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Jeff Bezos’s space firm, Blue Origin, is suing NASA for awarding Elon Musk’s firm, Space X, a lunar lander contract.
NASA is gearing up to send more people to the moon for the first time in 42 years. The deal surrounding the plan was initially supposed to involve two space firms – presumably Bezos’s and Musk’s – but NASA changed its mind and picked only one.
Anyway, Jeff is not happy and he’s taking it to court.
Heads up, there’s a lot of Nigerian content in today’s newsletter. Why? Well, a lot has happened in the tech ecosystem there and we don’t want you to miss anything.
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In today’s edition:
- NITDA’s play for Nigeria’s tech sector
- CBN strikes again
- Chekkit leaves Afghanistan
- Events: TC Live
NITDA’s PLAY FOR NIGERIA’S TECH SECTOR
The Nigerian tech sector is booming, and everyone wants a piece of it, especially the government.
Early in March, the Nigerian Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which regulates information and technology services in the country, announced they would be amending their 2007 act.
Their reason? It’s a help-us-help-you situation. NITDA Director-General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, says the amendment is necessary to help the agency keep up with the accelerating changes in the tech ecosystem. A lot of new things have been introduced since 2007, and NITDA wants to make sure they’ve got everything under control.
This sounds good, right? After all, these regulations will help make sure that everyone is doing the right thing the right way. Well, a recent leak of the draft bill shows that there’s a lot more that NITDA wants.
More like levies, fees, and sanctions
Yes, there’s of course money involved. In H1 of 2021, Nigerian tech startups brought in twice the combined total made in H1 of 2019 and 2020.
If the bill passes, Nigerian tech companies with revenues over ₦100,000,000 ($243,831) will have to pay levies worth 1% of their annual profit-before-tax revenue.
This isn’t the only part that deals with money.
All [tech] companies also stand to pay an additional 0.5% of the amount for every day they default in payment. So if you miss the payment deadline by a month, you stand to pay at least 15% as levy instead of 1%.
More so, any company that fails to adhere to the directives of the Agency stands to be fined ₦3,000,000 ($7,315) for individuals, and ₦30,000,000 ($73,149) for corporate bodies. What’s alarming about these fines is that they’re a far cry from the current fines which stand at ₦200,000 ($487) for individuals, and ₦500,000 ($1,219) for corporate bodies.
Offenders may also be subject to some time behind bars.
Jail time for offenders? Really?
Yup, and that’s what’s caught the public’s attention.
Offenders may be subject to fining and/or imprisonment of up to two years.
To be clear, this provision exists in the current NITDA Act of 2007; offenders under that Act can also be punished with imprisonment. The present NITDA Act, however, doesn’t apply to certain tech companies or startups.
The Third Schedule of the proposed bill takes care of that right away, encompassing IT companies, digital platforms/providers, e-commerce companies, fintechs, and more under the jurisdiction of NITDA.
I write a bit more about this in Nigeria’s proposed technology Act seeks to introduce levies and licensing fees to tech companies
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CBN STRIKES AGAIN
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Chekkit leaves Afghanistan
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What else we’re reading
Written by – Timi Odueso
Edited by – Daniel Adeyemi
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