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Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has assured surviving local manufacturers, business owners and foreign investors on the readiness of the federal government on improving ease of doing business in the country.
He said the idea is to accelerate Nigeria’s economic growth and job creation through active private sector participation in the economy.
Speaking at a forum on job creation, skills and employment at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, Prof. Osinbajo said the present administration was seriously tackling issues relating to local production, employment generation and all that would be needed to re-energize the economy.
He said “we are talking practically to everyone, talking to big investors, talking to big businesses, small businesses, to youth groups that are interested in technology, taking to farmers, talking to market women and men, there is a great deal of enthusiasm, everybody knows that this country has tremendous potential and there is so much that can be done.’’
“We are engaging every one of our agencies that are responsible for facilitating trade, facilitating business, they have to be up to scratch, they’ve got to encourage business. It is our business to make sure that we promote enterprise because the way to create employment is not by direct employment by government, it is by private sector being encouraged to create these opportunities, so that is our focus.
“I want to assure everyone that the government is very focused on improving the environment for doing business, increase the opportunities so that we can employ the vast majority of our young people who need employment, encourage big businesses, encourage small businesses, encourage cottage industries, that is our focus and it will remain our focus.’’
Prof. Osinbajo said that though there might be challenges with the present duty waivers and tax regimes, the Federal Government is working hard to correct the wrongs with the view to encouraging the growth of small businesses and attracting foreign investments.
He added further that the enormity of the challenge with tax holidays and waivers could not be addressed by a ‘one size, fits-all’ tax holidays initiative, stressing that there were areas that the government would revisit and revise.
He said the Presidential Enabling Business Council, PEBEC, a special initiative of the Federal Government established by the President, in collaboration with the private sector, was looking at incentives and issues related to waivers. The Vice President, who had spoken extensively on the administration’s economic policies on Day 1 of the summit, also emphasized what government was doing to support funding of small businesses in the country.