The Federal Government on Tuesday said it would establish Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council PEBEC) to address issues associated with ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Hajia Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said this at the opening of the 11th Abuja International Trade Fair in Abuja.
According to her, the council will review and remove all encumbrances to trade facilitation, enforce simplification, streamline the export, import documentation and procedures leveraging on technology.
She said the main objective of the council was to remove all administrative bottlenecks to fastrack business development in Nigeria.
Abubakar disclosed that with PEBEC in place, the Federal Government was optimistic of achieving a reduction in the cost of running business in Nigerian.
Abubakar explained that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) could lead to greater utilisation of local raw materials, employment generation, encourage rural development and build capacity of entrepreneurs.
She said in a bid to develop and promote the activities of MSMEs, government had expanded the number of the participating agencies in Nigeria Enterprises Development Programme.
She said they included Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and Corporate Affairs Commission.
She listed improved efficiency in business registration, entry process, including visa reforms, land reform registrations and contract agreement as other areas.
She expressed appreciation to the Minister of FCT, Alhaji Muhammed Bello, for providing the enabling environment for the trade fair to take place.
Earlier, Mr Tony Ejinkeonye, President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the annual trade fair was the chamber’s commitment to create a platform for opportunity and economic growth for Nigerians.
Ejinkeonye said the current economic recession bedeviling Nigeria was due to the nation’s reliance on a mono product economy which encouraged massive importation of foreign goods to the detriment of local ones.
According to him, the theme of this year’s fair is “Make it in Nigeria’’.
He added that the essence of the theme was to spur collective interest towards promoting made in Nigeria products, to support the Federal Government’s diversification initiative.
Ejinkeonye said for the nation to come out of its economic situation, “we must make it in Nigeria”.
Chief Bassey Edem, National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, congratulated the chamber for making the fair a success.
He said that Nigeria was endowed with a population of 170 million people, with 32 million MSMEs mking it the largest market in Africa, adding that with these endowments Nigeria could turn its economy around.
Edem explained that the fair was an opportunity for business operators, foreign investors and stakeholders in the business circle to take advantage of it to move their businesses forward.