New bill will see Lagos join the ranks of states domesticating the Nigeria Startup Act

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May 29, 2024
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2 min read

The news:

  • The Lagos State Government is drafting its version of the Nigeria Startup Act, known as the "Lagos Innovation Bill."
  • The bill will be designed to adapt the provisions of the Startup Act to mirror the realities of running tech startups within the state.
  • Lagos will become one of the Nigerian states to domesticate the Act, which was signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on October 19, 2022.

The Act's localisation in Lagos is especially significant because the state is home to over 500 startups and receives the majority of startup investment in the country. 

According to Olatubosun Alake, the state's Commissioner for Science, Innovation, and Technology, who spoke at a stakeholder engagement forum where they discussed the proposed Lagos Innovation Bill, Lagos State receives 70% to 80% of all innovation funding in Nigeria. 

Alake emphasised the urgency of establishing a robust policy framework that enables continuous innovation investment and drives Lagos to the forefront of the digital revolution.

“The Bill won’t only develop startups but also encourage large companies to drive innovation,” Alake, assured stakeholders at the event, including government agencies and the organised private sector among others, at the Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday, May 24, 2024. 

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The Lagos Innovation Bill will follow a two-part strategy. First, it will localise the National Startup Act and tailor it to the unique needs and dynamics of Lagos State; second, it will go beyond simply nurturing startups and actively encouraging innovation in large and small businesses. 

The bill, which aims to catalyse innovation across all sectors, from startups to established corporations, is a major attempt by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led government to explore other avenues for digital economic growth beyond startups. 

The bill's framework includes a research and innovation fund, the registration of research and innovation institutions, tax and fiscal incentives, accelerators and incubators, and capacity development. 

When the Lagos Innovation Bill is passed into law, Lagos State hopes to leverage it to ensure an end-to-end pipeline that will support all stakeholders in innovation, including government institutions, startups, large companies, universities and research institutions, venture capitalists (VCs), angel investors, and private equity investors.

As of March 2023, only 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states had indicated an interest in domesticating the Startup Act. 

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Of the 12, Kaduna was the first to localise it following the signing of a law for the Development of Tech-Enabled Startups in Kaduna State on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. In December 2023, Rivers State followed suit when Governor Siminalayi Fubara, approved the state's adoption of the Nigeria Startup Act, making it the second state in the country to do so. 


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