Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors to redouble their efforts in reforming the business climate.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday, said the vice president attended the 3rd edition of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards, held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
The vice president told the winners and stakeholders that doing more would ensure that the government’s efforts at improving the business climate in Nigeria were translated into long term sustainable growth for the economy.
He encouraged all stakeholders not to rest on their oars as more was required to fully industrialise Nigeria.
“What is more important than moving up in the rankings is the need to ensure that all our efforts translate into long-term sustainable growth for the economy.
“We must keep our business environment in Nigeria competitive and friendly; we are the logical destination for business in Africa; but that will not in, and of itself, translate to investments.
“Our business environment must make a case for itself to investors as to why they should come here and not elsewhere.
“We should be putting our best foot forward and working harder than ever to realise the lofty goals that the president has set for us this year.
“These small businesses are a critical part of the economy as they contribute about 48 per cent of our GDP and contribute about 80 per cent of jobs in the country; so, PEBECs efforts in the last reform cycle have yielded commendable fruits.”
Osinbajo said that all was achieved partly because of the strong partnership among key players across the critical sectors.
He said that Nigeria rose 15 places on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings in 2019 and altogether 39 places since 2016.
The vice president said that Nigeria was also being considered one of the 10 best performing economies in the world.
“In specific terms, Nigeria made starting a business easier by operationalising a new electronic platform that integrates the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) platforms.
“Registering Property in Lagos is now more transparent with the digitisation of cadastral plans in a geographical information system with digital copies now available.
“As regards enforcing contracts, the Chief Judges of Lagos and Kano States have introduced pre-trial conferences strict limit for adjournments in their practice directions for small claims courts. These steps created a more inclusive and enabling environment for small businesses.”
According to the vice president, all must appreciate the efforts of tireless civil and public servants especially the award winners.
Among agencies that won awards were the FIRS, The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
“The awards you have received are a tribute to what we can achieve if we work purposefully and diligently, and a proof that by diligence and purposefulness a lot can be achieved.
“The private sector also deserves our heartfelt gratitude and commendation, for its commitment and collaboration; especially their contributions in technical support and capacity building,” he said.
The PEBEC awards is an annual event organised by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat to recognise the support and contributions of stakeholders in the implementation of reforms aimed at making it easier to do business in Nigeria.