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Group Advocates Speedy Passage of Nigeria Startup Bill

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Ventures Platform Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, on Thursday called for the speedy passage of the Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) before the National Assembly.

The group said this at a rally in Lagos organised to sensitise residents, especially upcoming startups, on the provisions and benefits of the bill.

The NSB  project is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of our digital economy through co-created regulations.

The bill will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are friendly, clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.

Speaking at the rally, Ms Olufunmi Osho, Lagos State Coordinator, NSB, Bill Project, said it would contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for growth, attraction and protection of investment in tech startups.

Osho said: “While this is our bill; it is managed by the Ventures Platform Foundation and supervised by the Presidential Strategic Advisory Group comprising representatives from the tech-startup ecosystem in Nigeria.

She noted that government was doing a lot in making the business environment favourable for startups to thrive.

Osho added that the bill would be of immense benefits to the youths in the tech space.

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Also speaking, Mr Victor Famubode, Project Manager, NSB, said the bill would create an enabling environment, remove unclear framework and inadequate local content for Nigerian startups.

Famubode said that if passed into law, the bill, would introduce a lot of incentives for startups such as tax holidays.

He said that it would be a bill that would outlive the initiators far into the future.

Famubode noted that young people in Nigeria had been experiencing various setbacks to economic growth , innovation and development which was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is why the president is working with other stakeholders to create the Nigeria Startup Bill,” Famubode said.

The NSB is different from other bills because it employs a big tent technique that has various stakeholders working together to deliver it. (NAN)

Economy

TCN Confirms Shut Down of National Grid

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Wednesday, said that the national grid has been shutdown following the industrial dispute by the two in-house unions in the company.

This is contained in a statement by the TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah in Abuja.

Mbah said that the grid was shut down by the unions even as effort was being made to resolve the issues upon which the action was called.

Mbah said that the incident occurred at 3:01p.m. on Wednesday,  after several 330kV transmission lines and 33 Kilo Volt (kV) feeder-lines across the power system network had been switched off by the members of the unions.

”This resulted in generation-load imbalance and multiple voltage escalations at critical stations and substations.

She said that this was  coming weeks after the company  had come out of  hectic grid management regime, occasioned by paucity of generation that lingered  for a couple of months.

”Coupled with the stream of interventions by the Ministry of Power and other stakeholders in the Value Chain,grid generation (at Peak) had reached 4,830.69 Megawatts (MW) as at  Tuesday, “she said.

Mbah said that in spite of the setback, TCN was set to restore the grid as quickly as possible.

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The spokesperson said that the Ministries of Power and Labour & Employment,  were currently meeting with the union officials in order to resolve the issues.

She said that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry appreciates the understanding of our customers within and outside the country.

Mbah said that enduring mechanisms are being instituted to avert a situation of this kind going forward.(NAN)

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Economy

Naira Gains after 2-day Loss to Dollar

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The Naira on Wednesday appreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters window, exchanging at N429.38.

The figure represented a gain of 0.16 per cent compared with the N430.67 it exchanged for the dollar on Tuesday.

The open indicative rate closed at N427.58 to the dollar on Wednesday.

An exchange rate of N444 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N429.

38.

The Naira sold for as low as N417 to the dollar within the day’s trading.

A total of N120.46 million was traded in foreign exchange at the official investors and exporters window on Wednesday. (NAN)

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Economy

AEDC Attributes Power Interruption to Strike by Electricity Union

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution (AEDC)  has attributed power interruption experienced across its franchise areas to the ongoing Industrial issues in the sector.

The management of AEDC in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said that the industrial issues were between the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN).

“ We will like to assure our valued customers that all stakeholders are working hard to ensure mutual and amicable settlement and power is restored forthwith.

The AEDC, however, thanked its customers for their patient and understanding.

The  Chairman of FCT of NUEE, Mr Godfery Abah, told the newsmen in Abuja, that a notice signed by its General Secretary, Mr Joe Ajaero, had directed its members to stop work effective Aug. 17.

Abah said that the action followed the directive by the TCN Board that all Principal Managers in acting capacity going to Assistant General Managers must appear for a promotion interview.

He said that ”this directive is in contravention of our Conditions of Service and Career Progression Paths, and unilaterally done without the relevant Stakeholders.

“Another grievance is the stigmatisation of staff from the office of the Head of Service, (HoS) of the Federation from working in other areas in the Power Sector.

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“And, the refusal of the Market Operator to fund the payment of entitlement of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Ex-PHCN, Staff as agreed in December 2019 agreement after an industrial action by the union, ” he  said.(NAN)

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