No doubt, a conducive business environment is pivotal to a nation’s development.
This will not only boost the economy but also reduce unemployment among citizens.
Hindrances to a successful business environment are unstable power supply, insecurity, poor road network, corruption and poor government policies, to mention a few.
Realizing the importance of a conducive business environment in an economy, President Muhammadu Buhari on assumption of office in 2015 inaugurated the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, adopted a sixty day action plan aimed at ensuring ease of doing business reforms in the country.
The government has also been working on overhauling the regulatory environment to make it easier for businesses to survive.
Sadly, threats like corruption still plays on the minds of international investors.
Experts have emphasised that for the nation to attract businesses to the various sectors of the economy, it is necessary to increase campaign to tackle corruption and promote accountability.
In its continuous effort at improving the business environment, the presidential enabling business environment council, PEBEC, commenced the Fourth Sixty Day National Action Plan, on ease of doing business.
Also, market women were put in food production frontline as well as launching of national gender action plan.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment and PEBEC Secretary, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the National Action Plan, NAP, will reduce challenges faced by businesses particularly small and medium, SMES.
Dr. Oduwole emphasised that the council will continue to work extensively with all ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, National Assembly and various arms of government on various reforms critical to an enabling business environment.
Programmes under NAP include targets such as enforcing compliance with Service Level Agreements, SLAS, across all focus areas, driving the passage of the Companies and Allied Matters, ,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.
The programme which will run from the 1st march to 29th April 2019, will focus on businesses in identified areas such as starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts or trading within and across borders among others by eliminating critical bottlenecks and constraints to doing business in Nigeria.
Dr. Oduwole highlighted the result achieved to 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 single joint cargo examination interface in all airports and seaports for import and export to reduce time spent at the ports.
PEBEC was established in 2016, headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to oversee Nigeria’s business climate reform agenda.
It is imperative that the Federal Government creates necessary infrastructure to support entrepreneurship to create jobs and boost the economy.
Furthermore, good road networks would provide easy access to sources of raw materials and reduce the high cost of goods.
Above all, there is need to collaborate with the private sector to ensure an enabling environment for businesses to strive for overall national development.