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Tinubu is Creating Pathways for Businesses to Flourish – Minister

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has said the vision of President Bola Tinubu is to create an enabling environment where businesses can thrive through streamlining regulations, investment incentives, provision of infrastructure, and robust policies aimed at fostering economic stability and prosperity.

The Minister stated this in Kano on Friday at a town hall meeting with the Business Community at the Bristol Hotel.

“As part of the Ease of Doing Business, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has been mandated to operate a 24-hour online registration timeline for new businesses.

“To ensure that Nigeria retains more foreign exchange from its exports, the Export Permit application process is being revised and automated. Intending exporters will now have to show genuine proof of formal repatriation of export proceeds before new export licenses and permits are granted,” he said.

Idris said the reconstituted Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), is working closely with State Governments to eliminate the bottlenecks businesses face in Nigeria.

The Minister said the new Executive Order signed by the President will unlock the huge potential of the nation’s oil and gas industry by bringing down operating costs for oil and gas operations in Nigeria, which currently stands at 40% – higher than the global average and compressing oil and gas contracting cycle from 38 months to 6 months.

“It will generate a billion cubic feet per day additional gas supply, create 2.3 million jobs, and boost GDP by $17 Billion. The new tax incentives being implemented have the potential to attract up to $10 Billion in new oil and gas investment,” he said.

He said through enhanced security measures across the Niger Delta Region, the country’s NLNG cargoes have increased from an average of 16 cargoes in 2023 to 21 cargoes in the first quarter of 2024, while crude oil production has risen from 1.22 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2023 to 1.6 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2024.

Idris said in a deliberate effort to boost Industrialization, the Federal Government issued import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) letters of recommendation to 20 manufacturers for expansion and enhanced production capacity, as the Presidential Council on Industrial Revitalisation is currently working on the framework to implement a well-structured and functioning consumer credit system in line with global best practices.

“The Federal Government is reconstituting the National Trade Facilitation Committee, which convenes various relevant agencies and private sector representatives (under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment), to resolve and remove administrative and operational bottlenecks facing domestic and external trade in the country,” he said.

The Minister also reeled out the post-subsidy interventions for the business community to include approval for the release of 200 Billion Naira for the Presidential Business Grants and Loans Schemes; 50 Billion Naira Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme (PCGS) for traders, food vendors, transport workers, ICT businesses, creatives, and artisans, as part of interventions to cushion the effect of the removal of petrol subsidies; the 75 Billion Naira FGN MSME Intervention Fund with single-digit-interest loans to MSMEs and the 75 Billion Naira FGN Manufacturing Sector Fund targeting manufacturing businesses, with selected beneficiaries eligible to access up to 1 Billion Naira each.

On the provision of critical infrastructure, the Minister gave the assurance the President is working assiduously to break the jinx in the power sector through the implementation of various policies including the speeding up of the injection of 12,000MW of electricity into the national grid in partnership with the Siemens Energy of Germany, the release of N40 billion for Mass Metering Program across the country among others.

“Work has commenced on the development of a new 20mw on-grid solar-hydro project, in Shiroro, Niger State, near the 600mw Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Plant. This 20mw plant is the first phase of a 300mw project,” he said.

He said the macroeconomic policies of the President have begun to bear fruits through the sustained appreciation of the Naira, stability in the economy, and the clearing of the foreign exchange backlog of $7 billion by the Central Bank.

The Minister said the removal of the petrol subsidy was at the core of the President‘s economic reforms and it has started yielding positive results with the marked reduction in petrol importation to 50 percent monthly – roughly a billion liters a month – since the petrol subsidy was removed in June 2023.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, of Kano Business Community, Alhaji Sabiu Bako, commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for implementing some of the suggestions they made while he was on the campaign trail to Kano.

He said the Kano Business community wholeheartedly supports the removal of fuel subsidy as it only benefited the upper class and did very little to alleviate the economic burden faced by the majority of Nigerians.

Participants at the town hall meeting canvassed for regular interactions with the government, review of some of the conditions attached to access intervention schemes, and the completion of the AKK Gas Pipeline Project, so that the terminal gas stations can to put to use in earnest.

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