*Recounts FG’s efforts in reforming Nigeria’s business environment
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the federal government is committed to moving Nigeria into top 100 in the World Business Index by 2020.
Prof. Osinbajo explained Nigeria has implemented more than 140 reforms to make doing business in easier in the country.
Speaking at the second PEBEC Awards held at the State House Banquet Hall, Prof. Osinbajo PEBEC set a goal to move Nigeria into the top-100 on the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI).
“In the past three years, Nigeria has implemented more than 140 reforms to make doing business in Nigeria easier. Some of the successful reforms include the ability to: reserve a business name within four hours; complete the registration of a company within 24 hours online; apply for and receive approval of a visa-on-arrival electronically within 48 hours; file and pay taxes online; access specialised small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano states.
“The World Bank also reported in 2018 that 32 states of Nigeria improved their Ease of doing business environment led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra states.
Prof. Osinbajo explained that in 2019, PEBEC set a goal to move Nigeria into the top-100 on the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI).
“To achieve this, we will be pursuing the continued implementation of reforms across all indicators, including the implementation of legislative reforms, specifically the passage of the new Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Omnibus Bills; the expansion of the regulatory reform program which started with NAFDAC and NAICOM; and now to include other regulators; the establishment of a National Trading Platform for ports; and the concession of our major international airports.
“PEBEC has now commenced the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on Ease of Doing Business.
“NAP 4.0 is running from the 1st of March to the 29th of April, 2019. It aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past 3 years and drive institutionalization of the whole reform process.
“We have highlighted key action items in all of the focus areas to ensure that they do not unravel, and to ensure we drive sustainability. Some of the targets achieved in the last NAP 3.0 include:
– Driving registration for utilization of the National Collateral Registry to facilitate access to credit for SMEs
– Clearance of all pending NAFDAC registration applications to improve efficiency; and
– Creation of a strengthened single joint cargo examination interface in all airports & seaports for import and export to reduce the time spent at the ports.
NAP 4.0 will focus on initiatives such as
– Enforcing compliance with SLAs across all indicators/focus areas,
– Driving the passage of the CAM Bill 2018 for improved effectiveness of company law in Nigeria (and as you have heard, what we are waiting for is the signing into law of the bill)
– Enhancing efficiency in the small claims court, and
– Enhancing the application and approval system for visas on arrival, to mention a few.
He said “The Council will continue to work extensively with all MDAs, the National Assembly and other key stakeholders. All of us who have been involved in this incredible journey will agree that it has been both exciting and fulfilling even if admittedly sometimes frustrating. But that is the way of progress.
“I congratulate you all for the great successes and thank you all for keeping faith with our joint vision. In particular we must commend the National Assembly for the great efforts they have made in ensuring the passage of very strategic and important bills.
“We must also commend our private sector partners who have contributed immensely to the technical output of the EBES through the secondment of professional staff to the secretariat.
“Let me specially mention the KPMG Professional Services, Deloitte, Procter and Gamble, Banwo & Ighodalo, Aluko and Oyebode.
“The NBA-SBL was also particularly instrumental in the drafting of the omnibus bill. About 40 law firms worked pro-bono towards this effort. Our nation is truly grateful to you.
“We must also specially commend the Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah, for his focused and forthright leadership, and the incomparable and tireless Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, and her team.
“To the rest of us, I think we have demonstrated that the work of creating a world class environment for commerce will be done by like minds in the Nigerian private and public sectors, and these are the exceptional ladies and gentleman such as yourselves who form the PEBEC family. Well done, everyone,” he said.