Business Hilights
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FG launches another 60-day action plan to grow ease of doing business

Worried by monumental failures recorded after the first tranche of 60 days given while unveiling the first National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business (NAPEDB), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has launched the second National Action Plan.

Ease of doing business has been a serious idea of the current administration’s medium term Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) to build a globally competitive economy.

The eyes of the administration were recently forced to open following a global report which ranked ease of doing business in Nigeria as among the world worst.

In a reaction, government started looking at several indices that are serving as impediments in doing business in Nigeria which were largely bureaucracies in government agencies, ministries and departments involved in interfacing with investors.

PEBEC was established in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria.

Vice President Osinbajo is the Chairman of the Council, with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, serving as Vice Chairman.

Ten other ministers, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as representatives of the National Assembly, Lagos and Kano states and the private sector are also members.

Ahead of the second launch, the Vice President had last week presided over an expanded meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in Abuja.

In a statement made available to Business Hilights by the Office of the PEBEC Secretary and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Industry, Trade & Investment in the office of the Vice President, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, it noted that “PEBEC had approved a second 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 2.0) to drive reforms aimed at making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business”.

“NAP 2.0 will run from October 3 to December 1, 2017, and is expected to further reduce the challenges faced by SMEs when getting credit, paying taxes, or moving goods across the country, amongst others, by removing critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria.

The reforms, Oduwole explained, will also improve the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2019.

The NAP 2.0 marks the beginning of another reform cycle 2017/2018 which aims to deepen the ease of doing business reforms implemented across the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the last 12 months and will in turn increase productivity through industrialization, enhanced exports and foreign exchange earnings, while creating jobs and reducing poverty.

Key in the expected reforms ready for implementation to ease the process of starting a business, include eliminating the manual registration process at Corporate Affairs Commission in 10 additional states, increase access to credit for SMEs by registering at least 300 microfinance banks on the collateral registry, and enforce the elimination of illegal roadblocks on major trading routes across the country.

It would be recalled that the Executive Order E01, which was signed by Osinbajo on May 18 this year, ensures that citizens have complete clarity on all government requirements and processes, better cooperation and improved information sharing among MDAs, as well as requiring proper communication of approval or rejection of applications to Nigerians within the stipulated timeframe.