Nigeria Start-up Bill

8 Facts about the Nigeria Start-up Bill (NSB)


The Nigerian Senate on the 20th of July, 2020, passed the Nigeria Start-up Bill (NSB)  almost 4 months after the bill reached the National Assembly in March this year.

Although the Bill is set to move into the House of Representatives, where it will pass through three readings, its passage by the Senate represents a move closer to having a law that will accelerate the growth witnessed in the Nigerian tech ecosystem.

This article by Brickstone reviews the Nigerian Start-up Bill, highlighting notable facts and innovation.

8 Facts about the Nigeria Start-up Bill (NSB)

The Nigeria Startup Bill project is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of our digital economy through co-created regulations. The Bill is expected to ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem. This will contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for growth, attraction and protection of investment in tech startups.

The Nigeria Startup Bill,  according to JPSUPRA, undoubtedly has come at a pivotal time and aims to provide a structured regulatory framework for start-ups to enable them to operate with certainty within the confines of the law, which is also likely to improve investor confidence in the tech space.

Summarily, the following are key innovations and facts about the Nigeria Start-up Bill (NSB):


The Nigeria Start-Up Bill 2021 transmitted to the Nigerian National Assembly in October 2021, is described as an initiative by Nigeria’s tech start-up ecosystem and the Federal Government seeking to position the country’s startup ecosystem as the leading digital technology centre in Africa.


In an effort to position Nigeria as a leader in the technology space, the Nigeria Start-up Bill has four core objectives. This includes: providing a legal and institutional framework for the development of startups in Nigeria; bridging the gap between startups and regulators; providing for the establishment, development, and operations of startups in the country via incentives like tax breaks, government loans, and credit guarantee schemes; and promoting local content and providing the proper infrastructure needed for the growth of startups.


To unlock the full potential of the Nigerian ecosystem, the Nigeria Start-up Bill sought to cater to the Council for digital innovation and entrepreneurship; startup support and engagement portal; startup labelling; startup investment seed funds; tax and fiscal incentives; regulations support; accelerators and incubators; and clusters, hubs, innovation parks, and technology development zone.


A notable innovation by the Nigeria Start-up Bill is the creation of the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a primary and corporate body responsible for the response for the realization of the objectives of the Bill. Other functions of the council amongst others include giving overall direction for the harmonisation of laws and regulations that affect a startup, approving the programmes of the Secretariat established under the Act, ensuring the monitoring and evaluation of the regulatory framework to encourage the development of startups in Nigeria, and monitoring and ensuring the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Secretariat.


The Nigeria Start-up Bill proposes the creation of a One Stop Shop Centre (OSSC), whose core obligation is to fast track the incorporation of companies, registration of trademarks, patents and industrial design, and also the registration of knowledge-transfer agreements and related activities, at a discounted rate.


The Bill also proposes the creation of a startup consultation forum, a platform for information sharing and collaboration in the Nigerian start-up ecosystem with respect to information a startup that qualifies to be labeled under the Act, relevant incentives that apply to a startup, information on available local capabilities, and other policy proposals that may be relevant to the Nigerian start-up ecosystem.


The Nigeria Start-up Bill makes provisions for training and development talents within the ecosystem by designing and implementing a training and capacity program for startups; using the startup portal to convey important information; supporting the activities of an academic research institution to the development of a startup; establishment of digital acquisition centres across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones to promote digital technology usage, managerial competency, and information systems; and developing modules, seminars and workshops to impact knowledge for establishing and running a startup in Nigeria.


As part of the steps to realize its objectives, the Nigeria Start-up Bill proposes incentives and support services to startups. This includes the provision of regulatory support by the OSSC, provision of discounts to Startup, expedition of licence applications for Fintech Startups, provision of tax incentives to Startups, provision of tax incentives to employees of Startups and investors in Startups, and procurement of Technology-related goods and services by government parastatals.

The full bill and summary is available for public read.

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