The Nigeria Startup Bill, a joint initiative by the tech startup ecosystem in the West African nation and its authorities has been passed the third at the green chamber of the nation’s parliament.
The passage of the bill by the House of Representatives is coming a week after the higher echelon of the parliament, the Nigerian Senate passed it.
The July 27th passage of the bill implies that the bill has completed its round at the two chambers of the Nigerian parliament, with concurrence reached on the bill. The next stage for the bill to become law is the assent of the nation’s President, General Muhammadu Buhari.
The Startup bill was mooted to ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem, and in the process contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for growth, attraction and protection of investment in tech startups.
The bill which acts to provide for the creation and development of an enabling environment for Technology-Enabled Startups in Nigeria and for Related Matters, has the most critical of its objectives being the bridging of the engagement gap between startups and regulators, while ensuring that harmful regulations that harm Nigeria’s tech ecosystem are shut down.
Given the bill’s history, there is a high chance President Buhari will assent to it as the bill itself is a creation of the Nigerian Presidency, in collaboration with 30 tech leaders including Ventures Platform founder Kola Aina and Future Africa founder Iyin Aboyeji, NITDA officials, and the Minister of Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
Buhari himself had interest in the bill, as he had earlier in the year passed the bill to the parliament for deliberation and conversion to law.
In the very unlikely scenario that the President declines assent to the bill, the Senate and House of Reps can recall the bill and pass it into law, and it means with the two scenarios, the chance of it being legally binding very high.
Here is the timeline of the startup bill from inception.
June–September 2021: The Nigerian Presidency, in collaboration with 30 tech leaders including Ventures Platform founder Kola Aina and Future Africa founder Iyin Aboyeji, NITDA officials, and the minister of digital economy Isa Pantami, creates the Startup Bill draft.
October 2021: A draft of the bill is submitted to the Presidency and the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
December 2021: The bill was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
February 2022: President Muhammadu Buhari, passes the bill to Parliament.
March 2022: The Senate, the top echelon of the National Assembly receives the bill.
June 2022: Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos indicates intention to domesticate the bill at state level.
July 2022: The Red chamber, the Nigerian Senate approves the bill and passes it to the green chamber, the House of Representatives.
July 2022: The bill passes the third reading at the Nigerian House of Representatives
With the passage of the bill and the assent by the President, the West African country is on course to having a bright future in its tech ecosystem.