Senate Receives Buhari’s Request for Bill on Digital Tech Ecosystem

…Confirms Bindawa as NCC Non-Executive Commissioner

By Dwelleth Morountodun

Following the optimism expressed on Thursday, by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Ibrahim Pantami, on stakeholders unflinching determination to see the expeditious passage of the Nigerian Start-up Bill, the Senate on Tuesday acknowledged receipt of that Bill transmitted to them by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Meanwhile, on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), appointment, the Senate has confirmed the nomination of Prof. Mansur Bindawa, as a Non-Executive Commissioner on the Governing Board at the Commission.

Recall that the Minister had stated that the bill when passed would solve a barrage of challenges confronting the digital economy start-up ecosystem, adding that the bill makes provision for the constitution of the Council for digital innovation and entrepreneurship that would serve as an advisory body for the sector

The bill which was sent by President Buhari accompanied with a letter dated the 21st February, 2022, and read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The letter reads in part, “Pursuant to Sections 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I hereby forward The Nigeria Startup Bill, 2021 for the kind consideration of the Senate.

“The Nigeria Startup Bill, 2021 aims to position Nigeria’s Startup ecosystem, as the leading digital technology center in Africa, having excellent innovators with cutting edge skills and exportable capacity, in order to do this, the Bill seeks to establish a National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my best regards.”

The confirmation of Bindawa, on Tuesday followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Communications.

 The report was laid and presented by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central), on behalf of the Committee Chairman, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central).

Oloriegbe, in his presentation, said Bindawa’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari, was in compliance with the provisions of Sections 5(3); 8(1); and 11(2) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003. 

He added that the nominee met the statutory requirements regarding his professional and educational competence for appointment as Non-Executive Commissioner on the NCC Governing Board.

He disclosed that preliminary checks did not reveal any record of indictment against the nominee by any administrative/judicial panel or court of law for abuse of office or criminal offence.

The nominee was confirmed after the consideration and adoption of the Committee’s report.

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