Sunday, October 17, 2021

Presidential council adopts 60-day action plan to revamp Nigeria’s business environment

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Committed to achieving its objective of creating a conducive business environment in Nigeria, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has approved a 60-day national action plan to push through short term reforms.

The acting president, who addressed journalists after the council meeting attended on Tuesday at the State House, said the council would within the stipulated period focus on areas that would not only deliver tangible changes for SMEs but also help improve Nigeria’s entire business environment within the shortest possible time.

“We are trying to improve the business environment in three broad respects; the entry and exit of goods; entry and exit of persons into Nigeria, and then general government transparency- transparency and efficiency in government agencies, parastatals.

“The whole idea is that we are able to provide an environment for those who want to do business in Nigeria – local businesses and of course, foreign businesses,” Mr Osinbajo said.

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The acting president said the participation of National Assembly’s leadership at Tuesday’s meeting was to “work together, trying to improve the business environment in Nigeria.”

Mr Osinbajo said the renewed synergy with the legislature was to ensure that all the necessary legislation relating to the reforms were passed by the National Assembly.

“There are pieces of legislation that we are also looking forward to seeing. We are working together with the National Assembly to ensure that these pieces of legislation are passed,” he added.

The acting president said the expected outcome of the new plan will be noticeable in improvements in all the key areas of government that facilitate trade and commerce.

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“There are improvements which we expect to see at our ports. Improvements at our airports, improvements at the seaports, improvements in immigration visas, etc.

“So there are quite a few things that we have seen and which we will continue to look at,” he said.

Mr Osinbajo however noted that “the set timelines in the action plan were to ensure that we are not just speaking about these things without necessarily tying ourselves down to specific timelines.”

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In his remarks, the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, stressed the importance of the executive/legislature collaboration in creating a conducive business environment for both local and foreign businesses in Nigeria.

The senate president, who commended the efforts of the executive, said the National Assembly would look into some of the issues that it could to improve the business environment in the country.

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The Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, led the leadership of the National Assembly to the expanded meeting of the PEBEC.

Also present at the meeting were federal ministers who are members of the council. They include the Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Okey Enelamah; Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola and; Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed.

Other members of the council who attended the meeting include the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman.

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