By JONATHAN NDA-ISAIAH, Abuja
The reforms on the ease of doing business in the country including the recently signed three Executive Orders are intended to woo back companies that have relocated out of the country to return, the federal government has said.
This is even as it has restated its commitment to moving up the ranking of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index 20 places in the first year and be in the top 100 within the next three years.
Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 189 countries by the World Bank, according to the Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business report.
Recall that in August last year over 20 shipping firms exited the nation’s shores over what they called poor government policies and global economic crunch, leading to 3,000 losing their jobs.
The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had two weeks ago signed three Executive Orders – “Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment”, “Submission of Annual Budgetary Estimates by all Statutory and Non-Statutory Agencies including Incorporated Companies wholly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria” and “Support for Local Content in Public Procurements by MDAs of the FGN” respectively.
The acting secretary to the Government of the Federation, Habiba Lawal, said the Executive Order is one of the measures employed by the current administration to achieve a more judicious management of Nigeria’s resources and improved business environment.
She stressed that the provisions of the Executive Order was the focus of the workshop and urged MDAs to demonstrate commitment and support for the declared policy directives of government to facilitate the successful implementation thereof, for the good of the nation.
She said: “The successful operationalization of the provisions of the Executive order requires the collective effort of us as the critical stakeholders in the public sector. In this regard, the objective of this workshop is an awareness campaign to introduce Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council – Ease of doing Business Environment Secretariat (PEBEC-EBES).
“It’s operationalization is expected to usher in a new vista in the conduct of Government Business that would encourage more commitment in the delivery of public services devoid of corruption, indiscipline and ineptitude.
“To deliver the expected promises of the ‘Change Agenda’, the Public Service must be primed to effectively perform its role as a catalyst for the efficient implementation of government policies and programmes and the delivery of essential services. Indeed, a major policy thrust of the current Administration is to ensure efficient, effective to enhance the capacity of the drivers of government policies and programmes implementation.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Vice Chair of Presidential Enabling Business environment council (PEBEC), Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said government was already getting testimonies that the reforms were working.
He said government was aiming to see headline in the international media read this: “Nigeria: A Textbook African Success Story” at the end of the day, adding “so the work starts now if we are going to see this happen.”
According to him, “The executive orders are in a step in the right direction. The problem is not Nigeria but the environment and we can fix this environment. We believe that this reforms need to be system wide hence this workshop for us to work and shine together.
“The reforms are necessary to improve business climate. Our objective is to improve on 20 areas of ease of doing business. Some of the areas are entry and exit of goods through the ports.”