By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that government was seriously considering the option of issuing visa on arrival to foreign investors and other business men from outside the country.
This, he said, was to help remove many perceived bureaucratic bottlenecks that had clogged the business climate in Nigeria.
Osinbajo who spoke at the public presentation and first annual lecture of `The Interview’ magazine to mark first anniversary of the publication in Abuja recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had already inaugurated a committee on enabling business environment.
According to him, the responsibility of the committee which he chairs was move Nigeria up by 50 spaces on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index before 2017 ending.
Speaking on the theme of the event: “Why start-ups fail and strategies to save them’’, the vice president stated that it was the responsibility of the government to create the enabling environment for business to thrive, assuring that the present administration was committed to doing that.
He said: “The business of the government is to provide the right environment for start-ups.
“The problem in most cases and which we have experienced in Nigeria is that our approval processes are needlessly difficult.
“Bureaucracy generally gets caught in seeing the process as an end in itself not as a means to an end,’’ he said.
“The visa on arrival is one that is already in the regulations but that usually involves your applying ahead.
“But the kind of visa on arrival that we think will free up the process is one which you are able to arrive here and get your visa on arrival as you make your application here,’’ he said.
Osinbajo also revealed that the government had a plan to review process of business registrations in Nigeria to make it easier for start-ups, saying that the president was working on number regulations.
“It is the business of government departments to talk to each other to facilitate the process for the investor.’’
“Government is committed to ensuring that it is easier for people to do business, easier for people to access all of the different facilities that will make it easy to do business,’’ he said.
Also speaking at the event, the chairman of the occasion and Katsina state Governor, Aminu Masari underscore the role of the media in nation-building, stating that peace was paramount.
He said that the dwindling price of crude oil price, insurgency as well as militancy and herdsmen/farmers conflicts had compounded the nation’s woes.
“There has to be peace in the country but there will not be peace without social justice,’’ he said.
The Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Mr Azubuike Ishiekwene, said the publication was avenue to contribute to the growth of democracy in Nigeria.