Nigerian govt kicks off ease of doing business

Nigerian govt kicks off ease of doing business
October 04 19:09 2017

By Ahmed Idris

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) on Wednesday kicked off the National Action Plan (NAP 2.0) as part of federal government’s initiative to build a globally competitive economy.

The new action plan, which would run from October 3 to December 1, 2017, 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.

It will be recalled that PEBEC, which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had, on September 26, 2017, approved a second 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 2.0) to drive reforms aimed at making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business.

The NAP 2.0 marks the beginning of another reform cycle for 2017/2018 which aims to deepen the ease of doing business being 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.

A previous 60-day National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business was approved on February 21, 2017. The National Action Plan contained initiatives and actions implemented by responsible Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the National Assembly, the Governments of Lagos and Kano states, as well as some private sector stakeholders.

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 micro-finance 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 Prof. 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.