The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) since its establishment in 2016 has delivered over 180 reforms and completed seven National Action Plans geared towards improving the Nigerian business environment.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this known while delivering his keynote speech at the 5th Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards, held in Abuja.
The Vice President who is also the Chair of PEBEC, as established by President Buhari noted that through these reforms, Nigeria has improved an aggregate of 39 places in the World Bank Doing Business index, adding that the country was also named as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world twice.
“From the beginning, we were clear in our minds that it would be unrealistic to attempt to solve all the problems that we had identified in one swoop; With this in mind, we had to develop a strategy that would allow us to identify and implement bold, pragmatic reforms, this strategy was to prioritise the frontal pain points of MSMEs and install a systemic framework to resolve them,” he said .
The vice president said this was done by soliciting and obtaining the support of other arms and levels of Government with PEBEC representatives from the National Assembly and the Judiciary, as well as all subnational governments through the National Economic Council (NEC).
The VP highlighted some activities of PEBEC including removing bottlenecks and obstacles, while delivering the reorientation of regulatory authorities and civil servants who deal with businesses on a daily basis; as well as the significant trust deficit from the private sector towards the government, and correcting the pervading negative perceptions, by ensuring that policies and regulations are enablers to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
“We have certainly moved the needle, but the task going forward is to consolidate and advance, that would require in the coming years even greater commitment to following the plan, to departmental accountability for failure to deliver on reforms, and to unwavering excellence,” he said.
The VP noted that improving the business environment in Nigeria was a continuous process because of a challenging business environment results in fewer investors, fewer jobs and fewer opportunities.
In her remarks Jumoke Oduwole, the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business/PEBEC Secretary, said all the reforms delivered by PEBEC were adjudged to being impactful.
“These reforms were primarily targeted at reducing cost and other constraints in doing business,” she said.
Some recipients of the award include the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), that won the award for the most improved agency moving from 20th to 8th position.
For the 2022 most compliant agency, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) clinched first position, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) came second and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) was third position.
At the presentation of Nigeria Subnational EoDB Awards, Gombe State won the 1st Position for Inaugural Report 2021, while Jigawa and Sokoto States were second and third respectively.
Also, the Vice President was presented with PEBEC’s inaugural ‘The Catalyst’ Award, given in recognition of his impactful, dedicated and consistent support towards the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria.