10 November 2017

Nigeria: Govt to Sponsor Omnibus Bill On Ease of Doing Business Reforms

Abuja — In a bid to ensure sustainability of the reform policies in the business environment being implemented by the current administration, the federal government is working with the National Assembly to sponsor an omnibus legislation to legalise the reforms.

The consolidated bill which will also capture, among others, the three executive orders signed by the presidency, is designed to ensure that current reform policies around ease of doing policies outlive the current administration.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who revealed government's plan in an interview, said to institutionalise the reforms on ease of doing business, the administration was doing a number of things.

"There are a number of things we are doing to ensure that reforms will be sustained and to codify the new rules and directives.

"One of the things that helped us the last time was that we worked very closely with the National Assembly and they passed a lot of bills like mobile access for collateral.

"Now, one of the things we are working with them on is something we call an omnibus bill which will capture all the reforms that we are undertaking and codify them.

"So we are working on codifying these changes into law with the National Assembly," the minister said.

He also reacted to positions being canvassed by many that it was still not easy to do business in the country in spite of Nigeria's recent improved ranking in the Ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank.

Responding, Enelamah cited the theory of relativity propounded by Albert Einstein, noting that nobody said it was easy.

But he noted that it was now easier to do business in the country with the reforms being implemented.

Enelamah said: "You know the genius about Einstein is that he talked about the theory of relativity; most things are relative. So when they say it's still not easy, we are saying it is easier.

"When it comes to registering businesses now, you can do this within 24 hours. There might be subsequent things you need to do that might take a few more days but the important thing is that it is automated, which is a big deal.

"Second are all the key processes that are linked to that automation. Three, we monitor for improvements and we keep getting better. We are committed to getting better, so it's a journey. We believe that we are not stopping, we will keep going."

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