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FG Sets Up Two Committees To Improve Trade, Investment – Leadership Newspapers

The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja set up two committees that would improve the flow of trade and investment to the country.

They are: ‘Doing Business and Competitiveness’ and ‘Investor Care’ committees.

Speaking while inaugurating the committees, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Anyim Pius Anyim, said there was the need to resuscitate certain committees to improve Nigeria’s trade ranking in the world.

Anyim was speaking against the backdrop of the recent ranking of Nigeria as the 127th in terms of global competitiveness as released by the 2011 World Economic Forum (WEF).

“The need for resuscitation of these committees became more glaring after due consideration of the recent released 2011 Global Competiveness Index (GCI) of the world economic forum (WEF) that ranked Nigeria as 127th country out of 139 countries.

“It was also noted that Nigeria ranked poorly in all the twelve indicators known as pillars of competitiveness except with respect to its market size and business sophistication.’’

According to Ayim, Nigeria was also ranked 137th out of the 183 countries ranked in the 2011 Doing Business Report of the world and 93rd out of 241 countries in the World Investment Report of 2010 by the UN commission.

He said the mandate of the two committees as contained in their Terms of Reference, was to monitor the legislation governing the art of doing business in Nigeria.

He stressed that the committee on competitiveness and investor care would, among the others things, receive and appraise complaints on investment/business environment from investors.

The SGF, however, said that membership of the two committees was drawn from ministries, extra ministerial departments and agencies with critical roles to play in meeting the objectives of the committees.

He told the members of the committees that their appointments were based on merit and urged them to work hard and make Nigeria business and investor-friendly.

He also urged them to undertake the assignments diligently to demonstrate and reciprocate the confidence reposed in them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as chairman of the two committees, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, will oversee their affairs.

The Doing Business Committee has Mr Kunle Omowole of the Corporate Affairs Commission, and Mr David Adulugba of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council as members.

The committee also include representatives of the ministries of finance, labour and Justice, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Investors Care Committee with Nganga as chairman, has chief executives of NCS, representatives of ministries of power and finance, NNPC, NAFDAC, FIRS, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, and NEPZA as members.

The chief executive of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, who is also a member of the committee, will serve as its secretary.

In his response, on behalf of the two committees, Aganga said they would remain committed to changing the investment climate in the country, to make Nigeria a preferred destination for investors.

He said a number of steps had been taken since Nigeria started focusing on improving its investment climate.

The minister pointed out that the Investor Care Committee would ensure that investors coming to the country or already in the country, registered within 48 hours.

He urged would-be investors to report their problems to the One-Stop Investment Center for solution and clarification.

Aganga pledged that the committees will do their best to achieve the set goals. (NAN)

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