Cross River State has achieved up to 57 percent reduction in the time used in starting up a business in the state from land acquisition, business registration procedure and actual start-up.
The government said this feat has assisted greatly in attracting over $2.5 billion in domestic and foreign direct investments to the state in over 18 months.
BusinessDay gathered exclusively that the State Investment Promotion Bureau (SIPB) provides assistance to potential investors through its One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) by making business land acquisition, tax rebates, building permits, simplified property registration and other business support services readily available to investors.
According to Gerald Adah, the special adviser to Governor Liyel Imoke on investment promotion, “Starting a business in Cross River State is comparatively easier and quicker than what is obtainable in other states.”
Adah, in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay in Calabar, said many companies now experience attractive returns in the state, which, he said, is the reason the state has witnessed a flurry of investments in the past 18 months.
Although he did not disclose the number of days used in starting up a business in the state, he, however, said a World Bank report for doing business in Nigeria ranks Cross River among top states with ease of doing business which was better than the national average of 34 days.
According to an IMF ‘Doing Business Data’ for 185 economies including Nigeria, published in June 2012, it takes 34 days to start up a business in Nigeria, as against five for Senegal, nine for Guinea Bissau, 12 for Ghana, 14 for Burkina Faso, and 15 for Cameroon.
Adah informed that the government was reforming to come out with a new model that would make the OSIC achieve “same day incorporation of companies”, easier registration with tax authorities, lower rate for building permits, simplified property registration procedure, and 57 percent reduction in time spent on land registration.
BEN EGUZOZIE &
MIKE ABANG, Calabar