By Nasir Kura
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the federal government has implemented 140 reforms in the past three years to ease the way business is being done in the country.
Osinbajo said this Wednesday night at t he Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Award Dinner held at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja.
While applauding the private sector for their contributions to improve business climate in the country, the vic president listed some of the successful reforms to 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, and access specialised small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano.
The vice president said other areas of reforms were enhancing efficiency in the small claims court, and enhancing the application and approval system for visas on arrival, among others.
“In the past three years, Nigeria has implemented more than 140 reforms to make doing business in Nigeria easier. 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.
“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,” he said.
He said the PEBEC has now commenced the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on Ease of Doing Business and would run from March 1, 2019 to April 29, 2019.
“It aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past 3 years and drive institutionalization. We have highlighted key action items in all of the focus areas to ensure 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 and 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,” he said.