NITDA Inaugurates Startup Labelling Committee to Boost Nigeria Startup Act Implementation

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has inaugurated a Startup Labelling Committee. The committee, spearheaded by NITDA’s Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, includes representatives from both public and private sectors.

The NSA, enacted on October 19, 2022, provides a legal and institutional framework designed to promote the growth of Nigerian startups. A key feature of the Act is the Startup Label, which acknowledges startups that meet specified criteria, granting them access to various benefits outlined in the NSA.

The newly formed committee will oversee the assessment and validation process to ensure startups meet the eligibility criteria for the Startup Label. In his address at the inauguration ceremony, Inuwa emphasized the Tinubu administration’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for young Nigerian innovators. He highlighted the vital role startups play in driving economic development and the importance of the committee’s work in supporting these enterprises.

Inuwa outlined several government initiatives aimed at reducing barriers for startups, providing financial support, and offering mentorship opportunities. He expressed optimism about the potential of young innovators to transform their ideas into successful businesses, contributing significantly to job creation and Nigeria’s economic prosperity. This aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s goal of reforming the economy to ensure sustained, inclusive growth.

The Director-General urged stakeholders to collaborate in building a robust ecosystem that empowers the next generation of entrepreneurs. He stressed the importance of the committee in establishing a solid legal and institutional framework for the effective implementation of the Startup Act.

“The composition of the committee reflects the emphasis on collaboration,” Inuwa stated. “Representatives from government agencies, industry experts, investors, and startup founders will bring their diverse perspectives and experiences to the table. This collaborative approach is expected to lead to a more efficient and effective labelling process, ultimately benefiting the growth of Nigerian startups.”

Victoria Fabunmi, National Coordinator of the Office for Nigeria Digital Innovation, elaborated on the committee’s responsibilities. These include reviewing and evaluating startup applications based on criteria defined in the Act, periodically updating labelling criteria to align with industry trends, and conducting impartial evaluations of submitted applications.

The committee will also recommend the issuance of the Startup Label, provide feedback and recommendations for rejected applications, and engage with startups for further clarity when necessary. Additionally, the committee will review its activities periodically to identify opportunities and gaps, review workload capacity, and ensure members adhere to a Code of Conduct.

The Labelling Committee comprises nine members, including representatives from incubators, public sector agencies, civil society, and a portal coordinator serving as secretary.

The inauguration of the Startup Labelling Committee marks a crucial milestone in the NSA’s implementation. With a multi-stakeholder approach guiding the process, the Act is poised to unlock the vast potential of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem, significantly contributing to the nation’s economic development.

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