Impressed with the progress Nigeria has recorded in the Ease of Doing Business and its position in the World Bank rankings, Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo has called for efforts toward ensuring a long-term sustainable growth for the nation’s economy.
“What is more important than moving up in the rankings is the need to ensure that all our efforts translate into long-term sustainable growth for the economy,’’ he said at the 3rd edition of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
According to him, Nigeria, as you have heard so many times, rose 15 places on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings in 2019 and all together 39 places since 2016 and Nigeria is considered one of the 10 best performing economies in the world.
“In specific terms, Nigeria made starting a business easier by operationalizing a new electronic platform that integrates the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) platforms.
“Registering Property in Lagos is now more transparent with the digitization of cadastral plans in a geographical information system with digital copies now available, ‘’he said in a statement by Mr Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President.
Encouraging all stakeholders not to rest on their oars as more is required to fully industrialize the Nigerian economy, the Vice President said: “We must keep our business environment in Nigeria competitive and friendly. We are the logical destination for business in Africa. But that does not in and of itself translate to investments.
“Our business environment must make a case for itself to investors as to why they should come here and not elsewhere.
“We should be putting our best foot forward and working harder than ever to realize the lofty goals that Mr President has set for us this year.
“These small businesses are a critical part of the economy as they contribute about 48% of our GDP and contribute about 80% of jobs in the country. So, PEBECs efforts in the last reform cycle have yielded commendable fruits.”
Attributing the achievements recorded under the last reform cycle to the contributions of key stakeholders in the public and private sector, the Vice President said all was achieved partly because of the strong partnership amongst key players across the critical sectors.
“As regards enforcing contracts, the Chief Judges of Lagos and Kano States have introduced pre-trial conferences strict limit for adjournments in their practice directions for small claims courts. These steps created a more inclusive and enabling environment for small businesses.”
Osinbajo lauded the efforts of civil and public servants especially the award winners: the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), The National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) for the feat achieved.
On the award, he said it was a “tribute to what we can achieve if we work purposefully and diligently, and a proof that by diligence and purposefulness a lot can be achieved’’.
“The private sector also deserves our heartfelt gratitude and commendation, for its commitment and collaboration. Especially their contributions in technical support and capacity building.”
The PEBEC awards is an annual event organized by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat to recognize the support and contributions of stakeholders in the implementation of reforms aimed at making it easier to do business in Nigeria.