The Vice President, Mr. Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said the Federal Government has set 2017 target for removing obstacles in doing business in the country.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari gave a mandate to the Enabling Business Committee to improve the nation’s rating of the Ease of Doing Business before the end of 2017.
He also said the government will soon introduce Visa-On-Arrival policy that will free up the process for investors and businessmen.
Osinbajo made these disclosures in an off-the-cuff address at the public presentation and First Annual Lecture of THE INTERVIEW at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
He said: “One of the chief aims of the current government is creating an enabling atmosphere for doing business and some of us will be familiar with the fact that a month ago, the President inaugurated the ‘Enabling Business Environment Committee which I chair and the mandate of that committee as given to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment is that Nigeria must go up on the World Bank Ease of doing business list and I think the mandate is to go at least 50 places up before the end of 2017. Now, how will that happen?
“The first step is to be directly involved in the private sector and the private sector lead of the project is a gentleman who is head of KPMG in Nigeria and who will be working on this project full time in the next couple of weeks.”
He admitted that unnecessary bureaucracy has affected the Ease of Doing Business.
He said: “The problem in most cases is that approval processes are difficult. The Bureaucrat sees the whole process as an end in itself but not a means to an end. The bureaucrat does not believe it is his duty to facilitate business. He forgets that taxes generated from businesses are used to pay his salary.”
Osinbajo said from his experience so far in government, Nigeria has no shortage of ideas.
He cited an instance when he was given 13 bound proposals in one day on “practically any subject.”
He said: “There is absolutely no shortage of good ideas in Nigeria. Our problem really is never really with great ideas but the question is how to start and finish.
“The share number of excellent ideas available to you every day are not just good ideas but they are incredible ideas.”
He paid glowing tributes to the Editor-In-Chief of the magazine, Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene for his “strength of character, ethical and professional commitments.”