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Rivers State Adopts Nigerian Startup Act

Rivers State Becomes Second in the Nation to Embrace the Nigerian Startup Act after Kaduna as Gov. Siminalayi Fubara Signs the act on December 15, 2023, Paving the Way for Tech Innovation and Economic Growth amid intense Political battle with FCT Minister Nyesom Wike

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has officially accented the adoption of the Nigerian Startup Act, marking a significant milestone as the second state in the country to do so amid political turmoil in the state as 7 members of his cabinet resigned their posts just hours before this event in allegiance to FCT Minister Nyesom Wike


. This development follows the earlier adoption of the Act by Kaduna State in July 2023.

The approval by Governor Fubara positions Rivers State to potentially undergo economic expansion, ushering in a sustainable era of technological advancement driven by startups. Enacted into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2022, the Nigerian Startup Act is a groundbreaking piece of legislation aimed at creating a conducive environment for the flourishing of tech startups, aligning them with relevant government agencies. The Event took place in the popular Rivers State ICT department, Training hub, and Event Center, Tech Creek with members of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) present.

As of March 2023, only 12 out of Nigeria’s 36 states had expressed interest in domesticating the Act. Among these states are Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Kwara, Kaduna, Niger, Nassarawa, Zamfara, Anambra, Imo, and Rivers. Notably, only Kaduna and Rivers have shown genuine commitment to fostering a thriving tech ecosystem, signaling their eagerness to attract investments.

Kaduna State took the lead in this initiative, becoming the first state to enact the legislation on July 12, 2023, when Governor Uba Sani signed the Startup Act into law. In response to Rivers State’s adoption, Fenibo Fubara, the Special Assistant to the Governor of Rivers State on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), shared his thoughts on social media, expressing optimism for a future where the state’s wealth lies not only in natural resources but also in the minds of its young innovators.

If Rivers State adheres to the provisions of the Act, it has the potential to emerge as a premier destination for Nigerian tech startups and investors. The Act’s emphasis on economic diversification and job creation aligns seamlessly with Rivers State’s growth strategy, offering the prospect of increased job opportunities in the tech sector and contributing to greater economic diversification by cultivating a favorable environment for startups.

However, it is crucial to note that merely approving the Act may not be sufficient to drive startup growth in the state. Historically, Nigeria has faced implementation challenges rather than a lack of suitable laws and policies. Therefore, Rivers State must undertake comprehensive efforts beyond approval to ensure effective implementation and create an ecosystem conducive to the sustained growth of startups.

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