Nigeria establishes Ease of Doing Business Council

Solomon Chung, Lagos

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed at the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos.

In a bid to encourage entrepreneurs and also to bring more investment into the country, the Nigerian government has approved the establishment of the Presidential Council on the Ease of Doing Business.

Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed said at the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos, South west Nigeria, that the Ease of Doing Business concept was aimed at removing unnecessary red tape, and other impediments.

Lai Mohammed said the government was conscious of the need to put all the necessary infrastructure and policies in place to make economic activities viable

“Once  the Ease of Doing Business is concluded, it would fast track registration of businesses, clearing of goods from the ports, obtaining visa, paying taxes and obtaining land titles, among others.

The Administration is also taking measures to reduce fiscal and forex imbalances, boost dollar liquidity, curb inflation, lower interest rate and ensure lending to the real sector.”

He said the Administration was moving the country away from a mono-product economy to a diversified one, and in the process opening up great opportunities for businesses.

“With the crash in oil prices, which has negatively impacted on our economy, we are left with no choice but to explore new possibilities. The areas we are targeting include agriculture, solid minerals and the creative industries. We are also engaging in massive infrastructural development.”

The Minister also stated that with insecurity and corruption also being tackled decisively, the enabling environment was being created for businesses to thrive.

Mr.Tony Elumelu, the chief host of the event and founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the empowerment of young entrepreneurs in Africa should be the focus on governments on the continent as well as well placed individuals.

“We must give back to the society, by helping these young entrepreneur, we are giving back. But we must also give them sustainably and empower them to be self-sufficient. We want the world to know that what we need mostly is capacity.”

Mr. Elumelu said young entrepreneurs need incentives, tax relief and other encouraging policies to enable their businesses grow.