The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) says collaboration and coordination are key methods to achieving ease of doing business across the country.
The Special Adviser to the President, PEBEC, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, said this at the Technical Deep dive session on the Subnational Report Methodology on Wednesday in Abuja.
The session which was aimed at bringing together the different state reform champions to discuss the methodology for the subnational report.
It is also to share experiences on how they enabled varying reforms and activities to create an enabling business environment in Nigeria.
According to her, there is the need to bring together all the state champions to share their experiences and to learn better ways of making their state’s business environment viable and competitive.
“It is a good start, we have a lot of work to do collaboration is important, coordination is important so even when states have started doing some work they need to coordinate it and that is why they need to share.
“ You heard some states listening to other states and say did I come here to clap, for other states, they want to know what needs to be done so that they can share information and go back to their states and replicate the same.
“So the subnational Ease of Doing Business Innovation has been ongoing since 2017, where the NEC approved the collaboration with the PEBEC replicating the sub national ease of doing business at a sub national level.
“What that means is that each state has an ease of doing business council. Sometimes it’s chaired by the governor like Nasarawa, Sokoto. Sometimes it’s chaired by the Deputy Governor, like Kaduna State.
Oduwole, said each state had a reform champion that partner with their colleagues at the federal level to find measures to improve the business climate in the country.
“No business is domicile at the Federal Government. Every business has their location, the head of this in one of the states or the FCT.
“So with this collaboration, we’re making sure that all the issues that MSMEs have told PEBEC over the last almost six years are replicated across state governments. So the PEBEC has implemented over 160 reforms.
“ So this is like a discussion and a training on how states are going to get to position themselves. Now what is important is the reforms themselves and how they impact on private sector,’’ Oduwole said.
Speaking on what PEBEC is doing to ensure that businesses were retained in the country rather than relocating to other African countries, she said the council was collaboration with states to ensure an enabling environment.
“We are also now working with state governments since 2017 of course all these businesses really want to be here even the ones that are going to neighboring countries they are all targeted to get their good into Nigeria.
“ What we want is to make it easier to establish in Nigeria to get lands so that we can keep the jobs it’s not just for us to be buying their products and spending Nigerian money.
“ We want to keep them in here so that is why we are concerned if a business is thinking of setting up between Nigeria and Ghana, or Rwanda, we want them here any state in Nigeria where they are is a winner for us.
“So we want all states in Nigeria to make their environment vibrant so that whatever the case it is still Nigeria, we need those jobs we need that capital and we need that,’’ she said.
Meanwhile in a panel discussion many of the state champions came to share their success stories and how the business environment in their states had improved.
The Kaduna State Reform Champion, Mr. Khalil Khalil, Executive Director, Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) said the government of Kaduna state came up with a civil service reform, where all the reform indices were institutionalized.
According to him, the civil service when not carried along in a reform could be a stumbling block to achieving a desired change. Therefore the state used the service as a key to creating that enabling business environment.
The Enugu state champion, Dr Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo, Managing Director, Enugu State Investment Development Authority, said change was a process.
Ogbu-Nwobodo said the state built trust, collaboration and synergy within the business environment by making the people know that they are with them and not against them, thereby gaining their trust.
He however, urged PEBEC to come to the states and engage the chief executives of the states one-on-one so that more result could be achieved, adding that they should create more access to funds and infrastructure.
Other champions at the deep dive session includes Ekiti, Sokoto, Gombe, and Abia.