Rivers State Governor Approves the Adoption of the Startup Act: A Catalyst for Tech Innovation and Economic Growth

Image Source: GistOnline

In a landmark development, the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has given the nod to the adoption of the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) within the state. The NSA, signed into law at the national level in October 2022, is a pioneering piece of legislation aimed at creating a conducive environment for technology-enabled startups across the country. This visionary decision positions Rivers State as a pioneer alongside Kaduna State in domesticating the Act, showcasing a commitment to fostering innovation, attracting investments, and creating a thriving ecosystem for startups.

The Nigeria Startup Act, signed into law in 2022, is a co-created legislation born out of collaboration between the Nigerian tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency. This legislative initiative aims to establish an enabling environment for startups, addressing challenges such as regulatory bottlenecks, high business costs, and poor infrastructure. With ten (10) parts and forty-eight (48) sections, the Act encompasses provisions focused on funding accessibility, streamlined regulatory processes, and the establishment of incubation hubs and innovation centres.

Hon. Fenibo Fubara, the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), conveyed the state government’s enthusiasm for the adoption of the Startup Act in a social media post. He articulated, “We look forward to a Rivers State where the treasure is not only based on her natural resources (oil), but more so in the minds of her young innovators.” This statement reflects the government’s commitment to harnessing the intellectual capital of the state’s youth and positioning Rivers as a hub for technological ingenuity.

In furtherance of this commitment, the SA to the Governor on ICT announced a two-day stakeholder engagement and workshop scheduled for the 14th and 15th of December 2023 at the Rivers State ICT Center, Aba Road, starting at 10 am. The workshop’s theme, “Empowering Rivers-Based Startups to Thrive,” underscores the commitment to nurturing a conducive environment for startup growth in the state.

The workshop will feature a range of activities aimed at fostering collaboration and outlining strategies for the effective domestication of the Nigeria Startup Act in Rivers State. These activities include:

  • Stakeholders Engagement
  • Policy Framing
  • Networking
  • Fireside Chats

The SA to the Governor on ICT called on all stakeholders in the corporate space, Tech Hubs, business owners, startup founders, legal practitioners, financial organizations, researchers, and creatives operational in Rivers State to attend the workshop. The focus will be on the domestication of the Nigeria Startup Act in Rivers State, ensuring that the benefits are fully harnessed.

Interested participants can register to attend the workshop through this link: startupactph.events.

Image Source: Office of the SA to Governor on ICT

Upon scrutinizing this scenario, the Techblit Blog team identified four key benefits that the completion of this domestication process will bring to the tech ecosystem in Rivers State. These benefits encompass:

1. Enabling Regulatory Environment:

By embracing the Startup Act, Rivers State sets the stage for a regulatory environment conducive to the growth of technology startups. Simplified processes and reduced bureaucratic barriers will foster an atmosphere where innovation can thrive.

2. Access to Funding:

The Act’s provisions addressing funding challenges will empower startups within Rivers State to attract both local and international investments. This influx of capital is crucial for the expansion and sustainability of emerging businesses.

3. Incubation Hubs and Innovation Centers:

The Act emphasizes the establishment of incubation hubs and innovation centres. Rivers State’s decision to adopt the Act aligns with this vision, providing physical spaces for startups to collaborate, innovate, and receive essential mentorship.

4. Job Creation and Economic Diversification:

The Startup Act’s focus on job creation and economic diversification resonates with Rivers State’s vision for growth. By creating an environment conducive to startups, the state is poised to witness increased job opportunities within the tech sector, contributing to broader economic diversification.

In an exclusive conversation with Mr. Paul Aminigbo, Techlead of Harvoxx Tech Hub, he commended the Governor’s proactive step towards adopting the Startup Act. In a statement, he emphasized the significance of this move in propelling Rivers State towards becoming a prominent innovation hub.

In his words: “Governor Sir Siminalayi Fubara has demonstrated visionary leadership by adopting the Startup Act, showcasing his commitment to transforming Rivers State into an innovation hub. This decision opens doors for local innovators, attracts investment, and positions our state on the map as a thriving tech ecosystem. I call on all key players in the tech ecosystem to unite in support of the Governor’s initiative, ensuring we harness the full benefits of the Startup Act for the collective growth of our state.”

In conclusion, the approval of the Nigeria Startup Act in Rivers State heralds a new era of technological advancement and economic growth. Governor Sir Siminalayi Fubara’s commitment to positioning Rivers State as a digital technology powerhouse is underscored by this move. As the state moves forward with the adoption and implementation of the Startup Act, there’s a shared responsibility among all stakeholders to support this initiative and collectively propel Rivers State into a future where innovation thrives, and the minds of young innovators shape the economic landscape.

The Port Harcourt technology ecosystem is poised to experience substantial advantages as the government endeavours to implement the Act locally. This paves the way for a future in which the state’s wealth is derived not solely from its natural resources but, crucially, from the ingenuity of its youthful innovators.

This bold step by Governor Sir Siminalayi Fubara is a testament to his commitment to positioning Rivers State as a leading force in the digital technology landscape, and it calls for collective support from all stakeholders in the tech ecosystem.

You can download the Nigeria Startup Act here (https://pwcnigeria.typepad.com/files/nigeria-startup-act-2022-signed.pdf)

Author: Content Kwin

(Admin, Techblit)

[email protected]

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3 Responses

  1. Chinenye Akukalia says:

    This is the move in the right direction. I hope it will be implemented well without ethnic, or religious biase.

  2. Yoda says:

    I love this act by our amiable governor, a county can not and will not move forward without its people who are deposited across different states. An awesome thing this is to witness. Now by the Grace of God, Nigeria will be headed towards positive directions. Can’t wait to become a part of the revolution, ON GOD.

  3. Precious Archibong says:

    This is the right move we need. Thanks for the update and information.

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