The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has released its 2020/2021 Business Made Easy Report and the 2021 E01 compliance report. This is in line with its commitment to measure continuously the compliance to the Executive Order (EO1) on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment and to capture periodically the footprints of the PEBEC reform agenda.
The Business Made Easy Report records the reform journey from January 2020 to June 2021, a particularly challenging period for the business environment due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. This reflected in the suboptimal performance recorded for the 5th and 6th National Action Plans at 44% and 43% respectively. Notwithstanding the challenges, the Nigerian business environment recorded some progress, particularly with the signing into law of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 on August 7, 2020, which has been adjudged as Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades.
Likewise, the 2020/2021 Executive Order 01 Compliance Report offers a clear picture of the level of compliance to the Order’s directive among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). EO1, which came into force in May 2017, has been designed to strengthen the implementation of business climate reforms and to deepen collaboration among MDAs by instituting a systemic change management process for reforms. Indeed, the implementation of EO1 directives has never been more urgent given the heightened demand for automation of regulatory processes for improved service delivery in a pandemic stricken world.
The EO1 report presents an analysis of the monthly reports submitted by MDAs. An MDAs’ overall EO1 performance score combines scores on the Efficiency and Transparency measures at a ratio of 70% and 30% respectively. Efficiency score is measured by MDA compliance to service delivery timelines, as well as compliance to the Default Approval and One Government directives of the EO1. Transparency is measured based on the existence of a website, an interactive online service portal, detailed content of services, timelines, costs, requirements, customer service contact details. Besides the aforementioned measures, the report, for the first time, introduces an additional new set of metrics, which took effect in January 2021, in a bid to deepen the scope and depth of the compliance metrics. The new metrics includes a stronger emphasis on functional social media channels for communication, as well as the incorporation of the Website Assessment Ranking of the Bureau for Public Service.
Reforms and the Ethics and Integrity Scale of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
In the period covering January 2020 to December 2020 and under the old assessment scale, the following MDAs emerged top five performers – Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (5th, 64.59%), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (4th, 69.96%), Nigeria Content Development Management Board (3rd, 70.58%), Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (2nd, 71.24%) while the Standards Organisation of Nigeria ranked first at 78.79%. The total overall average score for all MDAs was 38.94%.
With a refreshed assessment metric coming into force in January 2021, the top overall five performers for the period between January 2021 and June 2021 are National Pension Commission (5th, 58.07%), Nigeria Content Development Management Board (2nd, 68.04%), Nigerian Export-Import Bank ( 3rd, 68.86%), Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (2nd, 70.78%) while the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, once again, emerged first at 74.30%. However, the average overall performance score for all MDAs for the period was 33.58%, reflecting a drop in the overall compliance for MDAs compared to performance in 2020. In the same vein, MDA compliance to the 72-hr timeline mandated by the Federal Executive Council for complaint resolution on the ReportGov.NG platform leaves a lot of room for improvement. The report shows that all agencies fell short of the timeline for resolution.
Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary to the PEBEC stated that “the result establishes the need to intensify EO1 compliance across all MDAs towards making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business. As the PEBEC moves to consolidate the business climate reforms of the past six years, a renewed emphasis will be placed on improving the technology maturity level of MDAs for improved service delivery to all Nigerians. Furthermore, the ReportGov.NG platform will be strengthened with the enlisting of all PEBEC priority MDAs and wider communication of the platform to drive up feedback from the private sector.”