Minister seeks review of Nigeria’s business laws after World Bank ranking

Okey Enelamah [Photo: The Guardian]

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okey Enelamah, on Thursday, has asked the National Assembly to review Nigeria’s existing business laws to attract more investments into the country.

The minister’s call came following the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, which ranked Nigeria as one of the worst places to do business in the world in 2016.

The report says Nigeria remains one of the poorest business destinations in the world, improving marginally by just one step from its ranking last year.

Out of 189 countries surveyed, Nigeria moved from 170th position with 43.56 per cent points in 2015 to 169 with 44.69 per cent points.

Mr. Enelamah said the review would help create an enabling business environment for prospective investors and business owners in the country.

The minister made the appeal when he appeared before the House of Representatives committee on trade and investment for the ongoing “Sectoral Debate” on strategies for the diversification of the country’s economy.

Mr. Enelamah identified some of the laws that would require an overhaul, including the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), the Railway Corporation Act and Nigeria Postal Service Act, to make them align with the realities of the 21st century as well as global best practices.

He also urged the lawmakers to fast track the Independent Warehouse Regulatory Agency Bill and Secure Transactions in Movable Assets Bill, to guarantee financial savings for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.

“When passed, these pieces of legislation will improve access to funding for small businesses and allow investment in infrastructure,” the minister said.

“It is only by reviewing these laws that we will be able to guarantee the much needed private investments in this sector.

“This move will go a long way to remove many obstacles that stand in the way of business innovation in Nigeria,” he said.

According to the minister, the country would expand its scope of infrastructure, an important part of ensuring ease of doing business.

“By infrastructure, we mean not only the hardware infrastructure like transport networks and reliable power supply. It also includes transparent regulation, policy consistency, rule of law and culture of efficient collaboration and synergy among various government agencies,” Mr. Enelamah said. (NAN)

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