Following Nigeria’s lack-luster performance on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index and the need to improve on this abysmally poor rating, the Management of the National information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) wants the agency to be perceived as a smart critical contributor to the ease of doing business in the country and the gross domestic product (GDP) equation in the country.
The World Bank Group Ease of Doing Business Index rates country performance along the following planks namely Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, Registering Property, Getting Credit, Protecting Minority Investor, Paying Taxes, Trading across Borders, Enforcing Contracts and Resolving Insolvency. On all planks, Nigeria merely recorded marginal improvements in starting a business and getting credit reflecting the impact of the ongoing reforms and regulatory interventions, especially by the regulator-the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) recently released its report card on the 60-Day National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business which was implemented from February 21, 2017 to April 21, 2017.
PEBEC’s Mandate is to: Remove critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria and Move Nigeria 20 places upwards in the World Bank Doing Business Rankings.
* Starting a Business
* Paying Taxes
*Trading Across Borders
*Entry and Exit of People
The report which highlights 31 completed reforms across the Council’s eight priority indicators, was unveiled on Monday, April 24, 2017, at PEBEC’s monthly meeting.
A statement from the PEBEC Secretariat, which Africa Telecom & IT saw, disclosed that the “Report Card is in keeping with PEBEC’s promise to be accountable to Nigerians for the targets set and promises made.
“Completed reforms are being closely monitored to ensure diligent implementation with minimal disruption, and pending reforms are being escalated to ensure completion in the coming weeks.”
The ongoing 7th Edition of the MSMEClinic nationwide is seen as a strategic move by the federal government to ensure diligent implementation of the reforms and MDAs are pivotal. To this effect, NITDA is firing from all cylinders to make the agency more visible and to achieve its core mandate namely to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria. NITDA is among 13 MDAs participating in the clinic.
MSMEClinic is a forum aimed at realigning the role of ministries, departments and agencies(MDAs) as facilitators of businesses as well as create a platform for stakeholders and businesses to discuss issues affecting set-up and operations of MSMEs in the Country.
Apparently to verify progress recorded in the report, especially in the area of reducing number of days required for business registration from 10 days to 2 days and to underscore the importance government places on the event and the critical role of MSMEs as the engine of the national economy, the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, personally presented Certificate of Incorporation to a business owner whose business was registered at the #MSMEClinic.
At the Ogun State launch of the programme, Prof. Osinbayo made it clear that the essence of the MSMEClinic is to assist businesses and stressed the need for agencies to facilitate ease in doing businesses across the length and breadth of the country. He also underscored the imperative of forthright living. Honesty by public officials is germane to progress,” he said. He enthused on the potential of Nigeria but stressed the need for everybody to work hard to maximize our potentials as a nation.
Africa Telecom & IT learns NITDA is taking advantage of the forum to sensitise the public to the priority areas that enable the agency achieve its mandate namely capacity building, regulation, digital job creation, government digital service promotion, local content development and promotion, cyber security and revenue generation.
The DG of NITDA, Dr. Ibrahim Isa Pantami recently lamented the seeming distraction at the agency, pledging to refocus it and move it away from being perceived as a contract awarding conduit.
By Clifford Agugoesihappy wheels