Nigeria's Senate Is Looking To Pass A Bill That Will Effectively Regulate Entrepreneurship

In an announcement that came not long after the dust had settled on the Nigerian Senate having advised the Nigerian Communications Comission not to go ahead with the directive regarding data floor pricing (i.e. increasing data pricing in Nigeria), the Senate has announced it is considering a Bill for an Act to establish the “Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs”.

This Bill is effectively a piece of legislation, if it successfully becomes an Act, to regulate entrepreneurship in Nigeria. But the Nigerian Senate believes the Act and the Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs will do the opposite, they believe it will “support and strengthen entrepreneurship in Nigeria” through, among others, “increasing the number of informed and innovative entrepreneurs that conduct business in Nigeria.

The Bill, titled "A Bill for An Act to Establish a Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs", has received a lot of criticism from many Nigerian Angel, VC investors as well as business people mainly criticising it for trying to stifle entrepreneurship in the West African country.

According to a statement released by the Nigerian Senate, the Bill will seek to support and enable entrepreneurship in Nigeria by doing the following:

  • Assisting SMEs in financial marketing, production, organization, engineering and technical matters;

  • Providing technical and professional skills empowerment for both emerging and existing entrepreneurs;

  • Increasing the number of informed and innovative entrepreneurs that conduct business in Nigeria;

  • Creating a databank that will link entrepreneurs to relevant resources;

  • Creating a databank that will allow entrepreneurs to connect with other businesses;

  • Providing start-up information for small and medium scale enterprises;

  • Facilitating the cooperation between entrepreneurs and banks, insurance firms, import and export agencies, and the government;

  • Helping to facilitate the process for SMEs to conduct business in international markets;

  • Providing opportunities for students to be active participants in wealth creation through work-to-school programmes; and

  • Providing empowerment and support on an ongoing basis to teacher and instructors that teach entrepreneurship education in both Senior Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions.

The other factor that remains to be seen is if the bill requires people to register to be considered an entrepreneur considering that "entrepreneurship" is not a profession and cuts across many industry sectors.

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