Nigeria commits to better place for businesses
The Federal Government has restated commitment to make Nigeria a better place for businesses to thrive.
Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Ease of Doing Business, gave the assurance on Thursday in Dutse.
Oduwole, in her welcome address during the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s (PEBEC) ‘Business Made Easy’, Listen, Implement and Track (LIT) tour held in the state, said the PEBEC’s mandate is to make Nigeria a progressively better place for businesses to thrive by championing an enabled economy.
She explained that this would be achieved in collaboration with the executive, legislature, judiciary and other regulatory partners.
The aide added the council has significantly reduced the cost, time and number of procedures required to set up and carry-on business within the country.
The business owners from Jigawa and surrounding states attended the programme.
“PEBEC is continuing its tour of Nigeria’s six geo-political zones to engage with business owners in each state. This objective is anchored on the three pillars of
“Listen Implement and Track”, while collaborating more closely with the audience as stakeholders in delivering reforms that will transform Nigeria’s business landscape for better.
“As part of efforts to improve the business environment in Nigeria, the Council came to Jigawa in a continued celebration of enterprise on LIT Sub-national Tour.
“Anchored on the acronym “LIT which means Listen, Implement, Track, the tour has covered Imo State (South-East), Ekiti State (South-West), Akwa Ibom (South-South), Kwara State (North-Central), FCT (North- Central) and soon the North-Western Nigeria,” the aide said.
According to her, many of the over 140 reforms successfully implemented by PEBEC since its establishment will be on exhibition, with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on ground to offer real-time solutions to business problems.
Oduwole further informed stakeholders that as part of PEBEC’s engagement process across the country, the tour is carried out to deepen the conversation on enabling the business environment.
She added that PEBEC, established in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, consists of 13 key Ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of Service and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The aide added that the PEBEC is also privileged to enjoy among its expanded membership high-level representation from the National Assembly and the Judiciary, as well as State Governments (Lagos and Kano) and a private sector representative.
“Our team has followed your policies, programs and interventions closely, and we see that the State has come a long way since this administration assumed office.
“It is not surprising that Jigawa has consistently ranked among the top three states on ease of doing business in the country. Gov. Badaru has told me point blank, in the presence of my boss, that he has his eyes set on Jigawa being number one in the next iteration of the Subnational Ease of Doing Business Report due to be released in Q2 of 2022.
“Indeed, this level of commitment was again made evident today with a highly productive technical meeting of the Jigawa State Ease of Doing Business Council members, including the Chair of the Council, the Deputy Governor, Mallam Umar Namadi,” she said.
According to her, as a country, we are jointly targeting an “enabling environment” in which it is progressively easier to do business across all arms and levels of government, where policies are predictable and consistent, with macro-economic stability, and where the government acts as a partner to business and investment, not a competitor or adverse regulator.
“Our ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reform efforts demonstrate in clear terms our readiness to support our ambitions with all the political will available.
“The LIT sub-national tour is aimed at ensuring that the business climate reforms being implemented align with the specific and pressing needs of entrepreneurs and business owners where they operate.
” This forum has since taken on a life of its own and birthed tangible results which are a testament to the power of collaboration and uninterrupted listening on by the government to its core business constituency.
“We started in Lagos in October 2019 and have since visited four regions – South East, North Central, South West, and the South South. And our desire is to bridge communications between all stakeholders across the Nigerian business landscape at the sub-national level, especially between our young entrepreneurs and government agencies.
“This will not be possible without you as micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) hold the key to the Nigerian economy. Our focus continues to be on MSMEs, which account for the largest fraction of businesses in Nigeria at over 99 percent. You contribute just under half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product,” the aide added.
She further stated that has since its establishment in 2016, the PEBEC has implemented over 160 reforms, which have led to Nigerian being listed twice among the top 10 most improved economies in the world in a space of three years by the World Bank.
“However, we’re not resting on our oars. We want to learn with you and we want to learn from you. Today, we will listen to inspiring personalities as they share their entrepreneurial journeys pre and post the PEBEC reforms.
“You will learn about the whole gamut of reforms and how they impact your businesses. Most importantly, you will interact directly with the authorities that govern the capital territory’s business environment.
“The PEBEC story is all about collaboration and we remain committed to partnering with relevant stakeholders towards making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business,” she assured.
Responding, Gov. Muhammad Badaru, noted that that peaceful nature of state and the improved electricity supply has led to the establishment of various Rice Milling companies across the state.
Badaru added plans has been perfected for World Bank, in collaboration with African Development Bank to provide 1,000 Mega Watts Solar Power in Gwiwa Local Government Area of the state.
He explained a piece of land and certificate have given to investors for the project.
“Plans have been perfected for this project, we are just waiting for renegotiation with regards of cost of purchase agreement.
“This is to come up with correct purchasing price so that there will be no too much burden on the government and buyers,” he said.
The governor added that the state government has a plan to establish another four power substation plants in Kazaure, Babura, Birninkudu and Gwaram Local Government Areas of the state.
According to him, the Northern Governors Forum, under the leadership of Gov. Nasiru el-Rufa’i, has planned provide to Solar Power in all the Northern states.
“Today, if visit Gagarawa/Gumel axis of Jigawa, you find that many industries are being established because of the 24-hours electricity power supply being enjoyed in that area from Gagarawa 2X60MVA, 132/33KV substation established by the Federal Government,” he added.