The Federal Government has designed new policies and reform programs that position the private sector as the “engine” of economic growth. To this effect, The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, was formed in July 2016, which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment as Vice Chair. The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) implements the reform agenda of PEBEC and became fully operational in October 2016. Their mandate is to remove critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria and to move Nigeria up 20 places on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index. PEBEC recently approved a 60-day National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria
In a bid to plug into this national strategic focus to improve the flow of domestic and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), His Excellency, The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, revived the Office of One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre (OSSIC).
The Office is a means to facilitate investment, streamline and simplify business set-up processes such as granting of permits, taxation issues, access to factory space, and any other requirements of investors, so as to cut on the time and costs associated with doing business in the State.
It provides investors with a single place to pick up all documents and approvals that are statutorily needed to set up an investment project in the State. This will remove obstacles and overcome bureaucracy faced by investors in setting up and running of business.
Prior to the Office of the OSSIC, approvals required by investors such as investment licensing, business operating licenses, land title registration, etc, were processed in different authorised government MDAs.
This led to delays in processing the necessary approvals and thus ended up being a barrier to investment as it stifled the smooth start-up of businesses in the State. According to Mrs. Babi Subair, Special Adviser to the Governor, Office of OSSIC, the delays could take more than 90 -180 days. However, through the OSSIC, there are plans to reduce this significantly.
“Our aim is to create and maintain a stable business environment to attract meaningful investment, both domestic and foreign”.
One of the benefits of the OSSIC model is that it promotes improvements in government cooperation and services. It brings together and delivers a streamlined and integrated suite of business start-up services for businesses and investors.
According to the CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms. Yewande Sadiku,
“one-stop-shop investment centres can reduce costs of transactions and simplify the formalities and paperwork that businesses have to comply with. All of these efforts have potential impacts in terms of burden reduction, serving also to other governance values, such as transparency and accountability”.
Our target is to be number one in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index 2017. This will make Ogun State the investment destination of choice for both foreign and domestic investors.
There are various positive social impact to the people of Ogun State when we improve the ease of doing businesses and for businesses to set up. New businesses provide opportunities for job creation for both skilled and unskilled labour. This translates into reduced unemployment rate and ultimately poverty alleviation.