The Federal Government is consciously improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria through several strategic reforms that would foster rapid economic recovery.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed in her presentation at the recently concluded Deloitte Nigeria 2021 Economic Dialogue.
Ease of doing business is an indicator of how flexible the regulations and other bureaucracies are to encourage new businesses ie. MSMEs to set up and run without encumbrances.
According to her, MSMEs contribute 48% of the national GDP and 96% of businesses as well as 84% of employment and thus require the necessary reforms to make it contribute more to the economy.
Dr. Ahmed stated that the Finance Act 2020 has provided the impetus and the required business-friendly environment for the MSMEs to thrive as follows:
- Mitigating double taxation risk
- Limiting the deductible interests paid by Nigerian companies on loans from foreign lenders
- Providing tax-free period for the agric. Sector incorporates thin capitalization
- Exempting small companies from CIT and VAT
What you should know
- All economies in the world are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1–190. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.
- According to The World Bank‘s report on Ease of Doing Business 2020 Nigeria’s ranking jumped from 146 to 131, representing its second-highest annual progress of 11.45% in a decade.
Why this matters
- Doing business in Nigeria has been quite difficult and a serious disincentive to aspiring and budding entrepreneurs in the MSME space.
- Therefore implementing reforms that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business in Nigeria would go a long way in creating the required critical mass effect for the faster economic recovery.
Lagos seals 35 building sites after visits to Magodo, Ogudu, Eti-Osa, others
This enforcement of its physical planning laws is being carried out by LASBCA and the LASPPPA on behalf of the state government.
The Lagos State Government has commenced the massive enforcement of its physical planning laws to prevent building collapse and illegal developments, as it sealed 35 building sites for various contraventions.
This exercise is being carried out by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) on behalf of the state government, with the team visiting several construction sites and buildings in Eti-Osa, Magodo, Ogudu, Gbagada Phase II and several other Local Government Areas.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was contained in a statement issued by Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, Spokesman for LASBCA, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
He said the enforcement was to prevent haphazard construction from preliminary stages and to stop distressed buildings from causing havoc.
Abdulraheem said the enforcement team was led by Mr Gbolahan Oki, the General Manager of LABSCA. He added that LASBCA sealed a distressed building at No. 33 Oko Baba Street, Ebute Metta and dispersed children using the building as a school.
Oki said 35 sites were sealed for various contraventions including illegal demolition, construction without permit and failure to obtain necessary authorisation from LASBCA and LASPPPA.
Oki said, “The enforcement drive will be a continuous exercise.’’
The general manager appealed to Lagos residents to follow proper channels in processing their construction works and obtaining necessary permits from the state government.
He said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was committed to ensuring that buildings in Lagos state were designed, constructed and maintained to high standards of safety so as to avoid loss of lives and property, through the existing building regulatory system.
Oki said LASPPPA’s role was to ascertain and validate the approvals obtained by the various construction sites visited, as well as monitor layouts and development schemes.
He added that LABSCA, on the other hand, was for the identification of distressed and non-conforming buildings and inspection/certification of various stages of building construction works.
What you should know
- The Lagos State Government has for several months been on an enforcement drive of the state’s physical planning laws, so as to restore order and prevent the distortion of the ecosystem of the entire state and preserve the environment.
- This has led to the demolition of illegal structures that either did not get approval or did not conform to the approved building plan or physical planning laws in such areas as Lekki Phase 1, Ikoyi, Magodo, Ogudu GRA, Ajao Estate, Ikeja and so on.
Nigeria signs pact with Morocco’s OCP Group to aid fertilizer production
The pact is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers.
Nigeria has signed a pact with OCP Africa to aid the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative in Morocco. The pact was signed by the Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and officials of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
This was disclosed in a statement issued by NSIA and seen by Nairametrics on Tuesday.
This is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.
We joined HMSPR Timipre Sylva, OCP Morocco, PFI and the NSIA in Marrakech to endorse protocols that progresses the Amonia plant establishment in Akwa Ibom. We gave gas supply assurances and NNPC will take equity in the venture. Local fertilizer production will get boost! pic.twitter.com/krmwzQ7lji
— Mele Kyari (@MKKyari) March 2, 2021
To achieve the 750,000 tons target, a number of agreements were signed between OCP Africa, the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, and the NSIA in order to commit to the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
Similarly, a Shareholders’ Agreement was also signed between OCP Africa and the NSIA for the creation of the Joint Venture Company. This agreement would oversee the development of a versatile industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.
It stated, “a Memorandum of Understanding between OCP Africa, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and NSIA was sealed. The objective of this pact is to evaluate the opportunity of an equity investment by the NNPC in the JVC and for its support on gas.”
What you should know
- The business visit is a follow up to the industrial project which was officially launched in June 2018 following the success of the first phase of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative supported by OCP.
- Through these agreements, the OCP Group has confirmed its commitment to the development of sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Nigeria.
- The project was first announced during the official visit to Morocco of President Muhammadu Buhari and it is aimed at developing a versatile industrial platform in Nigeria.
- Recall that in 2016, OCP Group first partnered with the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, supported by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
- This collaboration stretched across the entire agricultural value chain, from the introduction of customized fertilizers adapted to local soils and crops to improving the availability of fertilizers in the local market at competitive prices.
- The partnership also included farmer support initiatives, supply chain development projects along with the strengthening of a close distribution system.
- These joint efforts have led to the renovation of 13 blending units and packaging for fertilizers and installation by private operators of more than 14 new factories.
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