Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo has restated President Buhari’s vision and efforts to improve the country’s economic conditions.
He made this known during the Financial Times Africa Summit held at the Claridge’s Mayfair Hotel in London today.
Osinbajo disclosed that Buhari’s administration, in the past months has been working assiduously to improve macroeconomic conditions. He added that the presidency is making specific efforts to enable the private sector to thrive specifically by undertaking extensive ‘ease of doing business’ reforms, in addition to on-going investment in infrastructure.
“After a continuous slide in growth since 2014, the trend of growth in GDP has turned around with a modest growth of 0.55% in the second quarter of this year while inflation, though still somewhat high, has declined from its peak of 18.7% in January 2017 to about 16% today’, he said.
He disclosed that Buhari’s administration has also been increasing efforts in agriculture and power, adding that significant progress has been achieved in the ‘ease of doing business’ initiative.
His words: “In the first stage, reforms were introduced under a 60-day national action plan focused on eight areas that make it easier to register businesses, obtain construction permits, get credit, pay taxes, get electricity, trade across borders, facilitate entry and exit of people and register property.
“Practical examples of success include leveraging the use of technology to fast track business registration and payment of taxes, a functioning, tried and tested 48-hour electronic visa procedure, and an Executive Order mandating greater transparency and efficiency across all government agencies. The reforms have led to a reduction in cost and time, as well as greater transparency for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular.
“Following the 70% success rate achieved in the first phase of the ease of doing business reforms, we recently embarked on a second national action plan which will have 11 areas of focus and will run for 60 days from October 2017”.
Osinbajo observed that the theme of the summit, ‘What Africa Works’ is appropriate and disclosed that honest visionary leadership and good governance, letting the private sector and markets lead, diversification from resource-based revenues and developing the potential of the human resources available are what makes Africa work.
According to him, “Africa can demonstrate with clear examples that what makes Africa work are the ingenuity and resilience of the people, especially its 70% youth population, leadership and good governance, allowing the private sector and markets to function, focusing on infrastructural development, and the incredible opportunities that abound”.
Meanwhile, present at the summit were Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, the Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, among others.
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