THE Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business has slashed deadline for registration of new businesses from…

ABUJA —THE Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business

has slashed deadline for registration of new businesses from 10

to two days and effected a 24-hour timeline for registration of

companies.

President Muhammadu Buhari

This takes effect from when an application form is completed

and all required documents made available.

Similarly, it stated that all prospective business owners could

now search on Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, portal

(www.cac.gov.ng ) to avoid duplication of names and prevent selection of prohibited names, while company registration no longer requires lawyers.

According to the committee, it is now optional for Small and

Medium Enterprises, SMEs, to hire lawyers to prepare

registration documents.

These were among the highlights of a report presented at a

Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC,  at

yesterday’s meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting, which marked the end of the 60-day Action Plan on

Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria reforms, was chaired by

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, at the

instance of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was engaged

with the work of the Presidential Investigative Panel.

Other ministers at the meeting included Foreign Affairs Minister,

Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Industry Trade &

Investment, Aisha Abubakar, and her counterpart in Budget and

National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

Other government dignitaries at the meeting includedHead of

Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and several heads of MDAs.

The report which was presented by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Senior

Special Assistant to the President on Trade & Investment

indicated that “CAC has introduced single incorporation form

(CAC1.1) to save time and reduce costs, while the agency has

introduced document upload interface on its website to enable

e-submission of registration documents.”

Other aspects of the reforms actualized in the last 60 days

included the Integrated FIRS e-payment solution into CAC portal

to enable e-stamping while the reform empowers CAC internal

lawyers to certify company incorporation forms and conduct

statutory declaration of compliance for a fixed fee of N500.

The report also listed dealing with construction permits, getting

electricity, registering property, getting credit and paying taxes,

as some of the areas where the council has recorded progress

in the past 60 days.

It also highlighted the completed reforms on the “Entry and Exit

of People,” indicator which includes Simplified Visa-on-Arrival

process, infrastructural improvements at Abuja airport, and the

new Immigration Regulation 2017.

It further indicated that the completed reforms were being

closely monitored to ensure diligent implementation with

minimal disruption, while pending reforms were being escalated

to ensure completion in the coming weeks.

On Trading across Borders, some of the completed reforms

include palletisation of imports, advanced cargo manifests,

reduction in documentation requirements and scheduling of

Joint Physical Examination by the Customs Service.

The National Action Plan contained initiatives and actions

implemented by responsible Ministries, Departments and

Agencies, MDAs, the National Assembly, a number of state

governments, as well as some private sector stakeholders.

The council emphasised that with the conclusion of

implementation of the Action Plan, the next phase would involve

“deepening existing reforms; completing and implementing

pending initiatives; engaging with the public; validating

completed reforms and kicking-off medium-term reforms.”

The council would also kick-start “sub-national reforms across

Nigeria’s 36 states; trading within Nigeria; kick-off of initiatives

and reforms improving business processes and regulations

within Nigeria; and ease of movement of goods within and

across regions in Nigeria.”

Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the

meeting, Ameachi said 15 of 22 reforms had been taken, adding

that the committee would conclude its work on or before June.

“This is the meeting of the Presidential Council on the Ease of

doing business.

We met and we looked at 22 reform items. we have met 70

percent of them. We have done 15 out of 22 and the rest we

think we can complete it before June.

‘’ We looked at Land registry in states where we are using as

pilot; FAAN entry and exit. You have seen the development at

Abuja airport. From Abuja, we are going to lagos airport and

other airports in the country.

“The vice president is very busy. After sometime, he asked me

to chair the meeting. I will go upstairs to brief him,” Amaechi

said.

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