From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has approved and signed an Executive Order that will guide efforts in improving the Ease of Doing Business in the country.
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, signed the order Thursday where he stressed government’s preference for indigenous goods and services as well as the removal of bureaucracies that stall the processes of business in the country.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment alongside the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council (PEBEC) are expected to monitor the compliance of the stipulated orders.
Osinbajo, at an interactive session held at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja, said the government will work out incentives for performance even as it builds reward system that punishes malfeasance.
He stressed the importance of cooperation among agencies of government, stating that it was key in achieving an improved business climate that will be at par with global standards.
According to him, in the first 60 days target set up by the government, 70 per cent effectiveness was achieved and the remaining 30 per cent can be achieved through continuous transparency and cooperation of government agencies. He also harped on the need to give preference to indigenous providers of goods and services to strengthen the system.
“I agree that a system of rewarding performance, and punishing malfeasance is key. We must work out incentive schemes even as we tighten up sanctions regimes. We hit 70 per cent quickly on the 60 days of doing business target because of the cooperation of all the agencies like Ministry of Interior, Immigrations, Customs, among others, and that is why the remaining 30 per cent we will also achieve and deliver. I will hold myself accountable to it and I will also hold you accountable.
“Usually we blame the system. But the system is men and women not machines. So we can and must reform it. These proposed executive orders present a unique opportunity to perform. Ladies and gentlemen, let us perform. The President has laid out a cornerstone policy of this administration; we must grow what we eat and make what we use.
The President again enunciated this principle in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan – buy Nigerian, use Nigerian. “So we must now insist that at state banquets we eat and drink Nigerian,” he said.
Speaking at the interactive forum with heads of agencies and permanent secretaries who are strategic in the implementation of business processes in Nigeria, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said reports will be submitted to the President after 80 days and 60 days respectively.