By Obas Esiedesa & Ezra Ukanwa
THE Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, weekend, said state governments needed to improve four reform areas to access the $750 million approved by the World Bank to strengthen the Business Enabling Environment in states.
According to the Federal Government, this can happen through the State Action for Business Enabling Reforms, SABER, programme.
Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, listed the areas of reform to include improving land administration and land investment process; improving business enabling infrastructure; increasing sustainable large-scale investments, and enabling firm operations.
Oduwole spoke in Abuja at the presentation of a stage play educating Nigerians and depicting the achievements of ease of doing business initiative.
The play, which was partly to commemorate Nigeria’s independence, was also plotted around reforms such as multiple taxation, an automated tax system, quick business registration through automation of registration processes, small claims court set up to entertain small business cases, among others
Insights from the play showed that through ease of doing business reforms, business owners would lucidly understand right channels to pay tax.
A small claims court has been set up to swiftly handle small claims and Nigeria has reduced the import and export clearance time by 50 per cent.
Oduwole stated that the plays were designed to entertain Nigerians, while bringing to light the achievements made by PEBEC.
Facilitated by the PEBEC secretariat and the World Bank Technical team, with support from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, FMFBNP, Home Finance Department and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, secretariat, the IDA credit is expected to help Nigeria advance the implementation of critical actions that will improve the business enabling environment in states.
She said: “The SABER is a three-year performance-based intervention jointly designed by the PEBEC secretariat and the World Bank Technical team with support from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Home Finance Department and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Secretariat.
“The programme, which is open to all states and the FCT, cuts across four reform areas with Disbursement Linked Indicators covering improving land administration and land investment process; improving the business enabling infrastructure; increasing sustainable large-scale investments, and enabling firm operations.
“All participating states and the FCT could potentially receive a maximum of $52.5m during the 3-year period.
“There have been extensive engagements with the States by the PEBEC Secretariat and other programme partners to strengthen the programme design and the States capacity to deliver on the expected results.”