President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Sochi, Russia, hailed the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI) which ranked Nigeria 131 out of 190 countries, 15 places up from its 146th position last year.
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the report, which was released Thursday, also named Nigeria one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world for the second time in three years.
It also said Nigeria was one of the only two African countries to make this highly prestigious list, noting that with this year’s leap, Nigeria has improved an aggregate of 39 places in the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016.
It explained that the Doing Business Index is an annual ranking that objectively assesses prevailing business climate conditions across 190 countries based on 10 ease of doing business indicators.
The index captures ease of doing business reforms that have been validated by the private sector, and offers comparative insights based on private sector validation in the two largest commercial cities in countries with a population higher than 100 million. The report consequently featured Lagos and Kano for Nigeria.
Adesina said Buhari welcomed the development, saying “the movement of 15 places to 131 as well as the recognition being given to Nigeria as one of the top 10 most improved countries, that have implemented the most reforms this year, is significant because we were not even able to achieve some of the key reforms we had pursued, but what we have done so far is being recognised. This validation confirms that our strategy is working and we will continue to push even harder to deliver more impactful reforms.”
According to the statement, with the impending ratification of the Companies and Allied Matters Bill and the introduction of the Business Facilitation (Omnibus) Bill, 2019 in view, along with other pending and ongoing regulatory, judicial and sub-national reforms, the president reasoned that “the announcement by the World Bank indicates that our mandate to move into the top 70 doing business destinations by 2023 remains achievable.”
Adesina said Buhari was briefed on the rankings by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Otunba Niyi Adebayo, in far away Sochi, Russia, quoting him as saying:
“The steady improvement in Nigeria’s ease of doing business score and rank is a testament to the reforms implemented by this Administration over the past four years in line with the reform agenda being implemented at national and sub-national levels across the country since the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari in July, 2016.
“The PEBEC works towards the fulfillment of the projections of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020), which is striving to deliver sustainable economic growth in Nigeria by restoring growth, investing in our people, and building a competitive economy as we work towards delivering Mr. President’s mandate of bringing 100 million people out of poverty.
“The 2020 Doing Business report from the World Bank has reaffirmed the commitment of the newly constituted PEBEC to making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business and removing the bureaucratic constraints to doing business in the country as we forge ahead in this Next Level.”
Adesina explained that PEBEC, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with 13 ministers as members, amongst others, has through the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, collaborated with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the National Assembly, the judiciary, state governments and the private sector to carry out over 140 reforms so far in a bid to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria and making the country a progressively easier place to start and grow a business.
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Osinbajo Jets To Dubai, To Address Global LPG Forum
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, departed Abuja to participate at the World Liquified Petroleum Gas Association forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
According to a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the VP is expected to deliver a keynote address at the event which would feature leaders, including top government ministers from across the world.
Also, some Chief Executives of major multinational corporations in the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) sectors around the globe are expected to attend the week-long 2021 World LPG Week from Sunday through Thursday this week under the auspices of the Paris-based World LPG Association.
Prof. Osinbajo will be speaking on Tuesday at the forum, which is attracting over 2,000 delegates from 72 countries, on the theme of the LPG Week – “Energising Tomorrow.”
The World LGP Week, which will first be held in Amsterdam in 2019, is an annual event bringing together major LPG companies, senior public sector officials, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders.
This year’s LPG Week, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, creates the opportunity for global stakeholders to engage with the activities lined up, including a global exhibition, technology conference, the LPG Development Summit, among others.
The World LPG Association was established in 1987 and granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, in 1989. WLPGA is the umbrella association which globally coordinates the LPG industry.
According to Laolu, the Vice President is expected back in Abuja on Thursday.
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Dowen College: My Son Is Not Involve In Sylvester Death, Sen. Kashamu’s Family Speaks
The family of the late Senator Buruji Kashamu has denied the involvement of their son in the death of Sylvester Oromoni, 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lekki.
Recall that Sylvester died from internal injuries days before his birthday after being assaulted by fellow students in Dowen College.
The deceased, before his death, mentioned some names of boys who assaulted him.
Kashamu’s son was one of the suspects named in the case.
However, the family in a statement issued by Mutairu Kashamu for the family, confirmed that although one of their sons, Michael Adewale Kashamu, was named among the suspected bullies of the deceased, he had no involvement in the death of Sylvester.
Part of the statement read: “The Kashamu family has been inundated with enquiries, calls and messages over the unfortunate incident at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, that led to the untimely death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of the College.
“Most commentators have rushed to conclusions based on assumptions and false information, including the allegation that our son Adewale Michael Kashamu was involved in the bullying or beating of Sylvester Oromoni.”
The family noted that it has conducted its private investigation since the story broke out and their son was just Sylvester’s school father the previous session.
”We as a family have made our own private enquiries and carefully questioned our son about his involvement. This is why we didn’t rush out to respond to the cyber-stalking, name-calling and negative commentaries that have taken over the social media about our son’s alleged involvement in this sad incident.
”Some of the true facts now slowly emerging from under the mass of lies are that: Our son, Adewale Michael Kashamu, had acted as a school father for the late Sylvester in his first session in the school at the request of Sylvester’s sister who is also a student of the school.
“However, in the 2021 session which began in September 2021 Adewale Michael Kashamu was moved to a different floor in the boarding house and engrossed in his own studies and activities, our son was no longer as close to Sylvester as in the previous session.”
The family condoled with the family of Late Sylvester Oromoni and appealed to all and sundry to hold their horses until the police and the Lagos State government have completed their independent investigations and established the truth.
Dowen College has been shut down indefinitely by the Lagos State government till investigation into Sylvester’s death is over.
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Omicron: FG Expresses Disappointment Over UK Govt’s Red Listing Of Nigeria
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has expressed disappointment over the United Kingdom government’s placement of Nigeria on its red list following the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
“We were not very happy when six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were placed on a red list and the WHO also advised against putting each on the red list,” the minister said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, less than one day after the UK announced the move.
“From what we know about the COVID-19, there are many ways to manage it, and besides, not much is still known about the Omicron variant. We know, for example, that there have been no fatalities.
“There have also been no reports of very severe illness. Actually, the rationale for being so hasty in putting countries on the red list is not something that is very helpful.”
According to the minister, the move was ill-advised as he noted that it would have multiple impacts on commerce, and disrupt activities during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
“It is going to disrupt commerce,” he added. It is going to disrupt family reunions.”
Ban List Not ‘Helpful’
He explained that while Nigeria has detected the COVID-19 virus on travellers from the UK, the cases have not been confirmed to be the Omicron variant.
While reiterating that the placement of countries on the red list will not help in the global fight against the pandemic, Ehanire said Nigeria is anticipating the fourth wave of the disease.
“If every country were going to put other countries on the ban list, very soon you would have a large number of countries on your red list,” the minister said.
“So, I do believe there are other ways of going about it. We in Nigeria do not regard banning flights and movements of people as particularly helpful and supportive.”
The UK’s move, which came a few days after Nigeria detected the new strain, followed a similar decision by the Canadian authorities.
“Foreign nationals who have transited or stayed in these 10 countries cannot enter Canada if they have been in those countries in the last two weeks,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a press conference.
Aside from Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi were the other countries recently added to Canada’s travel ban list.
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