Nigeria assures investors of enabling business environment

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

The Nigerian government has assured investors that the recent reforms introduced by the Presidential Enabling Business Council, PEBEC, has created conducive environment for them, making it easier to do business in the country.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the assurance at the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, Clinic held in Jos, Plateau State, North Central Nigeria.

He said issues relating to new business registration, access to loans, certification of products, issuance of visas and import inspection were all being addressed under a new reform regime anchored by the PEBEC Secretariat.

“We tried to look at the various areas that make it particularly difficult to do business in Nigeria, for instance, for those who want to register companies it used to take a long time but now we have improved on that considerably,’’ the Vice President stated, adding that “it is now possible for you to do a lot of business registration online.”

He said the portal facility of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, would be completely online next month.

According to Osinbajo, a private sector cyber resource called Main One is being used to provide all of the services for the CAC portal to make it much easier for use, which means that the Corporate Affairs Commission would now be online all the time.

Prof. Osinbajo said “the other aspect of doing business that we are trying to do is with respect to ensuring that those who come in to Nigeria to do business find it easy to come in, we are making it easier for them to obtain visas on arrival.”

On import inspections, the Vice President said imported goods must henceforth be in pallets to make them easier for inspection under a new joint inspection arrangement led by the Nigerian Customs Service and different from what obtained in the past when several documents had to be filled.

Prof. Osinbajo said government was looking for ways of ensuring that anyone who want to do business in Nigeria can do so without any pains and without any trouble at all.

On the MSMEs clinic, the Vice President said part of the ease of doing business was through the MSME CLINIC, which is almost like a hospital, where advisers are brought to mentor manufacturers and small scale manufacturers.

Professor Osinbajo commended the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong for sustaining peace in the state and prayed for the sustenance of peace in the state.

“Almighty God will preserve the peace here because without peace there can be no business improvement, without peace we cannot even talk of MSME, so we thank God for the environment that we enjoy, and for the peace that we enjoy,” he said.

Agro-allied hub

Osinbajo described Platuea State as the agro-allied hub of Nigeria which is an advantage it has over other states.

He urged the people of Plateau to take advantage of the new policies of the federal government to improve their economies and make their state a truly agro-allied hub in Nigeria.

Prof. Osinbajo had on arrival at the Jos Polo Field venue of the clinic, inspected products exhibited by local manufacturers and stands of government agencies participating in the clinic.

Governor Simon Lalong had earlier thanked the Vice President for bringing the MSMEs clinic to Plateau state, stressing that it would unlock the agro-allied potentials and create avenues for prospective small business owners in the state.

He appealed to the Federal Government to consider the state in the establishment of industrial hubs across the country, stressing that the state possessed the necessary environment and logistics.

The Vice President was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, heads of agencies of government responsible for the certification and regulation of small businesses.

Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, North West Nigeria; and Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, North Central Nigeria as well as the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Mr Benson Abounu, were also at the events the Vice President attended in Jos.

Nnenna.O