Kaduna First to Domesticate Nigeria Startup Act
Findings have shown that out of the 12 states in Nigeria that indicated interest to implement the Nigeria Startup Act, Kaduna State has become the first and state so far to do so.
Its nine months since Nigeria’s former President, Muhammadu Buhari assented to the country’s startup act, and only 32% of states in the country have indicated interest to domesticate the Act.
In October 2022, a year after the drafting and consultations for the Nigerian Startup Act (NSA) commenced, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari signed it into law to drive growth for the country’s tech and startup ecosystem.
In a 2022 report by TechHive and Ikigai, the Nigeria Startup Act ranked best among the other four African startup legislations—Senegal, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Kenya—with relation to their scope, label and governance, incentives and enforcement.
However, analysts say that the implementation of the Act in the country has been slow since the presidential assent in October 2022.
According to Tracy Okoro, the State Adoption Lead at the Nigeria Startup Act secretariat, “I think that the whole country has been fully focused on the elections.”
Recent findings however showed that out of the 12 states that indicated interest, Kaduna State had gone ahead with actual domestication via a Law to Make Provisions For The Development of Tech-Enabled Startups in Kaduna State and Other Related Matters, 2023.
The Kaduna State law has crested 3 Startups Grants and Investment Fund (the “Fund”) domiciled with the Kaduna Enterprise Development Agency.
The fund shall be managed by the Fund Manager to be appointed by the Council, subject to the approval of Governor Uba Sani.
Based on proposals submitted and approved by the Council in the preceding year, the Fund shall be seeded and replenished annually from the following funds to ensure its effective operation.
The Fund shall be applied towards providing listed Startups who meet the criteria set out by the Council on the recommendation of the Fund Manager in consultation with the Grant and Investment Board with funding to be used for the purposes, if any, set out by the Council.
Notwithstanding the purposes set out by the Council, the Fund shall provide early-stage finance for Startups to undertake product viability research to ascertain the technical feasibility, relevance and suitability for local and global market upon the criteria set by the Council.
The Fund may also provide relief to technology laboratories, accelerators, incubators and hubs who qualify for investment based on rules developed by the Secretariat and approved by Council.
A minimum of two hundred and fifty million naira (N250,000,000.00) would be appropriated annually by the State Government for the Startups Grant and Investment Fund for Startups as defined within this Law. This amount would be reviewed every three years with a view to making inflation and other impacting adjustments.