The Nigerian federal government has established the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) implementation committee to assist in the development of the country’s digital innovation ecosystem.
The group is made up of 27 members who come from academia, the private sector, and relevant government institutions, among other places. On Wednesday, Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy inaugurated the committee in Abuja.
The president of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Startup Bill 2022 into law in October 2022.
The law aims to build and promote an enabling environment in the country for technology-enabled companies, as well as to provide them with access to special seed financing. Pantami, speaking on behalf of the president during the inauguration, stated that the implementation committee must work toward integrating and strengthening the IT sector’s successes in the economy.
“Today, there is the focus on a knowledge-based economy rather than a resource-based economy,” the minister said.
“The gross domestic products of countries like the UK, the US, 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, make us a producer, and exporter of ICT products rather than importer,” he added.
Pantami emphasized the need of supporting bright adolescents and prioritizing what they generate for both home and foreign demand.
According to the minister, the group will coordinate operational strategies and create the ecosystem’s baseline in terms of digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The members have the responsibility of mentoring our younger ones in that area, identifying their challenges like financially and reviewing their critical requests,” he explained.
He stated that the federal government has promised to spend N10 billion($21.7 million) each year to support the legislation, which can be given to companies in the form of seed funding, grants, or loans.
Pantami also stated that the committee’s secretariat will be the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).