Nigeria’s proposed technology Act seeks to introduce levies and licensing fees to tech companies

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Nigeria’s proposed technology Act seeks to introduce levies and licensing fees to tech companies

The Nigerian Data and Know-how Pattern Company (NITDA) is proposing amendments to its regulatory Act which is ready to present the company extra control over Nigeria’s budding skills ecosystem. 

First enacted in 2007, the Nigerian Data Know-how and Pattern Act lists out the capabilities of NITDA, a framework for the company, to boot to guidelines for the performance of the listed capabilities. The proposed amendments, however, will survey to manipulate the activities of tech firms in Nigeria, itemizing out provisions for registration, expenses, and even sanctions. 

In line with NITDA Director-In vogue, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the amendments are needed for the company to sustain with the accelerating adjustments in the realm IT ecosystem. The DG also affirmed that the amendments are crucial if Nigeria is to stable a position in the rising world digital economic system. 

While the announcement turned into once made earlier this year in March, a up-to-the-minute leak of the proposed amendments has many ecosystem players questioning the applicable motives of the company and its policymakers. 

What’s included in the NITDA modification bill?

The proposed bill entails traditional provisions which list out the duties and obligations of the company, the crux of which is to carry out an honest and self satisfactory regulatory framework for the improvement of the Nigerian recordsdata and skills sector. 

Controversial parts of the bill, however, are contained in Sections 6, 13, and 22. 

Section 6 authorizes NITDA to jam new licenses for the businesses attempting to find to invent recordsdata skills and digital products and companies in Nigeria. 

Sub-portion 5 also gives that the company would perchance well fix license charges and “bag expenses and penalties” that are basic for the company to enact its duties. 

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Fresh levies for tech firms in NITDA bill

Based totally on expenses and charges, Section 13 of the proposed Act also gives for the institution of the National Data Know-how Pattern Fund which is ready to be funded by grants-in-abet, expenses, items, and levies. 

A needed share of the portion, listed in sub-portion 2a, gives that all firms with an annual turnover of ₦100,000,000 ($243,831), would be required to pay 1% of their profit sooner than tax as levies. This will very well be to boot to the hefty 30% firm income tax all profit-earning firms which consist of tech startups, must pay.

While the 2007 Act does possess a identical provision, most tech firms were excluded from the levy as they weren’t share of the courses listed below the act. The Third Agenda, below the proposed Act, entails categorizations for e-commerce firms, foreign digital platforms concentrating on the Nigerian market, and fintechs. 

Offences are punishable with fining and imprisonment

Every other thing the proposed amendments have confidence in traditional with the snort 2007 Act, is the imposition of every fining and imprisonment for offences below the Act. 

Below Section 22, offences below the Act consist of non-payment of levies, punishable with a 0.5% lengthen in the assessed sum per lapsed day. 

Failure to stick with directives issued by the company also attracts a in point of fact finest of ₦3,000,000 ($7,315) for folk and ₦30,000,000 ($73,149) for corporate our bodies. Right here is a a lot weep from the 2007 Act which listed out lesser fines for the identical offence: ₦200,000 ($487) for folk, and ₦500,000 ($1,219) for corporate our bodies. 

The severity of these fines has been highlighted in ongoing conversations because they’ll apply to tech open-americaif the amendments run. 

Of the $1 billion raised by African open-americain the principal half of 2021, Nigerian startups myth for no lower than $300 million of it, an amount that’s double the total amounts raised in H1 2018 and H1 2019 blended. 

Many key players in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, who are rightfully concerned, have confidence proposed that the amendments, particularly sections coping with fines and expenses, are the manager’s arrangement of getting a prick of the proverbial pie.

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