Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has warned that the Federal Government may go after agencies and its officials who have failed or resisted change in its reforms to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks to doing business in Nigeria. This is as the Vice President said henceforth there will be a more aggressive accountability audit of Federal Government agencies to help in identifying bureaucratic bottlenecks and removing them in a renewed effort to further improve the country’s business environment and economy.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, this disclosure was made by Osinbajo at the 5th anniversary celebration event of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). Osinbajo, at the event, which was held on Wednesday night at the State House Banquet Hall, said that such move, will in turn, encourage more local and foreign investments and create more jobs and opportunities for Nigerians.
What the Vice President is saying
According to NAN, Osinbajo noted that the heads of some of the government’s agencies were committed to change, but down the line, the system either resisted or was simply not well designed to function properly. He said, “We must ensure that they are not hindered from doing business easily so they can produce the opportunities our nation needs.”
“The Federal Government will work with the agencies to implement a more aggressive accountability audit. Where we identify the specific bottlenecks in systems possibly down to the particular desks where these problems arise; we may then come for agencies and officials who have failed or resisted change.’’ Osinbajo said that despite the challenges in some areas, PEBEC’s reforms and efforts had been instrumental in improving Nigeria’s business environment in the last few years. Osinbajo said that since its inception, PEBEC had achieved the delivery of over 150 reforms and completed six National Action Plan (NAP).
He said, “As a result, Nigeria has moved an aggregate of 39 places on the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016, and was twice named as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world in the last three cycles. Nigeria was also named one of only two African countries to make this highly prestigious list in 2019.”
“Similarly, the 2018 Sub-national Doing Business report on Nigeria recorded unprecedented improvement, with 100 per cent participation of states in the Right-of-Reply exercise. The World Economic Forum (WEF), in its 2018 Global Competitive Report, also recognised Nigeria’s business environment as one of the most entrepreneurial in the world, and highlighted Nigeria’s improved competitiveness in the enabling business environment.”
The Vice President highlighted the collaborative efforts of several reform-minded heads of MDAs in driving PEBEC reforms and Plans, explaining that they were instrumental in their development and implementation. In her remarks, Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, highlighted the achievement of PEBEC in promoting the ease of doing business in Nigeria adding that institutional reforms in the public sector were major factors in jump-starting and sustaining economic growth and development.
What you should know
PEBEC was set up in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria, and make the country a progressively easier place to start and grow a business.