The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has today, October 3, 2017, begun a 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 2.0) to drive reforms aimed at making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business.
This was confirmed in a statement signed by PEBEC Secretary/SSA Industry, Trade & Investment (OVP), Dr Jumoke Oduwole.
The statement reads:
SECOND NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS COMMENCES OCTOBER 3
“As Nigeria climbs two steps in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index”
As part of this Administration’s medium-term Economic Growth & Recovery Plan (EGRP) to build a globally competitive economy, His Excellency, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN GCON, on Tuesday, the September 26, 2017, presided over an expanded meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) at the State House, Abuja, which approved a second 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 2.0).
NAP 2.0 will run from 3rd October to 1st December 2017, and is expected to further reduce the challenges faced by SMEs when, getting credit, paying taxes, or moving goods across the country, amongst others, by removing critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria. The reforms will also improve the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2019.
The NAP 2.0 marks the beginning of another reform cycle 2017/2018 which aims to deepen the ease of doing business reforms implemented across the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the last 12 months and will in turn increase productivity through industrialization, enhanced exports and foreign exchange earnings, while creating jobs and reducing poverty.
Some of the reforms to be implemented to ease the process of starting a business include eliminating the manual registration process at Corporate Affairs Commission in 10 additional states, increase access to credit for SMEs by registering at least 300 microfinance banks on the collateral registry, and enforce the elimination of illegal roadblocks on major trading routes across the country.
MDAs have been charged by the Council to treat the Ease of Doing Business initiatives with a sense of urgency and deliver impactful results by implementing the Executive Order 001 on transparency and efficiency. The Executive Order E01, which was signed by His Excellency, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on 18th May, 2017, ensures that citizens have complete clarity on all government requirements and processes, better cooperation and improved information sharing among MDAs, as well as requiring proper communication of approval or rejection of applications to Nigerians within the stipulated timeframe.
PEBEC was established in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria. His Excellency, Vice President Professor Osinbajo is the Chair of the Council, with the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, serving as Vice Chair. Ten 10 other Honourable Ministers, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as representatives of the National Assembly, Lagos and Kano States and the private sector are also members.
The Ease of Doing Business reforms will be implemented over the next 60 days by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), which became fully operational in October 2016. We will recall that the EBES implemented PEBEC’s inaugural National Action Plan (NAP 60) from February to April 2017. The EBES is coordinated by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment (OVP).
The World Economic Forum recently released its Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) for 2017-2018, with Nigeria rising two ranks up from its previous 127th to 125th position. The tide is beginning to turn as last year; Nigeria was able to move up marginally by one step from 170 to 169 in the 2017 World Bank Doing Business Report. The next Doing Business Report for 2018 will be released on October 31.