Nigeria Formally Approves Startup Laws

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The Nigeria Startup Bill project is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of our digital economy through co-created regulations.  The Bill will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are clear, planned, and work for the tech ecosystem.

When the bill was passed and how it concerns start-ups

Sequel to the launch of the bill last year, the president of Nigeria on the 19th of October, signed the bill into law. The bill is aimed at creating and enabling the tech ecosystem for start-ups in the country, encouraging investments in the country’s tech space, and protecting start-ups from laws and regulations that may affect the functionality of such start-ups, such as the ban on cryptocurrency in the country and commercial motorcycles in some parts of the country. 

Key points of the Startup Bill

  • Before a company can be called a startup, you must obtain a startup certificate from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s portal. The company must be registered as a limited liability company and has been in existence for not more than 10 years from the date of incorporation, and should have at least 51% of its shares held by Nigerians

  • Labeled startups can access the special incentives that will aim at providing relief for startups.

  • Start-ups with at least 10 workers and 60% of them must have no work experience, and within 3 years of graduating from school or any vocation, are entitled to tax breaks and other tax incentives.

Timeline of the bill 

  • July 2021

The first draft was validated. Ecosystem leaders and representatives, alongside the Presidential working group, reviewed the first daft.

  • August 2021

The presidential announcement was made and town hall meetings took place for public consultation and validation of the second draft of the bill with tech ecosystem stakeholders at the state level in all geo-political zones.

  • September 2021 

The final draft was produced 

  • October 2021 

Bill was submitted to the president who then submitted the bill to the national assembly.

  • December 2021 

Bill was sent to the national assembly

  • June 2022

National assembly public hearing of the bill

  • July 2022

The bill was passed

  • October 2022 

Bill was officially signed into law

Benefits of the Startup bill

The benefits for start-up and tech ecosystem include:

  1. Provide an enabling environment for the establishment, development, and operation of startups in Nigeria

  1. Foster the development and growth of technology-related talent

  2. Position Nigeria’s startup ecosystem as the leading digital technology hub in Africa, having excellent innovators with cutting-edge skills and exportable capacity.

Source: Tech Nova

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