By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja, Jan. 20, 2021 The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council( PEBEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has received the Cost of Compliance Report, which exposes major pitfalls in operations of some Federal Government regulatory agencies.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the council resolved that heads of the affected Federal Government regulatory agencies be presented with the outcome of the recent survey.
The Cost of Compliance Report was presented to the PEBEC at its first virtual meeting of the year on Tuesday.
The report revealed persistent corruption, duplicity of functions, poor service orientation, and several anti-business dispositions in some of the regulatory agencies.
Osinbajo directed that heads of such government regulatory agencies involved should be presented with the outcomes, while interaction should take place regarding some of the worrying disclosures in the report of the survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).
The vice president said the report revealed human issues that were not unavoidable.
He acknowledged the important roles regulatory agencies played in ensuring that businesses thrived seamlessly.
According to him, doing otherwise will only jeopardise the government’s efforts in creating conducive business environment.
“If the environment on account of regulatory authorities is so difficult or expensive, such that people are discouraged or it doesn’t make sense for people to do business, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot in a manner we can only blame ourselves.
“These are human issues and we must do something very serious about these issues.
“I am in full support of holding our chief executive officers to account because they, in turn, must hold their staff to account.
“ If there is systemic corruption, bribery and extortion, and nobody is held to account, there is a problem.”
Osinbajo said that Federal Government’s plans in growing the economy and changing the lives and livelihood of Nigerians for the better, was largely dependent on the business environment in which they operated.
He said that every plan around sustaining economic growth, improving job creation and opportunities, making life better for the citizens, among others depended entirely on the environment in which people have to do business.
“It determines whether they will invest their resources, expand their businesses, and it just determines practically everything,” he said.
Others present at the PEBEC meeting included Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Vice Chairman of PEBEC and Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior and Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning participated in the meeting.
Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Sen. Aishatu Ahmed, representing the National Assembly, among other top government officials and representatives from PwC were also at the meeting.
Members of PEBEC also condoled with Oduwole on the death of her father, former Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Prof. Afolabi Olumide.
Adebayo, who spoke on behalf of PEBEC, prayed that God would grant the PEBEC secretary and the entire family the fortitude to bear the loss.