The Federal Government says the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) reforms are geared towards enhancing Nigeria’s high ranking in World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) index.
Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said this on Friday in Keffi, at a workshop on ‘Improvement of Business Enabling Environment and Industrial Policy Growth’.
The PEBEC was established in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove constraints and bureaucratic bottlenecks to doing business in Nigeria and make the country progressively easier to start and grow business.
Nigeria presently ranks 131 out of 190 countries on the World Bank EODB index moving up 15 places from 146th position.
Sani-Gwarzo, while declaring the two-day workshop opened, said that PEBEC organisation had put together reforms geared toward making it more convenient for business owners including local businesses to thrive.
“World Bank rank economies according to so many criteria but today the most important set of criteria is the EODB, while high EODB ranking indicates a regulatory climate that is conducive for local businesses.
“PEBEC organisation put together reforms geared toward making it more convenient for business owners to thrive by removing the constraints and bureaucratic bottlenecks to doing business in Nigeria.
“This allows pioneer businesses to enter specific areas with inclusive growth potential, especially in agriculture, health, electricity among others,” the permanent secretary said.
In addition, he said the President on August 21, also assented to the Companies Allied Matters Bill, 2020 recently passed by the national assembly.
According to him, this important piece of legislation therefore, repealed and replaced the extant Companies And Allied Matters Act, 1990 with several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing Ease of Doing Business rankings.
“This Ministry is the focal implementing Agency of government saddled with responsibility of promoting EODB and promotion of Industrial policy growth hence it put together the sensitisation workshop in the North Central Geo-Political Zone to be replicated in other zones.
”Soon Nigeria will have regulations for businesses and stronger protection of property rights, especially in enforcing contracts, starting a business, registering property, paying taxes with borders taking cue from the World Bank reform activites under EODB,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Alabi Samuel, Director, Human Resources Management of the ministry, said the theme of the workshop was appropriate in view of present reality confronting Nigeria as a nation, emphasising the need to diversify sources of revenue in order to survive.
He said the nation must concentrate more on comparative advantaged sectors rather than depending solely on oil.
According to him, the mandate of the ministry is to formulate policies, that will help create wealth and employment, reduce poverty and ensure enhanced service delivery in a manner that will stimulate domestic economy through industrialisation, trade and investment.
Alabi explained that the ministry has been the implementing agency charged with the onerous responsibility of stimulating growth, expanding industrial base of the nation and ensure implementation of policies.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is organised to build the capacity of the staff and critical stakeholders as players and active participants to be equipped as ambassadors of EODB to promote business sensitisation in the grassroots.