Osinbajo presides over NEC meeting, inaugurates Ease of Doing Business report

Anthony Areh

The National Economic Council (NEC) has inaugurated the sub-national Ease of Doing Business report.

The inauguration was performed at the virtual NEC presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday in Abuja.

Mrs Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, briefed State House correspondents after the virtual NEC anchored from the Presidential Villa.

“It is a pleasure to be briefing you today on the launch of the sub-national Ease of Doing Business report; it is been long awaited; the report was launched at the NEC today.

“And basically, this is a survey and you will recall that PEBEC has been on a nationwide tour since 2019 called iteration; where we met with medium size enterprises and got a lot of anecdotal information.

“So, we decided to carry out an empirical survey; it was carried out by KPMG; the methodology framework had earlier being approved by NEC as far back as 2018.

“We have four home grown indicator areas on which the survey is based: Infrastructure and security, transparency and access to information, the regulatory environment and skills and labour readiness in each state and the FCT.’’

According to her, the objective of the report is to provide a status report of state’s business climate and to provide a baseline on the business climate of each state.

She said that it was on the basis of the report that the Ease of Doing Business agenda at the sub-national level was built.

Oduwole said it was a coordinated agenda status and to showcase stories of SMEs across regions and states across the country as there were successes and challenges.

“We will showcase some of those; and then, it serves as an information resource to businesses and investors alike.

“If you want to move your business from one part of the country to another part of the country, you want to know what people are available in terms of employability and this report will give you a fair idea.

“You want to know transportation cost; electricity provisions, supply; this report will give you a fair idea.

“It is also going to help states as they prepare for their sub-national World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking which is done once every four years.’’

She said that the last edition was in 2018; hence the states were ready and collaborated with PEBEC.

The special adviser said that some of the key opportunities for change that were identified had been collated.

She said that the council would work with state governments starting from April to create implementation roadmaps that would be implemented.

“The governors have unanimously accepted the findings of the report and the reform states’ reform champion; each state has a reform champion and many states have already inaugurated their Ease of Doing Business Councils.

“In case of Nasarawa, it is chaired by the governor, himself; some other states are chaired by the deputy governor; usually at that high level.

“So, the Ease of Doing Business Councils report to the states’ executive councils and they implement the report just like PEBEC and FEC; so, the system is replicated across the country,’’ she said.