FG inaugurates Nigeria Startup Act implementation committee

FG inaugurates Nigeria Startup Act implementation committee

By Ijeoma Olorunfemi, Abuja.


The Federal Government on Wednesday inaugurated the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) Implementation Committee to help build the country’s innovative ecosystem.


The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, inaugurated the committee in a hybrid event in Abuja.


The committee will have the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as its Secretariat.


Recall that the NSA was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct. 19, 2022 as an Executive Act.


The Act provides the legal and institutional framework for the development and operation of startups in Nigeria.


It also positioned the Nigerian startup ecosystem as the leading digital hub in Africa, while fostering the development of technology-related talents in the country.


Pantami, while inaugurating the committee on behalf of Buhari, enumerated the achievements of the ICT sector in the country, stressing that the committee should work on how to consolidate the achievements.


“Today, the focus is on knowledge-based economy rather than resource-based economy.


“The Gross Domestic Products of countries like the United Kingdom, the U.S. China and India are rising because they invested in their startups.


“Today, digital entrepreneurship, digital innovation and knowledge are building the global economy, and we need to invest in our youths that have innovative ideas.


“The implementation of the Act is an attempt to turn things around, make us a producer, an exporter of ICT products, rather than an importer,” he said.


Besides, Pantami said that there was the need to support talented youths and prioritise what they produced for domestic consumption as well as export, as the need arose.


The minister recalled that in the recent years, he had led some Nigerian youths to the global stage to compete in one technology fair or the other, adding that they had always excelled.


According to him, the committee is expected to coordinate operational plans, establish the baseline of the ecosystem, in terms of digital innovation and entrepreneurship.


“The members have the responsibilities of mentoring our younger ones in that area, identify their challenges like finance, while reviewing their critical requests,” he said.


Pantami said that the Federal Government had agreed to spend N10 billion annually to support the Act, while the funds would be given to the start-ups, either as seed funds, grants or loans.


Malam Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA, said that the government was committed to creating an enabling environment for young people’s innovative ideas to thrive for wealth creation and national development.


Inuwa, who is the Secretary of the committee, also noted that start-ups had proven to be key drivers to national economic growth.


He, however, charged the committee members to help create the legal and institutional frameworks, on which the Act can be successfully implemented.


The committee consists of 27 members drawn from the academia, private industry players and relevant government agencies, among others.


The committee is headed by Prof. Salahu Junaidu, a professor of Computer Science in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and co-chaired by Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu.


The two expressed their commitment to working assiduously to actualise the goals of the Act.

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