Nigeria’s Communications Minister Sends The Justice Ministry A Startup Bill
The Nigeria Startup Bill, which is the first joint initiative between the Nigerian presidency and the Nigerian tech ecosystem, aims to unlock the digital economy’s potential
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The Bill, which has been in the works since July 2021, is the result of a series of townhall meetings, webinars, and rallies that gathered feedback from various members of the ecosystem and the government.
Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, delivered a keynote speech on the Nigeria Startup Bill National Stakeholders Roundtable, a Pre-Summit event of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), on Thursday, October 14, 2021.
Prof. Pantami began his presentation by applauding the work of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), which has regularly generated chances for public-private sector interaction on economic growth.
He went on to say how important startups are to Nigeria’s and the world’s economic prosperity, and that the Nigeria Startup Bill is a step in the right path for enabling Nigerian entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.
In terms of the Bill’s current position, the Minister stated that it is now in the hands of the Minister of Justice, who is working hard to ensure that it receives favorable treatment from the National Assembly.
“I have communicated the progress we have made so far (with the Bill) to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice so that they can support what we have been doing.”
“I have sent a letter to him officially on behalf of all the stakeholders here, and on Monday, I engaged him physically so that we will be able to facilitate the Bill and get its approval as soon as possible,” he continued.
Furthermore, the Minister reminded the stakeholders in attendance that startups are not job seekers, but rather job creators. Since a result, the country must find new methods to provide a supporting environment for them to grow and scale, as this will motivate more people who are willing to think outside the box to come up with unique ideas.
“We have people that can make this country very proud. What they need is for the government to provide an enabling environment for them.”
Prof. Pantami closed his remarks by expressing his support for the Bill and promising to continue engaging stakeholders to secure their support for the Bill, which he believes would be a watershed moment in the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy.
Meanwhile, public support for the Bill has increased. Last week, young people around the country conducted rallies in support of the law. Key players from the administration and the IT industry are optimistic that the bill will be signed into law before the end of the year.
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