The federal government is working hard to ensure Nigeria is ranked among the top 100 countries on 2020 World Business Index, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this Wednesday night in Abuja.
The vice-president, who made the disclosure while speaking at the second Presidential Enabling Business Environment Committee (PEBEC) Awards ceremony at the State House Banquet Hall, said Nigeria had in the past three years implemented more than 140 reforms intended to make doing business easier in Nigeria.
According to him, in pursuit of its goal to push Nigeria to the top 100 countries on 2020 World Business Index, the federal government will sustain the implementation of PEBEC reforms in all ramifications.
He said: “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 programme 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.”
Osinbajo listed some of the reforms implemented so far by the council to include: 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 48hrs; file and pay taxes online; and access specialised small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano States, among other reform initiatives.
According to him, the World Bank reported that 32 states of the federation notably Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra States improved their ease of doing business environment in 2018.
He also disclosed that since March 1, this year, PEBEC has commenced what he described as the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on ease of doing business with the aim of deepening the reforms implemented by the council in the past three years and consequently institutionalising the entire reform process.
“PEBEC has now commenced the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on Ease of Doing Business. NAP 4.0 is running from the 1st of March to the 29th of April, 2019. It aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past three years and drive institutionalisation of the whole reform process,” he said,
The vice-president highlighted some of the targets achieved in the earlier NAP 3.0 to include: driving registration for utilisation of the National Collateral Registry to facilitate access to credit for small and medium enterprises (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.
Following the implementation of NAP 3.0 targets, Osinbajo stated that NAP 4.0 would now 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 (and as you have heard, what we are waiting for is the signing into law of the bill); enhancing efficiency in the small claims court, and enhancing the application and approval system for visas on arrival, among others.
He also said PEBEC would continue to work with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the National Assembly and other key stakeholders in pursuit of its goals.