President Muhammadu Buhari has declared his intentions to create an atmosphere for Nigeria to become the most easiest and attractive places of doing business in the world by 2019.
The President spoke at a plenary session on ‘Dialogue with the Private Sector’ at the ongoing sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI), in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, August 28, and he said that his administration was implementing policies and measures to create the right environment for investors and businesses in Nigeria.
Noting that Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 189 countries as reported by the Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business, President Buhari assured audience at the session made up of several African leaders, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and international business executives, that his administration’s vision and objective was to make Nigeria one of the top investment destinations in the world within the shortest possible time.
He disclosed the launching of two secretariat: the Presidential Enabling Environment Council (PEEC) and Inter-Ministerial Council, to oversee the efforts of government to remove various bottlenecks that stifle businesses and economic activities in Nigeria.
The secretariat, he added, will include strong private sector representation that would be led by experienced business professionals from the private sector.
In a statement as shared by his media senior special assistant, Garba Shehu, Buhari said;
“We are committed to moving up the ranking of the World Bank’s ease of doing business index 20 places in the first year and be in the top 100 within the next three years.
“The Federal Government will take concrete measures to diversify the economy by devoting more resources to agriculture in the 2017 budget.”
Pointing out the advanced technology in Japan, the President deemed them worthy of emulation.
“Japan has greatly advanced in technology, particularly in solar power, infrastructure to spur growth in medium and small-scale industries. Because of the advanced use of technology, farming and agriculture can become competitive.
“Japan has the knowledge, technology and capital to assist African countries to develop and Japanese firms are in a very good position to successfully compete for the development of infrastructure in Nigeria.”
Furthermore, Buhari noted the agricultural progress in Nigeria since the beginning of 2016.
“This year, in Nigeria, we started an aggressive farming programme that entails organising farmers into cooperatives in the second and third tiers of government.
“We intend to put more resources in our 2017 budget, especially in the procurement of machinery for land clearing, fertilizers, pesticides and training of less-educated farmers by farm extension instructors.”
He said the country has registered some success this year in a number of states, adding that 13 states will soon be self-sufficient in rice, wheat and grains before the end of 2018.
“We are very positive that soon, we will be able to export these food products. We are also lucky that the farming season in the northern part of the country has been very good and we are expecting a bumper harvest this year,” President Buhari said.