By Yinka Kolawole
AS part of the reforms introduced in the Nigeria’s business environment under the 60-day Action Plan executed by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, prospective small and medium enterprises (SMEs) business owners may no longer enlist the services of lawyers or any third party in registering businesses. Also a direct registration would take not more than a day after all documentations are submitted, as against 10 days before now.
The Council, established by President Muhammadu Buhari is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Also as part of the reforms, the council directed that prospective business owners can now search on Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) portal for a chosen business name to avoid duplication of names and prevent selection of prohibited names, which usually delayed approvals.
These were some of the highlights of a report presented by the Council at the end of the 60-day action plan, according to a press statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President.
According to the report, CAC has introduced single incorporation form (CAC1.1) to save time and reduce costs while the agency has introduced document upload interface on its website to enable e-submission of registration documents.
According to the report, PEBEC listed “Dealing with construction permits, Getting electricity, Registering Property, Getting Credit and Paying Taxes,” as some of the areas where the Council has recorded progress in the past 60 days. The report also highlighted the completed reforms on the “Entry and Exit of People,” indicator which includes Simplified Visa-on-Arrival process, Infrastructural improvements at the Abuja airport, and the new Immigration Regulation 2017.
It also indicated that the completed reforms are being closely monitored to ensure diligent implementation with minimal disruption while pending reforms are being escalated to ensure completion in the coming weeks. The Council emphasised that with the conclusion of implementation of the action plan, “the next phase would involve deepening existing reforms; completing and implementing pending initiatives; engaging with the public; validating completed reforms and kicking-off medium-term reforms.
The Council would also kick-start “sub-national reforms across Nigeria’s 36 states; trading within Nigeria; kick-off of initiatives and reforms improving business processes and regulations within Nigeria; and ease of movement of goods within and across regions in Nigeria.”