Senate, House of Reps also awarded
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA – FIVE States on Wednesday night were rewarded for being top reformed states in easy 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 Kaduna, Enugu, Lagos, Abia, and Anambra.

Piles of monitor lizard being smoked in drums are seen at the Baga fish market in Maiduguri on July 31, 2017.
The fish trade in Borno State has long been a lucrative industry but has suffered heavily under the insurgency of Boko Haram and more recently new taxation from authorities on the transport of fish to the markets in Maiduguri causing fish prices to soar. / AFP PHOTO /

This is as the senate and the House of Representatives also bagged award 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, “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 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

“Some of the targets achieved in the last NAP 3.0 include driving registration for utilization of the National Collateral Registry to facilitate access to credit for SMEs; Clearance of all pending NAFDAC registration applications to improve efficiency; and Creation of a strengthened single joint cargo examination interface in all airports & seaports for import and export to reduce the time spent at the ports.”

Continuing, Osinbajo said, “NAP 4.0 will focus on initiatives such as enforcing compliance with SLAs across all indicators/focus areas, driving the passage of the CAM Bill 2018 for improved effectiveness of company law in Nigeria, enhancing efficiency in the small claims court, and enhancing the application and approval system for visas on arrival, to mention a few.”

The Council, he said, will continue to work extensively with all MDAs, the National Assembly and other key stakeholders.

He said “All of us who have been involved in this incredible journey will agree that it has been both exciting and fulfilling even if admittedly sometimes frustrating. But that is the way of progress.

“I congratulate you all for the great successes and thank you all for keeping faith with our joint vision. In particular we must commend our private sector partners who have contributed immensely to the technical output of the EBES through the secondment of professional staff to the secretariat. Let me specially mention the KPMG Professional Services, Deloitte, Procter and Gamble, Banwo&Ighodalo, Aluko and Oyebode.

“The NBA-SBL was also particularly instrumental in the drafting of the omnibus bill. About 40 law firms worked pro-bono towards this effort. Our nation is truly grateful to you.

“We must also commend the Hon. Minister of Industry Trade and Investment Dr OkeyEnelamah for his focused and forthright leadership, and the incomparable and tireless Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry Trade and Investment Dr JumokeOduwole and her team.

“To the rest of us I think we have demonstrated that the work of creating a world class environment for commerce will be done by like minds in the Nigerian private and public sectors, and these are the exceptional ladies and gentleman such as yourselves who form the PEBEC family, well done everyone God bless you.”

Anambra State was given the award for improving its score from 47 to 53.50 by making it easier to start a business and to register property in the State, while Abia State improved its score from 46 to 53.90 by making it easier to start a business and to register property in the State.

Lagos State improved its score from 48 to 54.90 by making it easier to start a business, register property and obtain construction permits in the State. – Enugu State improved its score from 47 to 56.82 by making it easier to start a business, register property as well as enforce contracts in the State. – Kaduna State improved its score from 55 to 65.97 by making it easier to start a business.

Other companies and individuals that got awards at the ceremony included Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Corporate Affairs Commission, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion.

Others were the Court of Appeal, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, National Assembly Environment Round Table, DFiD, World Bank, Oando Energy Resources, First Bank of Nigeria,

Other recepients were FIRS, Nigeria Custom Service, Nigeria Port’s Authority, Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Judiciary.

Banwo and Ighodalo, KPMG Nigeria, Procter and Gamble Nigeria, Deloitte Nigeria and Aluko and Oyebode alao got awards at the ceremony.

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