The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) launched its fifth accelerator, the National Action Plan 5.0 yesterday, February 4, 2020, during the L.I.Tuation subnational tour in Abuja, with several measures aimed at rapid implementation of reforms for further improvement of the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Launched by Alhaji Mohammed Bello, Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and PEBEC member and Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, it is the fifth of its kind since the establishment of the council in 2016, and will run from 5th February to 4th April 2020.
The 5th National Action Plan is set to deliver reforms in the following key areas: automation of the land registration process in both Lagos and Kano States thereby reducing the time for the application process by half; reduce the number of inspections in construction permitting through the implementation of joint inspections by related agencies in Lagos, and to improve the overall time by 48 hours in customs clearance at the ports by implementing full pre-arrival cargo clearance process.
Speaking at the event, Alhaji Bello, Honourable Minister FCT noted the importance of coordination between federal and subnational reforms in the areas of starting a business, enforcing contracts, obtaining construction permits, and more. He also expressed the readiness of his administration to be a PEBEC case study by making the FCT more business friendly.
On the next phase of reforms, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary to the PEBEC stated that “the fifth National Action Plan provides us with another window to deepen and implement business climate reforms for SMEs. As is our custom, the upcoming reforms are being communicated to the public along with the agencies responsible and the expected impact so we can all jointly collaborate and actualise the progress of these reforms”.
In four years, ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government (MDAs), State Governments; the National Assembly and the Judiciary have all implemented reforms with far-reaching impact on the business environment in Nigeria. These reforms have resulted in validation from the private sector and an improvement in Nigeria’s ranking in key indexes such as the World Bank Doing Business index and World Economic Forum Competitiveness Index.
Some key reforms implemented since 2016 include the automation of companies’ registration by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); facilitating the legal frameworks for the operation of credit reporting bureaus and the use of movable assets as collaterals for loans in Nigeria. Over the last three years, Nigeria moved up 39 places, from 170 to 131, on the World Bank Doing Business index and the country was twice recognized as a top 10 most improved economy in the world by the World Bank during the same period.
The PEBEC was established by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to oversee Nigeria’s business climate reform agenda and is chaired by His Excellency the Vice President, with the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as Vice-Chair. The PEBEC model aligns with global best practice and includes a strong performance tracking element to guarantee the delivery of reforms for the benefit of SMEs operating in Nigeria.