Nigeria’s Startup Bill has passed second reading at the Senate

Eberechukwu Etike
*Startup bill seeking to establish a regulatory framework for startups in Nigeria has passed second reading | *The ICT and Cyber Security Committee is expected to report back in four weeks.

Tech-based Startup bill seeking to establish a regulatory framework for startups in Nigeria has passed the second reading, after Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya led a successful debate on the general principles of the bill on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

Ajayi Borrofice, Deputy Leader of the Senate said the bill, when passed, would reveal the potential of the country’s youths.

I support this bill and recommend it for second reading. MSMEs form the bedrock of industrial development in civilised countries and these enterprises emerge from startups. This is the right time for us to encourage startups and put the right environment for startups to exist. This is one of the ways we can unlock the potential of our youths to create their own contribution to the development of our country.

Ajayi Borrofice

This bill specifically seeks to create National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the mandate to provide the policy direction for the council, which includes the creation of the startup support and engagement portal.

This followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to the National Assembly to pass the bill for the establishment of a council for digital innovation.

In Borrofice’s other comment, he said, “the bill is imperative, because it would create the needed atmosphere for startups to thrive.”

The Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi fully supported the bill. Saying:

I rise to support this Bill. More than ever before this is the time for us to encourage our younger generation with their great ideas and innovations so that they can have breakthrough.

Senator Smart Adeyemi

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi argued that the bill curb the menace of internet fraud.

“This Startup Bill which is targeting the digital economy is a solution to this issue of ‘yahoo-yahoo,” Senator Aliyu said.

This bill also seeks to create a startups investment seed fund to be managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. The funds are to provide a labelled startup with finance, early-stage finance for a labelled startup and provide relief to technology, laboratories, accelerators, incubators and hubs.

According to the bill draft, section 31(1) proposes 35 per cent tax holiday for eligible employees of startups in Nigeria for a period of two years from the days of engagement.

The Deputy Whip of the Senate, Abdullahi said that the bill would help curb cybercrime in the country as the bill was referred to the committee on cyber security.

Startup bill

“I will expect when this bill finally becomes law, its operation will guarantee a reduction in cybercrime because a platform has been provided for Nigerian youths to be legit in what they do especially in showcasing their talent.”

The panel is expected to report back in four weeks.


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