Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reaffirmed his administration’s determination to boost the state’s economic potential and transform it into an investment hub.
Governor Ugwuanyi made the declaration during the inauguration of the State Ease of Doing Business Council (SEODBC).
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, said, “At my inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, I promised that I will make government resources and services available to create equal opportunities for every willing citizen to make a living, create wealth, send our children to school and enjoy life in a safe and secure
environment. This social contract remains the guiding light of this administration”.
He explained that the inauguration of the council was informed by the uninspiring state of the country’s economy given its excessive dependence on oil revenue which had for sometime experienced a slump on the international market.
“In Nigeria today, government at all levels as well as public and private institutions that are responsible for the creation of our national wealth and facilitation of essential services, agree that our economy requires a major overhaul and improvement.
“According to several industry reports, Nigeria has technically come out of recession, but our global ranking on the ease of doing business remains abysmally low. This low national ranking, no doubt, adversely affects our productivity and competitiveness at all levels,” the governor noted further.
He cited the lack of enabling environment as the reason foreign businesses are reluctant to invest in the country, noting that this necessitated the federal government’s establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
“Lack of ease of doing business is one of the reasons foreign investors cite for not considering Nigeria as a choice destination for trade and investment in spite of our huge potential.
“It is also the most frequently cited reason most small businesses in our local communities die before their fifth anniversary. It was in light of the above facts, among other factors, that the Federal Government of Nigeria in July 2016 established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) chaired by His Excellency, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN,” he said.
He added that the council emerged as a result of the recommendation by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council in August 2017 to state governments to constitute the State Ease of Doing Business Council. It was shaped, as well, by the interim report of the Enugu State Executive Council Committee on Ease of Doing Business headed by the governor’s chief of staff, Dr. Festus Uzor, which directed that the council be chaired by the deputy governor on behalf of the governor.
The committee’s assignments include a review of operating environment to ascertain the ease of starting a business, registering a property, access to land and property, regulatory laws, security and the capacity of existing infrastructure to support new businesses.
Expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to serve, Dr. Uzor, noted that members of the committee will carry out the responsibilities to the letter.
“Your Excellency, we are sincerely grateful for giving us the opportunity to serve in the council. I am very optimistic that we will not let you down, considering the crop of people selected as members of the council. In no distant time Enugu State will be an investment destination for the South East and Nigeria”, Dr. Uzor assured.
Other members of the committee comprise the following: the State House of Assembly, Office of the Head of Service, the State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the State Ministry of Justice, the State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, the State Ministry of Land and Urban Development, the Enugu SME Centre, Office of the Governor on Special Projects, Office of the Governor on Security (SPA Security), the State Board of Internal Revenue, the organized private sector (one representative each from ECCIMA, among others.)
Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, Chief of Staff to the Enugu State Governor, Dr. Festus Uzor and Head of Service, Mr. Chidi Ezema, at the inauguration of the State’s Ease of Doing Business Council.