Nigeria to redouble efforts at improving ease of doing business

The Federal Government on Tuesday, took stock of its achievements in the Presidential Enabling Businesses Environment Council (PEBEC), designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, who disclosed this after the expanded PEBEC chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said government was set to launch the second action plan on ease of doing business.

The Minister said the aim is to make it easy for both small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to create a conducive environment for doing business in the country.

Briefing State House correspondents, he said: “We have had a very success enabling business environment council meeting. As you can see, it was an expanded meeting where the Chief Justice of Nigeria was there, the representative of the Senate President was there, the representatives of both Kano State and Lagos State governments.

“The heads of agencies were there. The meeting was chaired by His Excellency the Vice President and it was a stock taking meeting. We will share the materials of the meeting with you, and you will see from the materials we have taken stock what we have achieved already, the journey so far, and with the plan on the way forward.

“The idea being that we want to have a second round of the National Action Plan, which is even more ambitious than the first one. We really want to make it easy for people to do business in Nigeria.”

On the way forward, the Minister said: “the way forward is that there is a second national action plan which we must share with you.”

Also, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said that the National Assembly was committed to creating enabling business environment in the country.
Saraki, represented by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah, said: “You will be glad to hear that in the interim report of PEBEC, National Assembly got green for compliance with all the commitment we have made as our contribution to ease of doing business.

“I think we are the only arm of government that got full green for full implementation of whatever commitment we gave as a National Assembly towards assisting the project for enabling businesses environment in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, Chika Emodi, said that the efforts of government in making the business environment conducive were already yielding fruits.

His word: “the meeting was very productive. A lot of work has been done and is beginning to show. There is no doubt that we have a commitment on the part of government and we are very optimistic about how this will translate to a better business environment for the country.”

Secretary of PEBEC, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, said the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, is collaborating with PEBEC on the subnational project.

“We are going to be working with all the states and the FCT in making sure that we are not just focusing on the federal level. We are taking ease of doing business state-wide, and we are collaborating widely with the private sector, all state governments, and the National Assembly.”

“We are going to have an omnibus bill that will wrap up all the irritant, but most importantly, we are launching a new 60-day action plan starting from 2nd of October running to the 30th of November, and we are going to have the press pack that will contain all the reforms that all the MDAs are going to be working on.

“It is going to be a very exciting time, and we are looking forward to tangible deliverables for the Nigerian people. “We are targeting SMEs. We want the business climate to be simpler; you don’t need to know anybody to do business effectively in Nigeria. Larger companies have different kinds of problems; we want systemic change for small and medium size enterprises.

“We had the Acting DG of NAFDAC, DG of SON; we had heads of Police, Immigration, Customs, Ports Authority, the Airport, and the Judiciary. We had the Chief Justice of the Federation attend the PEBEC meeting for the first time.

“These are all the ingredients plus a strong representation from the private sector that makes sure that the collaborative exercise works very powerfully to deliver impactful reforms for the Nigerian people,” she said.