By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—FIVE states on Wednesday night were rewarded for being top reformed states in ease of doing business in 2018.
The five states which were presented with award by the Vice President at the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards 2019 at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa Abuja are Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Lagos and Kaduna.
This is as the senate and the House of Representatives also bagged awards at the event for enacting laws on Company and Allied Matters Act to create good atmosphere in doing business in the country.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said: “It is really a pleasure to be here this evening to celebrate the phenomenal successes of the PEBEC reforms but more importantly, to recognize specially some of those who made it all possible: our incredibly selfless and committed private sector partners and the sterling performance of many in the public sector. In the past three years, Nigeria has implemented more than 140 reforms to make doing business in Nigeria easier.
“Some of the successful reforms include the ability to reserve a business name within 4-hours, complete the registration of a company within 24 hours online, apply for and receive approval of a visa-on-arrival electronically within 48hrs; file and pay taxes online; and access specialised small claims from commercial courts in Lagos and Kano. The World Bank also reported in 2018 that 32 states of Nigeria improved their Ease of doing business environment led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra
“In 2019, PEBEC set a goal to move Nigeria into the top-100 on the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI). To achieve this, we will be pursuing the continued implementation reforms across all indicators, including “implementation of legislative reforms, specifically the passage of the new Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Omnibus Bills; the expansion of the regulatory reform program started with NAFDAC and NAICOM to include other regulators, the establishment of a National Trading Platform for ports; and the concession of our major international airports.”
Stressing that PEBEC has now commenced the fourth 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 4.0) on Ease of Doing Business, he said, NAP 4.0 was running from the 1st of March to the 29th of April, 2019.
According to him, “It aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past 3 years and drive institutionalization.
“We have highlighted key action items in all of the focus areas to ensure they do not unravel and to ensure we drive sustainability.”