On August 12, 2021 a proposed bill to repeal the National Information Technology Development Agency Act, 2007 was made public at the National Assembly. The bill has since then, garnered much public interest. The reasons for which, in conjunction with key provisions of the bill, are to be discussed in this article.
KEY PROVISIONS IN THE BILL
The purpose of the Bill, as derived from Section 1, is to develop an efficient regulatory framework geared towards the improvement and growth of the information and digital sector of Nigeria. Some of which are as follows:
1. Establishment of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
2. Functions of the Agency
3. Powers of the Agency
4. Establishment of a Governing Board
5. Establishment of The National Information Technology Development Fund
IMPACT ON STARTUPS, MICRO SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (MSMEs)
On the surface, an analysis of certain provisions of the Bill will need to be considered by startups and MSMEs. The Bill waxed strong on penalties and sanctions against individuals or companies that fail to get the relevant licenses or pay the 1 percent levy fee but failed to provide adequate information to guide startups on the requirements of the process.
HOW WILL THE BILL AFFECT THE INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN NIGERIA?
An Act that seeks to regulate the technology sector and startup space uniformly and fairly in Nigeria would be a welcome development.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.