Nigeria Startup Act: 12,948 Startups Registers For Labeling

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says it has so far registered 12,948 Nigerian startups for labeling.

The registration, which is being done through the startup portal, is the first step in implementing the Nigeria Startup Act, which was signed into law in October 2022 by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Through the registration portal, which was opened in November 2023, NITDA said it has also registered 912 venture capitalists, 1,735 angel investors, and 925 accelerators, incubators, and hubs.

While inviting Nigerian startups to register on the platform, NITDA said the registration will make them “become eligible for statutory incentives, resources, and opportunities.”

The portal
According to Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, the portal allows the government to initiate the process of setting up the startup consultative forums to select representatives to the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, while facilitating discourse and consensus among Nigerian ecosystem players.

Responding to NITDA’s update on the registrations recorded on the portals so far, Tijani in a post on X said:

“I am delighted that the Nigeria Startup Portal, which will label startups and register other ecosystem actors has now been deployed. The platform will also facilitate a consultative forum where issues affecting startups can be discussed and properly defined for action by the government and other stakeholders.
“We will be prioritizing the objectives of Startup Act to improve the operating environment, prospects, and opportunities for our Startup Ecosystem and I’m encouraging members of the ecosystem to visit the platform and register.”

What you should know
Former President Buhari signed the Nigeria Startup Bill 2022 into law on October 19 2022 to put an end to the legal uncertainties that had trailed the startup industry in the past. It provides for what qualifies a company to register and obtain startup status.

The Act stipulates among others that:

Before a company can be labeled a startup, it must obtain a certificate known as the startup label. This means that only companies with the startup label will be recognized as startups.

It mandates that a Startup Support and Engagement Portal be established to facilitate the issuance of the startup label and also bridge the gap between regulators and startups. It also spells out the requirements for a company to obtain a startup label. Companies issued with a startup label have obligations under the bill and failure to comply with these obligations can revoke their startup label.

According to the Act, for a company to be named startup, it must be a registered limited liability company that has been in existence for not more than ten years from the date of incorporation, amongst other requirements.

Startups can access a special seed fund created under the Act. The Act establishes a Startup Investment Seed Fund, which is designated for startups alone. It will provide finance and tech relief for startups. This means increased access to funding that will grow the startup ecosystem. It will be easier for startups to fund their operations by leveraging the grants and loans that will be available to them.

Companies labeled as startups will benefit from some tax reliefs and incentives under the Act. These labeled startups are eligible for pioneer status incentives and other tax reliefs. Labeled startups with at least ten employees where 60% of the employees have no prior work experience within three years of graduation or any vocational program have access to percentage-based tax relief.

Don Pedro Aganbi

Don Pedro Aganbi is a Nigerian Journalist, broadcaster, Filmmaker, brand and Public Relations Specialist and 1st prize winner, TV category, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) & Africa Information Society Initiatives (AISI) Awards. He is also a recipient of the Global IT Champion Awards, courtesy of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).

He is the Founder/Managing Partner, TechTV Network and convener of the hugely popular Titans of Tech Awards, Pan African Digital Initiative Summit & Expo and the TechTV Digital Agenda Forum.

Don Pedro Aganbi is the producer and host of the popular international award winning TV show, TechTV.

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