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We are wooing back companies that left Nigeria – FG

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The federal government has said all the reforms on the ease of doing business in the country including the recently signed three Executive Orders, are meant to encourage companies that have relocated out of the country to return.

The government also restated the commitment 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.

Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 189 countries by the World Bank, according to the Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business report.

In August last year, over 20 shipping firms exited the nation’s shores over what they called poor government policies and global economic crunch, leading to 3,000 job losses.

Also in October last year, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Saipem Ground Petroleum, and Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited, were also reported to have left the country resulting in about 3,000 workers losing their jobs.

The Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, said this at the w orkshop for federal government agencies, parastatals, corporations and companies on the operationalisation of the executive order on promotion of Transparency and efficiency in the business environment, held at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.

“It is worthy of note that, government is committed to creating transparency in the business environment and policies that would motivate investors to invest their funds in profitable businesses in the country. It is therefore hoped that all companies that had relocated from the country some years back, will see reasons to be convinced by the sincerity of purpose displayed by the present administration in creating conducive business environment for genuine investors for them to be motivated to return”.

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had two weeks ago signed three Executive Orders – “Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment”, “Submission of Annual Budgetary Estimates by all Statutory and Non-Statutory Agencies including Incorporated Companies wholly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria” and “Support for Local Content in Public Procurements by MDAs of the FGN” respectively.

Tuesday workshop focused on “Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment”, and “Support for Local Content in Public Procurements by MDAs of the FGN”.

The Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Habiba Lawal, said the Executive Order is one of the measures employed by the current administration to achieve a more judicious management of Nigeria’s resources and improved business environment.

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