- Buhari approves council on ease of doing business
James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, monday unveiled his strategic masterplan for the growth and diversification of the economy.
The plan is anchored on three major pillars – creating a business-friendly environment; ensuring coherence between monetary, fiscal and structural reform policies so that economic policies of government are coordinated and targeted at a common purpose of structural transformation, elimination of distortions and sustained growth as well as provision of hard and soft infrastructure for growth.
Announcing the roadmap at the opening of the eighth National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment (NCITI) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, he said the plan would be executed by “Partnering private and development capital to leverage, and catalyse resources for diversification and growth.”
According to the minister, other priority areas of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) plan include creating an enabling environment to improve the ease of doing business; implementing the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP); providing support for Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance job creation; promoting trade and investment as engines for growth as well as promoting a digital economy.
It further emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of the Presidential council on ease-of Doing Business (PEBES) which is chaired by the Vice President while the secretariat of the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) is currently being set-up.
However, Enelamah in a statement by his Strategic Communications Adviser, Ms, Constance Ikokwu, said the present business environment must be transformed in order to woo foreign investments.
He said: “The global perception is that this country is a tough environment in which to do business. We must change this negative perception. Positive perceptions will attract investors, capital, technology and best practices.”
He said the EBES Secretariat would among other things, facilitate the establishment of a Single Window initiative for registration of businesses, obtaining land titles, expedited clearance of goods from ports, obtaining business visas on arrival and payment of taxes.
Enelamah added that already, “we are seeing results of these efforts at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a parastatal under the Ministry, with the 24-hour online registration of businesses.”
He said the success of the plan would also depend on the support of all state governments adding that “we must move expeditiously and ambitiously.”
However, the MITI Plan was initially presented to the Economic Management Team (EMT) by the minister in August while the private sector was being consulted on various aspects of the plan.
The ministry is expected to summarise feedback on the Plan at the ongoing conference ahead of its subsequent meetings with EMT and FEC for formal approval.