[TR News] Nigeria’ll be among top business-friendly nations in 2019 – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari said on Sunday that Nigeria would be one of the top countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index in the next three years.

Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 189 countries on the bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business report.

But Buhari said the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that the country moved up 20 places in the first year and be in the top 100 within the next three years.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke at a plenary session on “Dialogue with the Private Sector” at the sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development holding in Nairobi, Kenya.

He said his administration was implementing policies and measures to create the right and enabling environment for business and investors in Nigeria.

He told the gathering that included several African leaders, the Japan Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and international business executives that his administration’s vision was to make Nigeria one of the top investment destinations in the world, within the shortest time possible.

He said his administration had therefore established the Presidential Enabling Environment Council and Inter-Ministerial Council with the responsibility of driving the move.

The President said, “One of the most important priorities of our government  is to create the right and enabling environment for business and investors in Nigeria.

“Our vision and objective is to make Nigeria one of the most attractive and the easiest places of doing business in the world. We believe government has a particular responsibility to create the right and attractive environment for business and economic activities to thrive.

“In furtherance of this vision, we have launched the Presidential Enabling Environment Council, and Inter-Ministerial Council to oversee the efforts of the government to remove various bottlenecks that stifle businesses and economic activities and thereby creating economic activities,  the right enabling environment and investment climate in Nigeria.

“The secretariat will include strong private sector representation that will be led by experienced business professionals from the private sector. We are committed to moving up the ranking of the World Bank’s ease of doing business index 20 places in first year and be in the top 100 within the next three years.”

Meanwhile, the Pesident has said that the government will sustain concrete measures aimed at diversifying Nigeria’s economy by devoting more resources to agriculture in the 2017 budget.

Shehu, in a separate statement on Sunday quoted Buhari as saying this while granting an interview on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Nairobi.

The President also said African countries, including Nigeria, must learn from Japan how to develop agriculture.

He said the extra votes that would be allocated to agriculture in next year’s budget would cover areas such as procurement of machinery for land clearing, fertilizers, pesticides and training of less-educated farmers.

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