Startup Bill Will Enhance Nigeria’s Tech Ecosystem, Says NITDA

Emma Okonji

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has stated that the recently passed Nigeria Startup Bill by the National Assembly will help institutionalise legal frameworks that will enhance the growth of startups in the country.

The Director General at NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who stated this while delivering a keynote address at the Google Black Founders Fund in Africa 2022 Launch event, which took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja recently, said the bill, will provide enabling environment for growth, attraction and protection of investment in the sector,  

The DG noted that part of the challenge being faced by startups especially in Africa, was legal backing. According to him, starting and growing businesses in Africa used to be a big challenge, but with such bill in place, it will be easier to start a business.

Speaking about the importance of the event, Abdullahi said the gathering was an opportunity for startups to get funding and start a business, adding that it is also coming with other incentives like the training Google offers, which can be accessed via their Cloud.

While affirming government’s commitment to the growth of digital economy in Nigeria, Abdullahi said: “We believe our own responsibility is to come up with policies that can enable a level playing field, and the government has been doing a lot in this area, starting with expanding the mandate of our ministry to cover digital economy, and the ongoing implementation of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a digital Nigeria, which outlined its strategic pillars that are key to the ecosystem.

“We are currently working on a project called ‘Talent Gap Assessment’, because we believe talent is the people side of technology. In Africa, we cannot compete with the rest of the world in terms of hardware and any technology infrastructure, but when it comes to talent, we have a competitive edge over the rest of the world.”

Advising the startups about how technology can impact businesses, Abdullahi noted that customers’ demand was changing rapidly, and advised them to come up with innovative products that would be sellable in the future market.

“Don’t waste your time on what is happening today, the problem of today may be irrelevant tomorrow, focus on emerging technologies and change the way we do things in this world. What helps you to succeed today may not help you succeed tomorrow.

“Try and turn your products into services because the world is moving to a service platform markets. You will make more money in service than in products. It is easier to provide a service in Africa because of our challenging infrastructure. Let us explore what will help us to excel,” Abdullahi added.

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