In line with the commitment to improving the business environment in Nigeria, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) commenced the 7th National Action Plan (NAP 7.0) on February 7, 2022 to drive systemic business climate reforms. The National Action Plan was introduced for the first time in February 2017 and has since become a signature homegrown 60-day accelerator and reform tool designed to coordinate the effective delivery of priority reforms of select ministries, departments and agencies annually.
The PEBEC approved the 7th National Action Plan at its first meeting of 2022 held on February 1, 2022. NAP 7.0, which will run from 7th February to 7th April 2022 aims to further reduce the challenges faced by MSMEs across five areas - Agro-Export Implementation Action Plan, Automation Reforms, Regulatory Reforms, Legislative/Judicial Reforms and Executive Order 01/ReportGov.NG compliance reforms
The reforms include the streamlining and simplification of ago-export regulatory practices with a view to boosting the competitiveness of Nigeria’s agro-exports while enhancing Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings as stated in the Agro-Export Plan. The Agro-Export Action Plan stems from the report of the Agro-Export Ad-Hoc Committee earlier constituted in November 2021 by His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON and Chair of the PEBEC. The Committee was chaired by the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment while the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business coordinated its activities.
Furthermore, NAP 7.0 seeks to intensify efforts at improving travel experience at our airports and to strengthen the automation of the business incorporation process of the Corporate Affairs Commission. Other reforms include the establishment of Small Claims Court across more States of the Federation, as well as to drive adoption of electronic filling of taxes by tax payers. At the end of the 60-day window, it is expected that MSMEs will experience an enhanced trademark registration process, with vast improvements in the tracking and evaluation of MDAs’ compliance with the directives of the Executive Order 01 (EO1). EO1 implementation will be supported with improved complaint resolution on the ReportGov.NG platform, with the enlisting of more MDAs listed on the platform.
In her remarks at the launch of the 7th National Action Plan, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the PEBEC Secretary and Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business stated that “while the reform journey has yielded marked improvement in particular areas, particularly in the initial years of the PEBEC’s intervention, it has not been an easy one. As we are all aware, several bureaucratic and regulatory challenges remain at all arms and levels of government, which continue to affect the speed, cost and transparency of doing business in Nigeria. Therefore, the 7th National Action Plan (NAP 7.0) is especially designed to break away from the lacklustre performance of our last two outings, NAP 5.0 and NAP 6.0, held in Q1 of 2020 and 2021, which saw the relevant ministries, departments and agencies perform below par at 44% and 43% respectively for a variety of reasons.”
The PEBEC is chaired by His Excellency, the Vice President, with the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as Vice Chair and consists of 13 key Honourable Ministers, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of Service and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The PEBEC is also privileged to enjoy among its expanded membership high-level representation from the National Assembly and the Judiciary, as well as State Governments (Lagos and Kano) and a private sector representative.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment (OVP) /Secretary, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council