Business

FG Has Implemented 150 Ease of Doing Business Reforms -Lai Mohamme

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the
Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has
implemented over 150 reforms, moving Nigeria up 39 places on the World
Bank Doing Business index since 2016.

The Minister, who disclosed this during a visit to the IshK Tolaram
Foundation in Lagos on Monday, said the reforms were also responsible
for Nigeria being twice named as one of the top 10 most improved
economies in the world over the last three years – one of only two
African countries to make this highly-prestigious list in 2019.

“To understand the significance of Nigeria moving up in the World Bank
Doing Business Index, we have to recall that between 2007 and 2015,
Nigeria lost 64 places in the World Bank ease of doing business
ranking,” he said

Alhaji Mohammed said as a result of the reforms, the 2018 Subnational
Doing Business report on Nigeria recorded unprecedented improvement,
and the World Economic Forum (WEF), in its 2018 Global Competitive
Report, recognized Nigeria’s business environment as one of the most
entrepreneurial in the world, and highlighted Nigeria’s improved
competitiveness in the
enabling business environment.

He also said the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA 2020),
signed by President Muhammadu Buhari – Nigeria’s most significant
business legislation in three decades – introduced at least 15 new
provisions that promote ease of doing business and reduce regulatory
hurdles in Nigeria.

The Minister said PEBEC also collaborated with the National Assembly
on the Secured Transaction in Movable Asset Act (STMA), 2017 and the
Credit Reporting Act, 2017, which provides a legal framework for
collateralization of moveable assets with the creation of the National
Collateral Registry, while CRA 2017 enhances credit reporting in
Nigeria.

“The Creation of a National Collateral Registry (NCR) of movable
assets by the Central Bank of Nigeria, with the support of the
International Financial Corporation (IFC), in May 2016 ensures that
functional equivalents of collaterals can be registered. To date, over
N1 trillion assets have been uploaded on the Registry,” he said.

Others reforms listed by the Minister include visa on arrival for
business people, reduction in the time it takes to register a company
at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) – through
the Company Registration Portal (CRP) – from about two weeks to just a
few days – and the
introduction of the electronic filing and payment of federal taxes.

Alhaji Mohammed commended the IshK Tolaram Foundation for its
programmes in Nigeria, especially in the areas of healthcare as well
as entrepreneurial and vocational training, saying the artificial
limbs provided free of charge has inspired hope for the beneficiaries.

“I am reliably informed that the Foundation, through its IshK Limb
Centres in Lagos and Port Harcourt, and mobile camps, has provided
more than 19,000 free prosthetic limbs. I am
also aware that 242 students have graduated from the Foundation’s
vocational skills training programme while 157 have started earning
their livelihood through jobs and start-ups. This is quite impressive
and I congratulate the IshK Foundation for this feat,” he said.

The Programme Director of ISHK Foundation, Ms. Neha Mehra, who
conducted the Minister round the Lagos centre, said the foundation,
which is funded with 25 percent of the profit from the Tolaram Group,
was set up as the next step in a 100-year history of philanthropy at
Tolaram.

She said the Foundation partners with churches, mosques, hospitals and
NGOs to identify and support people requiring artificial limbs free of
charge.

Some of the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s activities were on hand
to brief the Minister of how the quality of their lives has been
enhanced by such activities.

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