In order to ensure government’s efforts in improving the business climate in Nigeria are translated into long term sustainable growth for the economy, stakeholders in the public and private sector will need to redouble their reform efforts, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Wednesday evening at the 3rd edition of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards, held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
According to the Vice President while referring to the progress the country has made in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Rankings, “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.”
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.”
He said, “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.
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. We have also heard that we were 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.
“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.”
Continuing, he said “…we must all appreciate the efforts of our tireless 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).
“The awards you have received are 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.