COAT OF ARMS

Fed Govt woos fleeing firms

Some companies which left Nigeria may return – if a Federal Government plan to ensure they are back works.

No fewer than 3,000 workers lost their jobs in October, last year when some companies left. Such companies include ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem Ground Petroleum, and Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited.

In August, over 20 shipping firms were said to have left Nigeria for what they called poor government policies and global economic crunch, leading to  about 3,000 job losses.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has signed three Executive Orders –  “Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment”;”Submission of Annual Budgetary Estimates by all Statutory and Non-Statutory Agencies, including Incorporated Companies wholly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria”; and “Support for Local Content in Public Procurements by MDAs of the FGN”.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, speaking at the workshop for Federal Government agencies, parastatals, corporations and companies on the operationalisation of the executive order on promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment, at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, yesterday said the government was doing everything possible to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

She said: “It is worthy of note that, government is committed to creating transparency in the business environment and enunciation of policies that would motivate investors to invest their funds in profitable business activities in the country.

“It is therefore hoped that all companies that had hitherto relocated from the country some years back will see reasons to be convinced by the sincerity of purpose being displayed by the present administration in creating a conducive business environment for genuine investors for them to be motivated to return.”

She also reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to moving up the ranking of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index 20 places in first year and be in the top 100 within the next three years.

Nigeria is ranked 169 of 189 countries by the World Bank, according to the Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business report.

The Acting Secretary to the Government  of the Federation, Mrs Habiba Lawal, described the Executive Order as one of the measures employed by the administration to achieve a more judicious management of Nigeria’s resources and improved business environment.

She stressed that the provisions of the Executive Order were the focus of the workshop and urged MDAs to demonstrate commitment and support for the government’s  policy directives to facilitate their successful implementation.

Mrs. Lawal said: “The successful operationalisation of the provisions of the Executive order requires the collective effort of us as the critical stakeholders in the public sector.

“In this regard, the objective of this workshop is an awareness campaign to introduce Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council – Ease of doing  Business Environment Secretariat (PEBEC-EBES).

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Vice Chair of Presidential Enabling Business environment council (PEBEC) Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah said the government was already getting testimonies that the reforms were working.

He said the government was aiming to see headline  in the international media, such as “Nigeria: A textbook African success story”, adding: “So the work starts now if we are going to see this happen.”

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