By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Administration has commenced work towards harmonizing overlapping laws and regulations within the various Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDAs) that were militating against the ease of doing business processes in the Territory.
According to the FCT Minister , Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, made this disclosure, this could be achieved with collaborations of all stakeholders.
Bello spoke at the FCT Technical Workshop and Engagement Forum on Ease of Doing Business, held in Abuja.
The Minister noted that improving the ease of doing business was at the root of Nigeria’s recovery and growth plan of the current administration with a significant progress already recorded in the last four years.
He explained that Abuja being the okemirror of the country must, therefore, be a model in the ease of doing business agenda of the Administration that should be emulated.
The Minister reiterated that he was optimistic that with consistent dialogue and focus on ultimate goals, in a few years to come, processes and interventions will be institutionalized to ensure that the FCT becomes a model.
He also expressed the desire for a small working group involving key agencies within the FCTA and the Area Council Chairmen to resolve issues raised at the workshop, stressing that all businesses and services ultimately, are domiciled in the Area Councils.
Malam Bello explained that whatever intervention done at the highest level, if it does not trickle to the Area Council level where businesses are domiciled, the effects would not be felt.
He stressed the need to institutionalize the ease of doing business initiative as that was the only way the reforms will take root and flourish. . He added however, that with continuous work on improving steps, over a period of time, the reforms can be sustained and institutionalized.
Bello also commended the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), adding that the purpose for its establishment was justified and so far the organization has done the country proud.
He assured the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, that the FCTA will partner with her team so as to ensure that the laudable objective of the initiative comes to fruition.
Earlier, in her presentation, Dr Oduwole said that the Ease of Doing Business initiative correlated with the priorities of the Federal Government because it is linked with security, the economy and the anti-corruption crusade of the government.
In her words: “When people have jobs, they are occupied and are less likely to be doing what they shouldn’t be doing” she continued ; “Ease of doing business is linked with anticorruption because when people have jobs and are making money, there is less need for corruption.”
According to her, the ease of doing business intervention is intended to change people’s perception that it is difficult to do business in Nigeria and to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks so that businesses can thrive. This, she said, is being done through reduction in the cost and the time it takes to do business.
While commending the FCTA for improvements in its Ease of Doing Business profile, the Presidential Aide stressed the need to do more, especially in the area of enforcing contracts.
Stressing the need for collaborations amongst organisations in the FCT, Dr. Oduwole said that once there are strong collaborations and patience among partners, the ease of doing busines initiative will be institutionalized and owned by the people.
She said: “There is need for collaborations. We need to break down the silos. When organizations come together to work, there are chances for greater success. But there is also need for patience.
“The decay did not happen overnight and will take time to resolve. Time to build strong collaborations and institutions.”
The workshop had in attendance top management staff of the FCTA including the Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa and the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr. Umar, Gambo Jibrin.