The Nigeria Startup Act: In October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Nigeria startup bill into law to become an Act of Parliament which also made room for the establishment of the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship which was inaugurated recently.
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Aside from the council, the Act intends to provide a legal and institutional framework for the development of startups in Nigeria, an enabling environment for the establishment, development and operation of startups, the development and growth of technology-related talents and position Nigeria’s startup ecosystem, as the leading digital technology centre in Africa, having excellent innovators with cutting edge skills and exportable capacity.
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Why it matters: Although Nigeria’s startup ecosystem is one of the most funded in Africa; geopolitical regions including Northern Nigeria have lacked access to venture capital. In 2019, nHub, the first innovation hub in the region launched the Jos Angel Network to bridge the funding gap, however, it was unsuccessful. “Although it was going to be a game changer, when we launched the network, perhaps it wasn’t the right time,” Theodore Longji, the CEO of nHub recently said.
However, nHub and other Plateau state-based hubs, as well as the state government-backed Code Plateau continued to provide training for tech talents in the state. Unfortunately, due to the lack of startups, most of these talents have had to seek for greener pasture elsewhere leading to a brain drain in the ecosystem.
To do bold things: nHub started the Plateau Innovation Network (PIN) a few months ago, however, it was collapsed to build a more robust collaboration that will serve the ecosystem better. Hence, the inauguration of the network of Plateau-based innovation hubs, incubators and accelerators which held recently.
The network include: MeHub, Black Innovation Hub, Axia Hub, AHub, nHub. Startups: Interna, Obox, Smart Schools, Webmedic, Acquireit, Ameka, Buyinbulk, Pandora’s Box and Mymakaranta. It also has the backing of the Plateau Information Communication Technology Development Agency (PICTDA) represented by PICTDA’S Acting Director of Innovation, Platforms & Partnership, Mr. Parker Benson Majei.
According to Majei, “PICTDA is happy to be amongst you people. We are going to be having a close relationship, where we follow the rules of engagements, resident with PICTDA, we will work together as it goes.”
Adding: “We will aggregate all the hubs on the Plateau, it will be mandatory that all the incubators, accelerators and hubs register with PICTDA, because PICTDA is the regulatory body for this kind of firms; write to PICTDA for inspections so we do away with quackeries.”