Telecom Professionals Optimistic Startups Act Will Boost ICT, Fintech Growth

Emma Okonji

Telecom professionals under the aegis of the Association of Telecommunications Professionals of Nigeria (ATPN) have expressed happiness over the Startups bill that was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it will enhance growth in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, where players in the Fintech space currently operate.

The National President of ATPN, Comrade Adede John Williams, who expressed the concern of his group, commended President Buhari for the foresight in signing the Nigeria Startups bill into law, now an Act, which according to him, has been long expected by the tech community.

Giving the socio-economic benefits of the Act, Williams said it would harmonise the opportunity in coordinating the activities of the ICT and Fintech subsector of the Nigerian economy.

“With the signing of the Startups bill into law, all ICT and Financial Technology (Fintech) related operations in Nigeria will be promoted and inspired to aid the techpreneurship and entrepreneurship spirit and growing investment portfolio as one of the cardinal objectives of this administration. It will promote self-reliance, job creation, and raise men and women who will become employers of labour. In my view, and in the views of our members, the development will be seen as a very big departure from the current trend in the country where everyone is busy looking for white collar jobs that do not exist,” Williams said.

Williams, who is a seasoned ICT Technocrat, has equally commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, for his insightful contributions in ensuring that the Startups bill was passed into law. He also commended the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Professor Agboola Ibrahim Gambari and the National Assembly members for their support in the passage of the bill.

Williams said with the enactment of the Act, it would empower a pool of ICT skills and competent manpower that could be successfully deployed beyond the shores of Nigeria, which will attract foreign direct investments from the already established national and international ICT companies in the country.

“Now that we have gotten the Nigeria Startups Act fully backed by law, government can create the enabling environment for the growth of the Startups in the country. I therefore challenge the 36 state governors in Nigeria and the FCT Minister to key into the national technology ecosystem initiative to establish ICT Development Agency through their various States Houses of Assembly, to further strengthen the Startups Act and position it to boost economic development in Nigeria,” Williams said.

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