigerian economy, adding that in the first quarter of 2020, the ICT sector contributed 14.72 percent to the nation’s GDP.
“In 2021, this administration set a new record by contributing 17.92 percent to our GDP; this year, in the second quarter of 2022, another record was set, with ICT contributing 18.44% to our GDP. These are all new records,” he said.
According to the minister, the new law will now provide the legal and strategic framework for the growth of the sector.
It also provides for the creation of a Presidential Council to be called the National Council for Innovation and Digital Entrepreneurship, which will be chaired by the President, with the Vice President of the country as Vice President.
He said that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy will chair the council in the absence of the president and vice president.
He added that the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Industry, Commerce and Investments; Science and Technology, among others, are members of the council.
According to Pantami, there are provisions for a minimum investment fund of N10 billion and other incentives to be disbursed to startups to encourage them.