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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Start-up Law ’ll harness Nigeria’s Digital Economy –Stakeholders

By Samuel Edu

Experts in the tech sector and economic gurus have called for start-up law implementation strategy that will guarantee equity and a level playing ground for youths particularly those intending to go into the tech industry.

They described the start-up law as a good one that will help in financing youths projects, entrepreneurship among others .

They made their positions known in separate interviews with The Hope.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 19, 2022signed the Nigerian start-up bill into law, noting that it will henceforth be known as the Start-up Act 2022.

The Start-up Act 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 Act will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.

Those who spoke on this development include; Dr Akinwonmi Akintoba, Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Technology Akure; Professor James Okunlola, Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication, Federal University of Technology, Akure and Professor Olayemi Simon-Oke, Department of Economics, Federal University of Technology.

Professor James Okunlola described it is a move in the right direction if the implementation will be properly done.

“There is always the issue of a practice and the spirit of it. Today we can see the Bank of Industry thriving, what is helping them is the strategy implementation in terms of equity and high accessibility to the people because they are available everywhere, this is why they are making progress and getting all they need.

“If the government can thread the same path on this, it will indeed be a welcome development but I am not too sure if this will be properly implemented.”

His counterpart from the Department of Computer Science, Dr Akinwonmi Akintoba said if implemented, the law will enhance development in the sector and be of great advantage to youths.

“I strongly believe that one of the major hurdles that people face in Nigeria is multiplication of duties. For instance, as Nigerians, we have our data with banks, we have it with NIMC, we have it with the Populations Commission and we have it with INEC.

“Normally, all these should be harmonized into just one database as this will help anyone to have a handy information that is reliable.

“You will discover that there are challenges as you go on processing the registration of a company, several documents will be required at various stages but I believe if harmonized on a single platform, it will fast track registering tech businesses and will be a great advantage for the youths.

“This is a great development. At least for the first time, the government is doing something that is positively targeting the youths and I believe if we embrace it.”

Speaking from the economic perspective, Professor Olayemi Simon-Oke of the Department of Economics, Federal University of Technology Akure said “I think government has made a reasonable decision on this.

“The start-up law if properly monitored, will be great boost to Nigeria’s economy and this will help in bringing an improvement to our IGR as it will encourage the establishment of new tech companies.

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