By Yinka Kolawole
In furtherance of its reform agenda to boost business environment in the country, the Federal Government will commence the third 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 3.0) from 5th February to 5th April 2018, to drive its ease of doing business initiative.
In a statement made available to Vanguard, Laolu Akande, spokesman for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) approved the plan at a meeting chaired by the Vice President at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, in Abuja.
According to the statement, Osinbajo restated government’s commitment to making business work in Nigeria. He stressed the need to engage continuously with public and civil servants, with a special focus on Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies, to encourage sustainability in the ease of doing business initiatives of the administration.
“The action plan is expected to further reduce the challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) when getting credit, paying taxes or moving goods across the country, amongst others, by removing critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria. The reforms will also aim to continue Nigeria’s upward progress in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2019,” he stated.
The NAP 3.0 will build on reform efforts that started during the beginning of the 2017/2018 reform cycle with NAP 2.0, which aims to deepen the ease of doing business reforms implemented across the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the last 16 months and will in turn increase productivity through industrialization, enhanced exports and foreign exchange earnings, while creating jobs and reducing poverty.
Some of the reforms to be implemented include further enhancing the efficiency in tax remittances include driving the adoption of electronic filing for taxes for all categories of companies, increase accessibility of affordable credit for SMEs by driving and incentivizing banks to utilize the collateral registry, and also increase the number of SMEs that can access government contracts by communicating and enforcing the minimum employee requirement for pension contributions as 15 employees through the Bureau of Public Procurement.
It would be recalled that reforms implemented across various sectors of the economy and Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) had seen Nigeria move up 24 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2018. As a result of the reforms, Nigeria moved up from 169th position on the 2017 ranking to 145 in the World Bank’s 2018 report.