The Nigeria Start-up Bill has been signed into law by President Buhari. This has led to the introduction of the Nigerian Start-up Act making it the nation’s first piece of law aimed specifically at the registration and operation of start-ups. The Bill, which aims to regulate how start-ups and regulatory organisations function and cooperate in the multibillion-dollar tech ecosystem, was introduced in 2021 in partnership with a group of Nigerian tech executives and several government authorities.
The Act will be governed by the Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Its members include Nigeria’s president, the head of the country’s central bank, representatives of the Start-up Consultative Forum, the Director-General of the country’s information and technology regulatory body. The Council will oversee the bill’s goals—are realized and that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are well-thought-out and supportive of the digital sector.
The Act will significantly assist non-technology businesses as well as recognise the importance of intellectual property rights required for a start-up’s expansion and development. The Act further specifies that in order to achieve the envisaged goals, the Secretariat will work with the Nigerian Copyright Commission and the Trade Marks, Patent, and Design Registries to take actions to protect the owners of intellectual property rights and to help them utilise, commercialise, and internationalise their rights.
It remains to be seen whether the various agencies and government will be able to implement and fulfil the admirable aspirations contained in this legislation.