The Lagos State government has started the process of domesticating Nigerian Startup Act (NSA2022) assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari with a view to further positioning the state as the technology capital of the country.
The NSA2022 defined Nigerian startups, their scope, operations, incentives, and limits to attract foreign investment and open up the tech industry.
A startup, according to the Act, is “a firm that has been in operation for no more than 10 years and whose aims include the invention, innovation, production, development, or adoption of a new digital technology creative product, service, or method.”
Interpretatively, the Act aims to provide a legal and institutional framework for Nigerian startups, as well as an enabling environment for their establishment, development, and operation.
The state government organized a policy review workshop in an effort to implement the Act’s policies for the state’s growth.
The workshop, which was held at Eko Innovation Centre, brought together startup founders, tech experts, innovators, and enthusiasts to join the state in domesticating the policies in the Nigerian Startup Act. The event led to the establishment of Knowledge, Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (KITE) Project which will equitably localise the Act.
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The KITE project is expected to significantly contribute to Nigeria’s economic development and position Lagos as the hub for innovation in Nigeria. Also, as the state is becoming a popular location for technology investors and entrepreneurs, it will enable the state to further push its technology and innovation agenda.
It will begin in Yaba, which will serve as a medium for the government and private sector to create an ICT cluster.
Yaba is known as the bedrock of internet-enabled businesses, with over 60 startups and active venture capital firms in residence. It is also a thriving centre for innovation in Nigeria.
By 2030, the Yaba KITE cluster is expected to be Africa’s main source of transformational solutions, propelling the continent’s socio-economic progress via technological leadership, disruptive innovation, and high-quality stem talent. Access to financing, advocacy and marketing, research and development, network and cooperation, talent, skills, education, infrastructure, policy, regulation, and governance are also goals of the KITE initiative.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Wale Adelaja said the forum was organised to allow the private sector and government agencies to review the policies established in the KITE project.
“For an ICT business, cluster, or ecosystem to be sustainable, policies to support its longevity are required,” he said.
Head, House Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Olanrewaju Suleiman Afinni, urged the private sector stakeholders to examine the law and make it as complete as possible so that it doesn’t need to be changed often.