How we made Nigeria top 10 most improved world economies — Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government has said the Presidential implementation of over 150 Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, reforms was responsible for moving Nigeria up 39 places on the World Bank Doing Business Index since 2016.

It also said the implementation made it possible for Nigeria, being twice named as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world over the last three years, to be one of only two African countries to make this highly-prestigious list in 2019.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this during a visit to the Ishq Tolaram Foundation in Lagos, yesterday, said: “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 as a result of the reforms, the 2018 Sub-national Doing Business report on Nigeria recorded unprecedented improvement, adding that 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 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 promoted 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.

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“The creation of a National Collateral Registry, NCR, of movable assets by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, 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.

Other 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.

Mohammed commended the Ishq Tolaram Foundation for its programs in Nigeria, especially in the areas of healthcare, entrepreneurial and vocational training, saying the artificial limbs provided free of charge had inspired hope for the beneficiaries.

He said: “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 program, while 157 have started earning their livelihood through jobs and start-ups. This is quite impressive and I congratulate the Ishq Foundation for this feat.’’

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