PEBEC Generates Omnibus Law
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) is an inter-governmental and inter-ministerial council which is chaired by His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and comprises 10 ministers, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, representatives from Lagos & Kano State governments, the National Assembly and the private sector. The council is aimed at breaking down barriers that hinder ease of doing business in Nigeria such as regulatory bottlenecks and stringent travel requirements. The success of the council will see an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria.
It is our practice within the Firm to constantly liaise with regulatory agencies on behalf of clients. Therefore it was not a surprise when we were invited by a couple of law firms to join their committee to (i) review legislation bordering on starting a business in Nigeria and (ii) carry out comparative analyses of jurisdictions with good index on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business with the purpose of enacting an omnibus law to ease doing business in Nigeria.
The project is carried out in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law. Our Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode (MFR), was chair for 4 years and his immense contributions are still being enjoyed by the Bar today. About 14 areas were identified by PEBEC for review. These laws regulate such areas that will encourage incorporation of business and facilitate ease of doing business in Nigeria. The areas include starting a business, access to credit, trading within Nigeria, dealing with construction permits, labour market regulations and procurement, among others.
Currently, the review of specific legislation regulating these areas has been completed and the process of drafting the bill has commenced. It is expected that the Omnibus law once passed will improve Nigeria’s ranking among the committee of nations on the Ease of Doing Business Report, encourage FDIs as well as create a boost in the welfare of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
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