The Nigerian president has inaugurated a 14-member National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the mandate to guide the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) 2022 for crypto, Fintech and other digital enterprises.
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Speaking on Wednesday at the inauguration of the council chaired by him, the president directed the Secretariat, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to ensure the faithful implementation of the Act, which provides incentives and support for start-ups, including tax breaks and access to funding.
The inauguration at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) weekly meeting and had members of the Digital Innovation Council in attendance.
Other members of the council include the vice-president as vice-chairman, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, who shall preside over the council in the absence of the chairman and vice-chairman.
Other members are the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Industry, Trade and Investment; Science, Technology and Innovation; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), four representatives of the startups consultative forum and one representative each from the Nigerian Computer Society, and the Computer Registration Council of Nigeria and the Director General of the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as Secretary of the council.
Buhari explained that the Act, which became law after its approval by the Federal Executive Council on 15th December 2021 and the Presidential assent on 19th October, 2022, provides incentives and support for start-ups, such as tax breaks, access to funding, ease of doing business, intellectual property protection and participation in public procurement.
He particularly commended the efforts of Pantami and his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, for this achievement.
The president acknowledged that as Nigeria aims to become a global talent factory through the implementation of the Startup Act 2022, its startup ecosystem still faces significant challenges, such as access to funding, support infrastructure and skilled talent.