Funny enough, I took to Twitter to actually praise the Nigerian Senate. You see, rumour had it that they were planning to stop the Nigerian Communication Commission’s (NCC) planned tariff hike, which is due to go into effect on December 1.
My reaction was one of pleasant surprise. I had planned to tweet something like, when even the Nigerian senate thinks you’re retarded, you should probably stop and think at the NCC (who, by the way, as at yesterday, had little to no information about the price increase on their twitter).
Get on twitter and I see a tweet from Coral Lifestyle’s esteemed editor talking about how ridiculous this bill that would establish a Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs is. Yes you read that right, the Senate wants to establish a body to regulate entrepreneurship in the country.
It’s not enough that finding a worthwhile job is often a pipe dream for many Nigerians and as such many people turn to entrepreneurship to make ends meet, the government has to kick us while we are down? What does regulate even mean?
Normally I don’t care about this stuff. I feel drifting from day to day in a fog of ignorance at just how craven and malignant the people who are supposed to have our best interests at heart are is bitter leaf soup for the soul. Sometimes I hear fragments of idiocy, but most of the time nothing can enter my zolofty happy bubble.
Not this time though. I decided to actually see what the bill, which has actually passed the first reading said. Maybe it was boredom, maybe I was inflamed by the fact that the government low-key is trying to censor us by raising the price of data. Either way, here we are.
The Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs Bill (too long, didn’t read version)
The Bill, which is sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gobir of Sokoto State seeks the establishment of a Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs.
At first glance, the goals seem altruistic. They seek to provide training and resources to entrepreneurs, not just for skills and knowledge acquisition, but also when dealing with other stakeholders such as banks, insurers, government agencies, shipping and handling.
The Institute would also promote the teaching of Entrepreneurship in educational institutions up to secondary level and empower the teachers and instructors of these courses.
The Institute would register Professional Entrepreneurs and regulate their activities. It was not too clear who or what a Professional Entrepreneur is. It just says “Professional Entrepreneurs means any person registered to practice Professional Entrepreneurship under this act”
It actually won’t affect entrepreneurs (For Now)
I came into this upset, thinking it was one more thing for the government to attempt to unnecessarily regulate; one more stone at the effigy of economic empowerment in Nigeria. However, it doesn’t seem that intrusive. For one thing, members need to at least hold a HND to be eligible to apply to join.
In addition, they will have to sit the professional exams at the Entrepreneur Academy (that this Bill will also establish) and undergo two years of supervised experience training.
They will regulate stuff, but only for their members and for now it doesn’t seem like it’s compulsory to join. Unless the perks of joining are good, they will probably have to make it mandatory to join or I can’t really see why anyone would.
A friend of mine needed to join/maintain a membership of a relevant professional organisation to get a promotion at her work, so you can see how professional association membership can be useful; but entrepreneurs work for themselves so that’s out. I’m not going to suddenly switch fish-sellers, or tailors because the new one has some fancy letters (Associate of the Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs- ACIE, for instance) after his or her name.
You can find the proposed entrepreneurship bill here
The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) seems to be a pretty decent website for finding out what each bill proposed in both houses entails. You can also track their progress there. Let’s keep our legislators honest!