What is the Nigeria Startup Bill?

In May, key players in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem met with some representatives of the Nigerian Presidency to discuss one thing — the creation of Nigeria’s first startup Bill. Why is this bill important, and why now?

The Nigeria Startup Bill

Nigeria’s tech industry is coming of age. From when the first generation of tech startups launched in the ’90s till now, a lot has changed. The industry has seen the emergence of two billion-dollar companies, one landmark acquisition, and multi-million dollar funding rounds. Simply put, the industry has grown, and it is important that this growth continues.

Why is the Bill important for Nigeria’s startup ecosystem?

There’s so much potential for startups to do more and be more, and for Nigeria’s techpreneurs to thrive in and out of the ecosystem. As such, it is important that the environment in which they exist is an enabling one that allows them to pursue their ambition for the betterment of the larger Nigerian economy.

However, past occurrences have negated rather than supported this. Regulatory events that ended bike-hailing and suspended cryptocurrency transactions through banks have been setbacks to innovation. These events have not only raised eyebrows but questions as well, questions like “Can startups really flourish in Nigeria?” and “Why is it becoming harder for techpreneurs to build?”

What are we doing differently with the Bill?

Therefore, we’re working to change this narrative with the cooperation of the government. In the words of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, “Our young people are our most valuable natural resource, at home and abroad. Their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to all.”

“We will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn [young people’s] passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled.”

There are different paths to achieving this, but right now, we are focusing our attention on creating a startup bill.

It would be an exercise in futility to create this bill without first understanding the country’s present reality, and where the shoe hurts for different entrepreneurs. Thus, we’ve collated and are still collating your suggestions. Even though it has worked in Tunisia and Senegal, Nigeria is neither of these countries and we recognize the importance of keeping this in mind.

So, while it has been a long time coming, we’re officially launching the website for the Nigeria Startup Bill on Monday, July 19th. You’ll get to see all the work we’ve done and are doing, and how you can promote it and contribute to it.

What next with the Nigeria Startup Bill?

Produce First Draft — June 2021

  • Harmonise existing laws/regulation and feed inputs to legal framework from key ecosystem leaders (MDAs, States, Networks).

Validate First Draft — July 2021

  • Ecosystem leaders and representatives review the first draft as well as the Presidential Working Group composed of MDA decision-makers critical to implementing components of the bill.

Town Halls — August 2021

  • Presidential Announcement and Town Hall meetings take place for public consultation and validation of the second draft of the bill with ecosystem stakeholders at the state level in all geopolitical zones.

Final Draft Produced — September 2021

  • Drafting teams take all the inputs and make revisions to feed into the final bill.

Bill Submitted — October 2021

  • Bill is submitted to the President who then submits Executive Bill to the National Assembly.

We welcome interested people to volunteer for the effort by sending an email to partners@venturesplatform.com or provide feedback through this form.

You can also stay updated on our work with the Bill by following our Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and signing up for the newsletter here.

The Nigeria Startup Bill is the collective effort of stakeholders in Nigeria’s tech industry and our friends in government.