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Startup Act: Integrate Real-World Business Skills Into School Curricula – Trium MD

Adebayo Adewolu, the Managing Director of Trium, an Africa-focused venture builder has said that the curriculum of universities in Nigeria should be reviewed to reflect the realities in today’s business ecosystem.

He said this during the TheTimes webinar with the theme: “Nigeria Startup Act and Tech Investment: Exploring Possibilities” held on Saturday, August 26.

During the webinar, Adewolu said the Startup Act encourages collaboration between research institutions and some of the country’s curricula should be reviewed to reflect the realities of today.

He, however, highlighted the fact that some of the newer universities in the country have found a way to achieve this, but the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) is conducting a comprehensive review to reflect that.

According to Adewolu, implementing a business reality-based curriculum in Nigerian schools could shift the way that young Nigerians are being encouraged to build competencies and capabilities for building ecosystems while still in school.

While addressing the issue of the role the Startup Act has played in boosting collaborations, Adewolu said:

  • “There are a number of things the Act has enabled. The first is the composition of the council because, in addition to including the political leadership, it also includes critical representation from the private sector and not just from the startup angle but from other established stakeholders in the private sector.
  • “That council’s composition and the operationalization of that council with its full constituents is one area I think that the Act enables collaboration. The second is around the collaboration with research institutions, the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), and the Board of Technical Education and the encouragement of research clusters in the six geopolitical zones.”

He also highlighted that the Act provides significant fiscal benefits for both the startups and the investors if the country is able to operationalize the labelling process properly.

However, he mentioned that the core of it would be in operationalizing the spirit of the Startup Act in a way that the council functions, the relevant people are representative of the relevant stakeholder groups on the council and a perspective that will develop the ecosystem can be pushed.

What you should know

The Startup Act was signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on October 19, 2022.

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

The Act is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are clear, planned, and work for the tech ecosystem. In April 2023, Buhari inaugurated a 14-member council to implement the Startup Act.

He directed the Secretariat, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to ensure the faithful implementation of the Act, which provides incentives and support for start-ups, including tax breaks and access to funding.

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