Nigeria: Presidency Uncovers Fraud, Poor Service Delivery in Regulatory Agencies

21 January 2021

Abuja — The Presidency yesterday said it has uncovered fraud and poor services in some of its regulatory agencies.

According to the report submitted by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), CEOs and Heads of some federal government regulatory agencies engaged in an unwholesome act with duplication of duties also discovered.

The survey was part of a renewed attempt to further deepen the reforms of the nation's business environment.

The outcome of the recent survey, the presidency said, exposes major pitfalls in the operations of the agencies.

It said the Cost of Compliance Report which was presented to the council at its first virtual meeting of the year revealed persistent corruption, duplicity of functions, poor service orientation, and several anti-business dispositions in some of the regulatory agencies.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who presided over the meeting directed that CEOs and heads of such government regulatory agencies involved should be presented with the outcomes and interaction should take place regarding some of the worrying disclosures in the report of the survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, PwC.

Osinbajo, in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, said the report revealed human issues that are not unavoidable.

He stressed the important roles regulatory agencies play in ensuring businesses are able to thrive seamlessly without inhibition.

He noted that doing otherwise would only jeopardise the government's efforts in creating a conducive business environment.

He stated: "If the environment on account of regulatory authorities is so difficult or expensive, such that people are discouraged or it doesn't make sense for people to do business, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot in a manner we can only blame ourselves. These are human issues and we must do something very serious about these issues."

Speaking further about holding those responsible for the major lapses to account, the vice president said, "I am in full support of holding our CEOs to account because they, in turn, must hold their staff to account. If there is systemic corruption, bribery and extortion, and nobody is held to account, there is a problem."

Others present at the PEBEC meeting yesterday include the ministers of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Information, i Lai Mohammed; Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Budget and National Planning (State), Clem Abga; Special Adviser on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, and Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, representing the National Assembly, among other top government officials and representatives from PwC

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