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FG to fund tech start-ups with NSIA loans – Pantami

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isah Ali Pantami said the federal government will fund technology start-ups by providing low-interest loans with flexible repayment…

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isah Ali Pantami said the federal government will fund technology start-ups by providing low-interest loans with flexible repayment plans through the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

He disclosed this when he paid a visit to the Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa on Tuesday.

The minister was at the House to lobby the lawmakers for the speedy passage of the executive bill for ‘an Act to Provide for the Creation and Development of an Enabling Environment for Technology Enabled Start-ups in Nigeria’, sent to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister disclosed that the five leading start-ups in Africa originated from Nigeria.

He said: “There are seven unicorns in Africa and five have roots in Nigeria with offices in Nigeria but registered in other countries due to lack of enabling laws to protect their innovations and investment.

“One of the start-ups that came up in 2018, by 2020, their value rose to $3 trillion which is the largest in Africa, and they are based in Lagos.

“The essence of this bill, first of all, is to create jobs for the teeming youths through these innovations and improve the economy”.

The House leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa informed the minister that their interaction was to get background information that will enable the lawmaker to defend the bill on the floor during debates.

He said: “In the process of legislation, this is one of the very critical components that we deal with especially when it has to do with an Executive Bill such as the one before us, and it’s a practice to invite the Executive to engage with the National Assembly to explain to us why we need to have such a bill at this time.”