In line with the commitment to deliver reforms aimed at improving the enabling environment for doing business in Nigeria through systemic interventions, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has commenced the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).
The NAP 4.0, which will run from the 1st of March to the 29th of April, 2019 aims to further reduce the challenges encountered by SMEs and businesses in identified areas of focus such as starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts or trading within and across borders, amongst others, by eliminating critical bottlenecks and constraints to doing business in Nigeria.
The first, second and third National Action Plans on Ease of Doing Business, which were coordinated by Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) of the Council, have resulted in significant progress over the past 3 years. Working in collaboration with the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the fourth National Action Plan is anticipated to strengthen these ongoing reforms, and improve the Ease of Doing Business frameworks adopted.
Some of the targets achieved in NAP 3.0 include driving registration for utilization of the National Collateral Registry to facilitate access to credit for SMEs; clearance of all pending NAFDAC registration applications to improve efficiency; and creation of a strengthened single joint cargo examination interface in all airports & seaports for import and export to reduce the time spent at the ports.
In a statement by the Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade & Investment and line minister for the intervention, Dr. Okey Enelamah, he stated: “The NAP 4.0 has been launched to deepen the reforms delivered and drive institutionalization. We have highlighted key action items in each of the focus areas to ensure the reforms delivered do not unravel, and to ensure we drive sustainability.
Also speaking on the commencement, the PEBEC Secretary and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole said: “The Council will continue to work extensively with all MDAs, the National Assembly and various arms of government on various reforms critical to an enabling business environment. For the NAP 4.0, these include targets such as enforcing compliance with SLAs across all 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, to mention a few.
She further stated: “We will also engage public and private sector stakeholders, and intensify efforts to communicate the reforms to ensure the benefits are realised. We have already started a number of communication initiatives, including setting up a website for access to all information on all reforms at www.investmentlight.com”
PEBEC was established in 2016 to oversee Nigeria’s business climate reform agenda, and is Chaired by His Excellency the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okey Enelamah as Vice Chair. PEBEC’s model aligns with global best practice and includes a strong performance tracking element that is measured by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index (DBI), which is reported annually.