Anambra, Kaduna, Enugu, Abia and Lagos have won awards as top 5 most improved state in Nigeria in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index released in October 2018.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who announced this at the second annual award ceremony organised by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in recognition of stakeholders who implemented landmark reforms in 2018, alongside key members of the private sector who supported federal government’s intervention on ease of doing business reforms on Wednesday night in Abuja Wednesday in Abuja announced that the World Bank also reported in 2018 that 32 states of Nigeria improved their ease of doing business environment led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra.
Osinbajo revealed that the federal government had prioritized and implemented over 140 reforms to make doing business in Nigeria easier and better.
He observed that some of the successful reforms being carried out by the federal and sub-national governments alongside members of the private sector include: reserving a business name within 4-hours;complete the registration of a company within 24 hours online; application for and receiving approval of a visa-on-arrival electronically within 48hrs; filing and paying taxes online as well as access specialized small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano.
The Vice President noted that in 2019 PEBEC set a goal to move Nigeria into the top-100 on the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI), adding that in achieving this, the government would sustain reforms across all indicators.
The reforms, the Vice President said, would focus on: “implementation of legislative reforms, specifically the passage of the new Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Omnibus Bills; the expansion of the regulatory reform programme started with NAFDAC and NAICOM to include other regulators.”
Other aspects of the reforms, he said, would focus on the establishment of a National Trading Platform for ports, and the concession of major international airports.
The Vice President said PEBEC had commenced the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on Ease of Doing Business.
“NAP 4.0 is running from the 1st of March to the 29th of April, 2019. It aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past 3 years and drive institutionalization”.
NAP 4.0, the Vice President said, will focus on initiatives such as: enforcing compliance with SLAs across all indicators/focus areas driving the passage of the CAM Bill 2018 for improved effectiveness of company law in Nigeria, enhancing efficiency in the small claims court, and enhancing the application and approval system for visas on arrival.
Receiving the award on behalf of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke who spoke on behalf of Governor Willie Obiano expressed delight at the award.
According to him, “Anambra is open for business. The Obiano administration in line with its pillars of economic development will always welcome genuine investors to Anambra and also provide the enabling environment for such businesses to thrive”.
Continuing, Dr. Okeke said that Anambra remains an attraction and favourite destination for trade and tourism, not only because of its vast natural resources but also its enterprising human capital, good road network, near 24-hour economy and also the large markets within Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi axis.
Mr. Mark Okoye, formerly Executive Director at ANSIPPA and currently Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Anambra State was also honoured as ‘Reform Champion for Anambra State’ at the event.
Showing his delight for the recognition, Mr. Okoye said; “Big thanks to His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano (Akpokuedike Aguleri) for the opportunity to serve and his commitment to transform our dear state, my colleagues for their cooperation, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Cordinator of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (TPEBEC) and team for their guidance and support and most importantly, my people at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget whose support was instrumental to achieving this feat.
Continuing, Mr. Okoye thanked his wife, family and friends for their prayers and words of encouragement.
The recognition is as a result of the reforms introduced by Governor Obiano with the aim of making it easy for businesses and investors to set up shop in Anambra State.
The reform include but not limited to the setting up of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), the one-Stop shop for potential investors wishing to come into the state.
Photo: Anambra State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Mark Okoye (2nd Left, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke during the PEBEC Award Night in Abuja on Wednesday.
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