By Lawrence Olaoye
The federal government has approved the second action plan of ease of doing business in the country
This was done in an expanded meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) yesterday.
“We restate our commitment to ensuring that we deliver on the ease of doing business reforms,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Council Chairman said at the expanded meeting which included the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Deputy Governor of Kano State, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, a member of the National Assembly, Senator Bala N’Allah, representative of Lagos State government, several ministers and representatives of the private sector at the Presidential Villa.
According to a statement from the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, the new National Action Plan NAP 2.0 has over 60 priority initiatives targeted to be attained by November this year.
The initiatives cover such areas including Starting a business, Construction Permits, Registering Property, Getting Electricity, Getting Credit, Paying Taxes, Trading Across Boders, Enforcing Contracts, Simplifying the Procurement Process, Entry and Exit of People, and Trading Within Nigeria.
It is hoped that a successful implementation of the NAP 2.0 would deliver significant benefits especially for SMEs including the fact that it would make 1.3 MSMEs eligible to do business with government, bring about 75% reduction in average clearance time for foreign travelers, 60% reduction in time to get electricity, 75% reduction in time to register business premises and 50% reduction in time for filing corporate income taxes.
While the initial NAP had a 70% performance rate, the final results of NAP 2.0 will be announced in December by the PEBEC Secretariat.
Welcoming the participation of the Chief Justice, Kano and Lagos State government representatives, the representative of the Senate President at the meeting, Vice President Osinbajo highlited the importance of the reform initiatives especially those around the Nigerian airports as an example.
“Improvements in the airport has a way of defining the change we are talking about, it will show we are serious,” the VP told members of PEBEC.
The meeting was also attended by the Industry, Trade & Investment Minister, who is the Vice Chairman of PEBEC, the Attorney-General of the Federation/Minister of Justice, Ministers of Finance, Power, Works & Housing, Interior, Transportation and also the Minister of State for Industry, Trade & Investment and the Minister of State for Budget & National Planning. The Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation was also at the meeting.
Earlier today at the Presidential Villa, the Vice President presided over the National Council on Privatization, NCP. He also spoke at the international conference of the African Tax Administrators Forum, ATAF held in Abuja.