Kwara Adopts the Startup Act, Becomes the hotspot for technology and innovation

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Kwara State is set to become a hub for technology and innovation as it has commenced the process of adopting the Nigeria Startup Act, which aims to provide support for startups and new businesses, and boost economic growth in Nigeria and Africa.

With its large pool of young, tech-savvy talents, the state is uniquely positioned to benefit from the Act, which will provide young entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to become tech-enabled, grow their businesses, and create jobs, ultimately positioning Kwara State as a hub for technology and innovation.

Stakeholders in Kwara State recently met to discuss the localization of the Startup Act, including government officials, startup founders, the academia, students, and the press/media.

Dignitaries at the Nigeria Startup Act Engagement event were Kwara State Commissioner for Finance Mrs. Olasumbo Oyeyemi; Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) Mrs. Shade Omoniyi; and a representative of the Kwara State Commissioner for Business Innovation & Technology Alhaji Ibrahim Sanni. Also present were Kamaldeen Ibrahim, convener of Kwara State’s largest tech community Kwarabuild, the Director of the Kwara State University Centre for Digital Economy Hajia Hassanat Bello.

During the Stakeholder Ecosystem Engagement event in Ilorin, discussions were held on how to ensure the successful adoption of the act in the state.

The stakeholders said the Act will provide the necessary foundation for the state’s young, tech-enabled entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create jobs, and spur innovation in other sectors of the state’s economy.

Temi Kolawole, the Managing Director of the Ilorin Innovation Hub, emphasized the importance of the Startup Act in creating job opportunities for the youth in the state.

He said, “For our economy to grow, there needs to be more jobs. The Federal government has put together the Startup Act to encourage and support more startups all over the country, and with the support of the NSA secretariat, states like Kwara can localize the act to work better in their locality. More startups with good support from the NSA means more jobs, and more jobs mean more wealth and prosperity for the society.

“The modern employment landscape has changed, and our entrepreneurs cannot continue with old ways of doing business. Part of the benefits of localizing the startup act is access to free training and capacity building for startup founders, a Startup Support Portal that allows all businesses labeled as startups to have all their business operations and complaints in one place, from business registration with the CAC, to compliance and taxes, to regulation of businesses in various industries and startup funding.

“Kwara State will also be establishing a Council on Startup Entrepreneurship and Innovation/Technology to serve as the driving force in implementing the Kwara Startup Act and supporting startups in the state moving forward.”

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has consistently demonstrated his commitment to providing opportunities for youth empowerment, job creation, and economic growth in Kwara State, according to stakeholders at the event.

The adoption of the Nigeria Startup Act is a significant step towards achieving this goal, and the government will work with all stakeholders to ensure its successful adoption within the next six months, said Kolawole.

He added: “In addition, the Ilorin Innovation Hub recently hosted an E-Government Hackathon, which was planned to encourage young people to collaborate, build teams, and create innovative solutions and products that will enhance e-governance and service delivery in Kwara State. It is the first of many such events to come that will be expanded into other areas of technology like Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Agritech, and many more. The hackathon brought together talented developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts based in Ilorin and around the country to build solutions that address key challenges faced by government agencies and the citizens of Kwara State.

“The government of Kwara State is grateful to all the stakeholders who have started the process of adopting the Nigeria Startup Act, and we look forward to working with all our partners.”