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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a new bill to redress the balance of power in the Internet economy Veranda. It is aimed at creating an environment for startups, and it will be governed by the Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Twitter ban lifted by president

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, ordered the lifting of a ban on Twitter that was introduced in June. The ban has been condemned by international groups and Nigerians alike.

Many Nigerians used Twitter as a platform for protest. For example, last year, Twitter played a key role in the anti-police brutality demonstrations known as EndSARS. This was in addition to other social media platforms like Facebook.

But many Nigerians say the government’s actions are a violation of freedom of expression and access to information. They argue for legislation on grounds of national unity and security.

Twitter has become a popular tool for activists and journalists. However, the country’s leaders have criticised the social media giant for not taking sufficient action to curb hate speech.

Twitter’s suspension was accompanied by several reports of Nigerians circumventing the ban with virtual private networks. However, many of these Nigerians could be charged with breaking the law.

As a result of the ban, the country’s economy may have lost more than 1.4 billion dollars. Meanwhile, unemployment rates have hit 35 percent.

Startup bill aims to tackle challenges for startups

The Nigeria Startup Bill aims to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. It also seeks to create a regulatory framework for technology-enabled products and services.

In recent years, several African countries have introduced similar legislation, including Senegal and Tunisia. Nigeria is attempting to follow in their footsteps.

Nigeria’s startup ecosystem is growing fast, but there are few legal protections in place. There is also a lack of funding. This creates a bottleneck. A startup must offer a new technology or service.

The bill also proposes tax breaks for startups. This could be a boost for the fintech industry in Nigeria.

It will also set up a seed fund for tech startups. This money will be provided by the government. As of September 2022, there were 481 tech startups operating in the country. They had employed nearly 19,000 people.

Startups must meet certain requirements to qualify for incentives. For example, start-ups must provide annual turnover information. Also, sole proprietorships must comply with all Nigerian laws.

Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship will govern the bill

The Startup Investment Seed Fund (SISF) bill seeks to provide financial support and relief to incubators and technology hubs. It also seeks to provide a legal framework for the sector.

This bill will give startups tax incentives to increase their funding. In addition, it should increase access to training, especially for labelled startups. Lastly, it should enhance the human resources in the technology ecosystem.

The government will also offer a grant to eligible startups. It will determine their eligibility by levelling them through an online portal. Ultimately, the goal is to create an enabling environment for startups in Nigeria.

A key component of the bill is the creation of a National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The council will be a central body responsible for ensuring that the bill complies with its objectives.

The council will consist of representatives of the Startup Consultative Forum, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the president, and the director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency. Moreover, the council will act as a custodian of the legislation.

Regulatory environment for internet companies

The regulatory environment for internet companies in Nigeria consists of a variety of different agencies with distinct roles and missions. This means that if any regulatory reforms are undertaken without careful consideration, they could actually stifle the growth of the communications sector. However, Nigerian regulatory agencies are working within the bounds of their statutory functions to address the concerns posed by OTT services.

Regulatory agencies are taking action to ensure the safety of users of publicly accessible internet service in Nigeria. In January, the National Information Technology Development Agency issued five regulatory instruments. They include a Framework and Guidelines for PIA 2019, which outlines the requirements for providers of publicly accessible internet service.

The framework empowers an agency to license PIA providers, and requires them to protect users of the service. It also requires them to display infringement procedures on home pages, and to educate content creators on infringement procedures and their rights.

In order to obtain a telecommunications license, an applicant must pay a licensing fee, and must meet the requirements of the Nigerian Communications Act. They must also obtain approval from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. If they are foreign investors, they must also obtain a foreign investment authorization.

 

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