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ENELAMAH: WE ARE REFORMING NIGERIA'S BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT

Source: pointblanknews.com
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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah has

said that Nigeria's ongoing economic challenges offer an unprecedented

opportunity to restructure and diversify the economy.

Speaking on Tuesday on Channels Television's Sunrise Programme, the

Minister said, “I believe that depending on what we do with this crisis

we're facing, it could actually be the impetus for this diversification.

It's extremely important that we make the most of what we're going

through.”
The Minister highlighted the Ministry's commitment to implementing the

Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), as a tool for diversifying the

Nigerian economy. “That Plan identifies sectors where Nigeria should be

doing more, but for reasons that are well understood, we haven’t. Our

responsibility as a Ministry is to make sure that Plan is implemented;

from Agro-processing to the automotive industry; Cotton, Textile and

Garments; and Petrochemicals – the sectors around which we have a

comparative advantage.”
Speaking on some other reform efforts, Dr Enelamah highlighted the

Ministry's Ease of Doing Business Initiative. “The President has directed

that we set up a Council, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment

Council (PEBEC), chaired by the Vice President, and that is focused

majorly on making Nigeria more attractive for investment. A lot of work

has gone on behind closed doors. The Nigeria Investment Promotion

Commission (NIPC) is going to be the Secretariat. We've said that in the

first year we want to move at least 20 spots ahead on the World Bank's

Ease of Doing Business rankings. We have identified a private sector Lead,

who will be announced soon, who is going to be the head of this Ease of

Doing Business Forum. We've also identified private sector firms that are

experts in it, and we've identified someone who led it in another country

– Georgia – he’s a former Prime Minister, who's come to help us. I'm

confident we'll get results.”
Dr Enelamah also touched on the Ministry's commitment to SMEs,

highlighting the new microcredit scheme in the 2016 budget, which will see

the Bank of Industry, one of the Ministry’s parastatals, overseeing the

disbursement of loans to 1.6 million traders, artisans, farmers and young

entrepreneurs over the next twelve months.
He stressed that the current government takes policy stability and

consistency very seriously. “We haven’t done the classic policy

flip-flops. The things that are [already existing] we have said we will

implement them better. For instance the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan

(NIRP), which is something that we inherited from the last government.

Also what the NIPC is doing for investors.” The Ministry, he added, is

also focused on ensuring “that only genuine manufacturers enjoy” already

existing import and export concessions.
Dr. Enelamah called for patience and understanding from Nigerians. “It

takes time for these things to take root. There is a time for

implementation and a time for results. My view is that Nigeria is

definitely going to get better; in the area of diversification of the

economy, and of investors coming in, it will happen.”

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