By Nume Ekeghe
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) yesterday said it has paused its National Action Plan (NAP 5.0) accelerator program due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
PEBEC had commenced its fifth 60-day NAP 5.0 aimed at the rapid implementation of targeted reforms for the improvement of Nigeria’s business environment and had covered 38 days since its inception from February 5, 2020.
The agency also said it would be using this period to intensify its support for small and medium scale businesses nation wide
The Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary to the PEBEC, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, in a statement explained that, “while the NAP 5.0 reform window is on hold for now, the implementation of outstanding reforms will resume in earnest immediately after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown comes to an end.
“During the lockdown, the PEBEC Secretariat has maintained close contact with small and medium sized businesses and key organised private sector bodies nationwide, and have spoken to over 650 SMEs by phone so far to listen to their most pressing needs during this crisis as well as communicate relief measures already being implemented by the federal government to support SMEs at this critical time.”
It further stated that despite disruptions to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some ministries, departments and agencies were still able to implement key targeted reforms successfully.
For example, it cited the Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) that has achieved full automation of tax registration, filing and electronic payment of Personal Income Tax and corporate taxes, making it easier for MSMEs to file their taxes.
“Furthermore, the Kano State Judiciary updated the publications of judgements and performance reports for all five of the small claims courts established in the State in 2019 on the website of the Kano State Judiciary, thereby facilitating the enforcement of contracts.
“The availability of performance reports and copies of judgments will also improve transparency and engender confidence and trust in the judicial system in Kano State.”
“The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) also provided technical support to the Edo State Judiciary for the establishment of 11 small claims courts in Edo State. These small claims courts, the first to be established in the South South, which were launched in Benin on March 2, 2020,” she added.