The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) says Nigeria has to improve its World Bank Ease of Doing Business index ranking by 45 places over the next two years to achieve its goal of attaining the top 100 by 2020.
In 2017, the World Bank report said Nigeria was one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world after moving up 24 places to 145th in its ranking during the year.
But, PEBEC Secretary, Jumoke Oduwole, said after the presentation of the 2018 ‘Making Business Work Report’ of PEBEC during a meeting of the council that the country must improve.
A statement sent by Bisi Daniels, spokesperson to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ikechukwu Enelamah, to PREMIUM TIMES at the end of the meeting, said realising the goal required accelerated and focused execution of government Executive Order and National Action Plans (NAP).
“It is clear that Nigeria must now intensify its reform efforts, while the PEBEC will continue to work closely with the public and private sectors to institutionalise its reforms, cascade them to state level, and refine and improve the business environment,” she said.
The 2018 ‘Making Business Work Report’, the statement said, was the current reform cycle focused on three pillars to accelerate and expand the impact of completed reforms.
She said these were deepening existing reforms through the completion of pending initiatives and ensuring implementation of completed reforms launched in 2017.
The other pillar, she noted, was making the reforms sustainable through several measures to ensure sustainable progress.
Another was providing support reforms with a robust operating model to accelerate change and build capacity within ministries, department and agencies (MDAs).
Mrs Oduwole, a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, said Nigeria has come a long way over the past two years, bouncing back from significant macroeconomic distress, and on the way to becoming an example of how an African country can turn its business around.
As part of its implementation strategy, she said, PEBEC was building the capacity of the MDAs to deliver and strengthen their capabilities for the long-term, to sustain the improvements on an on-going basis.
It will also garner strong political will and determination by the government to effect changes and improvement, she said.
Also, she said, council was fostering cooperation between the MDAs across states, National Assembly and the private sector; ensuring effective coordination between the relevant agencies to provide a unified view of implications and improvements.
In the second half of 2018 and 2019, she said, PEBEC would focus primarily on regulators, an omnibus nill on business facilitation, and consolidating gains for the economy through the deepening of the subnational Ease of Doing Business project.
The PEBEC, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was inaugurated in July 2016 as the administration’s flagship initiative to reform the business environment, attract investment and diversify the economy to reduce the nation’s reliance on oil.
PEBEC’s principal goal is to make it easier for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to do business, grow and contribute to sustainable economic activity, and provide the jobs essential to improve social inclusion.