Nigeria earmarks N10 billion for Tech Startup Act
The Nigerian Government has earmarked 10 billion naira annually for Tech Startup Act to support digital innovators in the country.
The country’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami disclosed this when he officially inaugurated the Nigeria Startup Act Implementation Committee (NSAIC) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The 27 member Committee is to be chaired by Professor Sahalu Junaidu- Chairman and Co-Chaired by Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu,
He said that leading economies in the world have succeeded by prioritising knowledge-based economies, digital and entrepreneurship innovations and start-ups as their primary sources of income.
Professor Pantami emphasised that the Act was crucial to promoting digital startups, which will in turn boost the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
The Minister commended the Nigerian startups for putting the country on the global map through their great feat.
“In a country like Nigeria, we are blessed with talents. We have innovators, young people that are making us proud. I have been with Nigerian start ups to many global competitions and we always leave with our shoulders high because of the performance of our young innovators.“
He said that in order to consolidate and provide legal, technical, and financial backing to all these achievements, having Nigeria start-up Act becomes necessary.
“It’s implementation also becomes necessary, because we discovered some challenges confronting our innovators in the country. Sometimes it’s in regards to finance. Today in the Act, there is provisions to support them financially. Government will set aside a minimum of 10billion Naira annually in addition to other sources of funding that has been captured in the law.“
According to Professor Pantami;“There is also a leadership where we are going to have the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship to be chaired by the President of Nigeria. This is to provide the leadership that is required to address the challenges being confronted by the the e-forces.
“We also have an implementation committee where we brought together relevant stakeholders, some from government, some from the private sector, some from ecosystem, some from academia, some from legal institutions and many more to come together and provide the leadership that is required for the technical implementation of this very important law.“
The Minister however decried the unwarranted harassments faced by young innovators in the nation who are frequently mistaken for criminals by law enforcement agents noting that that the Act would give them protection as well as legal, technical, and financial support to help them overcome some of their difficulties
“In addition to so many initiatives, in a country like Nigeria it is unfortunate that few years ago, before our modest efforts to complain to Mr President, some of our young innovators where unnecessarily being harassed sometimes by other institutions. Whenever they see you caring laptop you will just become a suspect. instead of encouraging you, you are being intimidated
“It becomes necessary to deal with the criminals whoever, citizens are always innocent until proven guilty by a court of the law. So all these issues are going to be addressed and they are being addressed by the Nigerian Start up Act 2023”.