Frequently Asked Questions - General FAQs
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PEBEC is the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). The Council was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016 to remove the critical constraints and bureaucratic bottlenecks to doing business in Nigeria. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was named by the President as the chair of PEBEC in demonstration of the administration’s commitment and political will to ease the business environment.
The Council has ten honourable ministers whose MDAs more directly impact on the business environment; the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); and representatives of the National Assembly and the private sector as members. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment (OVP) serves as secretary to the Council.
The PEBEC ministers include: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (Vice Chair); Minister of Budget and National Planning; Minister of Environment; Minister of Finance; Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Information and Culture; Minister of Interior; Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation; Minister of Power, Works and Housing; and Minister of Transportation.
EBES is the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat. The Secretariat works in tandem with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement PEBEC’s reform agenda. EBES aims to make Nigeria an increasingly easier place to do business for investors – both local and foreign. The Secretariat became fully operational in October 2016 and currently operates from the headquarters of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) in Abuja. EBES is a lean public/private sector project delivery office coordinated by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment (OVP).
Based on EBES’ engagement with the private sector on their most pressing needs, these three areas were prioritized:
- Entry and Exit of goods – particularly through the ports
- Entry and Exit of people – airports and immigration
- Government Transparency – clarity and consistency of information needed by the private sector to do business across all the reform areas (including the procurement process). It is crucial, for instance, that websites of MDAs have complete and up-to-date information on the requirements (documents, costs, time and procedures) which SMEs must satisfy when dealing with them.)
In addition, EBES has prioritised 7 reform areas in line with the target to improve in the World Bank Doing Business Rankings for 2018 following extensive research and engagement with stakeholders:
- Starting a business
- Getting credit
- Trading across borders
- Getting electricity
- Dealing with construction permits
- Paying taxes
- Registering property
The 60-Day National Action Plan is PEBEC’s short-term fix to ease the business environment. Under the plan, the Federal Government, National Assembly, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and some private entities committed to clear deliverables to be implemented between February 21, 2017 and April 18, 2017. Each deliverable has a timeline and a responsible body to implement it. A infographic representation of the Action Plan can be downloaded in the ‘Download’ section of this website.
Already, several reforms directly impacting on business owners have been implemented by MDAs with the support of PEBEC/EBES.
On Starting a Business:
1. Business incorporation process can now be done mostly online on the CAC’s Company Registration Portal
2. Procedures which can now be done on the portal include
Public search of names: to prevent situation in which business owners choose an already taken name; Document Upload which ensures business owners can now upload the required registration documents from the comfort of their offices or homes; and E-stamping so that stamp duties can be paid for directly on the CAC portal.
The need for lawyers/accredited agents/chartered secretaries has been made optional, reducing the cost of registration of companies
Incorporation documents have been consolidated and single form introduced.
Certification of company incorporation forms, related documents and statutory declaration of compliance now to be handled free of charge by the CAC’s internal lawyers.
Timelines for company registration have been revised as follows: Approval for reservation of names (12 hours); Incorporation of companies if application form is completed and required documents available (24 hours).
EBES is currently working with reformers in the MDAs and National Assembly to:
1. Streamline number of agencies at the nation’s ports of entry for goods and people: There are currently too many agencies at the ports leading to delays and excessive costs
2. Pass priority bills including the National Collateral Registry Bill and the Credit Bureau Services Bill, which will make it easier for businesses to get access to credit.
3. Improve reliability of the CAC’s Company Registration Portal to ensure 99%+ uptime
4. Simplify Visa-On-Arrival process to include e-submission of applications to dedicated desk at NIS
5. Eliminate manual baggage searches at airports
The mission of PEBEC/EBES is to make businesses work in Nigeria and the main barometer for measuring that would be the testimonials by Nigerians themselves.
However, EBES is working side by side with MDAs to implement PEBEC’s reforms that will move Nigeria by at least 20 places in the next Doing Business Rankings 2018 to be released in October 2017. The expectation is that by 2019, we would be in the top 100. This would be empirical evidence that the needle is moving in the right direction.
EBES and the MDAs are partners in progress – collaborating with each other to make businesses work in Nigeria. EBES is the operational team of PEBEC and has the highest political backing to motivate MDAs to implement reforms. PEBEC members nominated Reform Champions (RCs) for each MDA to drive reforms within the agencies. These RCs work closely with reform leaders to implement the Council’s agenda.