The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed a bill seeking to make the country’s business environment better suited for business.
A statement issued on Thursday by the secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Jumoke Oduwole, said the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Nigeria Bar Association, the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable and law firms were involved in the process.
Christened Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, the proposed legislation aims to amend 23 business-related laws and codify Executive Order 001, which requires Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to publish licenses, permits, waivers and approvals.
It will also modify the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) as well as the law establishing the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) among other statutes.
A product of a review that began in 2017, the proposal, alternatively known as “Omnibus Bill,” will be dispatched any moment soon to the National Assembly for assent.
“The PEBEC is optimistic that the National Assembly’s consideration and anticipated passage of the Omnibus Bill into law in the not so distant future will further improve the business environment in Nigeria thereby attracting the much needed participation and investment from the private sector necessary to actualize the funding objectives of the National Development Plan 2021,” Mr Oduwole said.
According to the last edition of the World Bank report on Ease of Doing Business in 2020, Nigeria featured among the economies with the most notable improvement on the ranking table.
Overall, Nigeria emerged 131 out of 190 countries, moving up 15 places from the 146th position it occupied the previous year, or 56.9 per cent point score.
If passed into law, the bill is believed to make the business environment friendlier and attractive enough for investors by making the business operation process more seamless in the country.
“The first version of the Omnibus Bill was produced by the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ) and presented to the PEBEC in 2019,” Oduwole said.
“In 2020, the PEBEC Secretariat invited additional submissions to the Omnibus Bill from both public and private sector stakeholders. These submissions were reviewed by a Technical Committee constituted by the PEBEC Secretariat which included both private and public stakeholders,” she added.
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