In the technology ecosystem, there has been a series of updates coming for technological platforms operating in Nigeria. With more startups and tech businesses entering the market, the government has found it necessary to update its policy and guides for these businesses to operate in Nigeria. We plan on showing these updates that would help any tech business planning on entering the Nigerian market.
Starting from the recent release by NITDA, some 2022 tech updates have taken place in the Nigerian tech space, guiding tech businesses in Nigeria.
Code of conduct for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries (online platforms)
Under NITDA, National Information Technology Development Agency, Nigeria would be regulating internet platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google, TikTok, Instagram and others. This was released on June 13 2022.
These platforms would have to follow some codes of conduct to operate in Nigeria.
However, this is coming six months after Nigeria lifted the Twitter ban. In its agreement with the social platform, it was meant to follow some conditions, which included “setting up a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022.” Others include paying taxes and operating with the Nigerian government to take down harmful tweets. However, Twitter didn’t meet any of the conditions.
With these new codes of conduct for these internet platforms, the aim is “protecting fundamental human rights of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in the country” and “define guidelines for interacting on the digital ecosystem.”
Here are the conditions given by NITDA.
- Establish a legal entity; in other words, register with the country’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
- Appoint a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities.
- Abide by all regulatory demands after establishing a legal presence.
- Comply with all applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law.
- Provide a comprehensive compliance mechanism to avoid publication of prohibited content[s] and unethical behaviour on their platform.
- Provide information to authorities on harmful accounts, suspected botnets, troll groups, and other coordinated disinformation networks and delete any information that violates Nigerian law within an agreed time.
You can read more about the conditions on the NITDA website.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules for digital asset platforms.
The commission in charge of digital assets in Nigeria, SEC, has recently released some rules and regulations guiding the ownership of digital assets. The rules released on May 11, 2022, covered five parts, namely: – Rules on Issuance of Digital Assets as Securities; Rules on Registration Requirements for Digital Assets Offering Platforms (DAOPs); the Rules on Registration Requirements for Digital Asset Custodians (DACs); Rules on Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs); and the Rules on Digital Assets Exchange (DAX). Containing in the documents; are requirements such as resources and capital needed for the businesses involved.
The Nigerian Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) replaces the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in data protection in Nigeria.
NDPB was established by the Federal Republic of Nigeria on February 4, 2022, following a request made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami. The plan is for NDPB to take over the position of NITDA as the data protection authority. And so it has the sole responsibility of ensuring that organisations meet their data compliance and is also in charge of data privacy breach reporting. However, no law has yet been enacted to establish NDPB properly, so it is still NITDA carrying out most of the data protection duty.
CBN drafts operating guidelines for open banking in Nigeria
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) May 13, 2022, published an operating guide for open banking in Nigeria. Open banking will drive innovation in the sector. So the guidelines will cover the ownership and control of data by customers of financial and non-financial service providers. And it provides procedures by which service providers can access customers’ data.
FIRS charges Non-resident digital companies to pay income tax on a deemed profit basis.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is to take charge and assess digital services that have a significant economic presence in Nigeria on a reasonable profit basis. This came under the Finance Act 2021, enacted on January 1 2022. FIRS will begin to see that these businesses that provide digital services in Nigeria would pay an income tax on a deemed profit basis. They would be paying a decent amount of their profit in Nigeria.
However, according to FIRS, this will only apply when a company has no unassessable profit, or the assessable profit is less than what it should get from the organisation’s operation in Nigeria.
Non-resident digital companies can now collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT) to the FIRS.
The development premise is on a case where a non-resident organisation provides taxable goods and services to a person in Nigeria. According to Finance Act 2021, FIRS can appoint anyone, including a non-resident, to serve as a collection agent for collecting and remittance of VAT of goods and services.
So the beneficiary of goods and services is not permitted to withhold VAT except if the appointed agent fails to collect it.
A revoke and replacement of the present copyright bill
The copyright bill in Nigeria is currently undergoing development that, if enacted, will benefit the copyright owners.
Only copyright owners will be exclusively entitled to post their work online. However, anyone whose copyright has been infringed online will have permission to ask the platform on which the infringement is on to take the post down.
Another thing they can do is to disable the audience’s access to such content.
Also, the Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC) can be authorised to take down a copyright infringement post and block access to the link or website.
National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) regulates Insurance Web Aggregators
On February 1, 2022, NAICOM issued a guideline for insurance web aggregators’ operation in Nigeria. For companies and platforms that provide public information on insurance products and services, price, and the benefit of insurance.
Also, it stated the requirement for platforms that are looking to provide insurance services; they should have a licence from NAICOM with a 60 days grace to obtain it.
The above are some of the significant changes that have taken place and will be taking place in the tech space in Nigeria.
If you own a business in Nigeria, you should check out some of the keypoint associated with your business.
Please share your thoughts on these 2022 tech updates with us in the comment section. Also, please share with us how they can contribute to Nigeria’s tech space for 2022.
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