Council launches 5th Plan on ease of doing business

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The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has inaugurated its fifth accelerator aimed at rapid implementation of reforms for further improvement of the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, disclosed this in a statement.

The National Action Plan (NAP 5.0) is the fifth of its kind since the establishment of the PEBEC in 2016 and will run from Feb. 5 to April 4.

“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.’’

Oduwole listed the areas of reforms to be delivered by NAP 5.0 as automation of the land registration process in both Lagos and Kano states in order to reduce the time for the application process by half.

“Reduce the number of inspections in construction permit through implementation of joint inspections by related agencies in Lagos.

“Improve the overall time by 48 hours in customs clearance at the ports by implementing full pre-arrival cargo clearance process,’’ she said.

The NAP 5.0 was launched by Alhaji Mohammed Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, and Oduwole, at the FCT Lituation sub-national Ease of Doing Business event on Feb. 4.

On his part, Bello harped on the importance of coordination between federal and sub-national reforms in the areas of starting a business, enforcing contracts, obtaining construction permits, and others.

He expressed the readiness of his administration to be a PEBEC case study by making the FCT more business friendly.

Over the last three years, Nigeria moved up 39 places, from 170 to 131, on the World Bank Doing Business index.

During the same period, the World Bank has recognised Nigeria a top 10 most improved economy.

Some key reforms implemented since 2016 include the automation of companies’ registration by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and facilitating the legal frameworks for the operation of credit reporting bureaus.

More so, the use of movable assets as collaterals for loans in Nigeria.

The PEBEC was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to oversee Nigeria’s business climate reform agenda and is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as the Vice Chairman.

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.