The President Muhammadu Buhari administration will drive the new executive orders signed last week vigorously in its determination to significantly transform the business environment and how government business is done in the country, Presidential spokesman in the Office of the Acting President, Mr Laolu Akande has said.
Akande disclosed this in response to media inquiries and while giving an update to the press on the new orders signed last Thursday.
He said as part of measures to drive the reforms intended in the executive orders, an interactive event would hold in Abuja on Wednesday where the Ag. President would be discussing the executive orders on business environment and promoting “Made in Nigeria” products with a cross-section of government officials.
“These are the people who will be directly responsible for the attainment of the objectives of the executive orders, so the Ag. President wants an opportunity to talk with them directly and also hear from them in person.”
Akande added that ensuring the effective implementation of the orders are critical for the overall prosperity of Nigerians and Nigeria.
Besides, as part of activities commemorating the Second year of the Buhari administration, Akande disclosed that a presidential level Report Card event on the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) of the Buhari presidency would be held at Aso Rock.
“Here at this national event, we shall be updating Nigerians on the progress so far attained, how we are addressing some challenges and how President Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes would be significantly expanded going forward,” Akande noted.
The SIPs are the N-Power, which selected and engaged 200,000 unemployed Nigerians graduates for a volunteer job programmers, the Conditional Cash Transfer being implemented now in 9 states, General Economic & Empowerment Programme, GEEP-a micro credit scheme that has given out almost 60,000 loans out already, and the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, where 25 million meals have been served and over 1 million primary school pupils in at least seven states are being fed and over 11,000 cooks hired.
In summary, the three executive orders signed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, are to ensure:
Transparency in MDAs
The Order promotes transparency by directing that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) should publish a complete list of all requirements for obtaining permits, licences and approvals, including fees and timelines, in their premises and on their websites within the next 21 days.
The Order also directs that MDAs must communicate with applicants by at least two methods, and any approvals for applications not received within the specified period will be assumed to have been granted to the applicant by default. Any rejections must be given with valid reasons. The Applicant whose application is deemed granted after the expiration of the application period can apply to the supervising Minister to issue any document or certificate required.
Importantly, it is the responsibility of the head of the relevant MDA to ensure that the list is verified and kept up-to-date at all times. If there is any conflict between a published and an unpublished list of requirements, the published list shall prevail.
The Order directs that MDAs must communicate with applicants by at least two methods, which will be made known to applicants. Any approvals for applications not received within the specified period will be assumed to have been granted to the applicant by default. Any rejections must be given with valid reasons. The Applicant whose application is deemed granted after the expiration of the application period can apply to the supervising Minister to issue any document or certificate required.
The applicant’s acknowledgement copy of the application, including electronic submission acknowledgements, shall serve as proof of the date of submission of the application for purposes of determination of the commencement of the application timeline.
One Government Directive
To simplify application processes for Nigerians, the Order promotes a “One Government” policy. No private applicant will be asked to produce or submit a document issued to it by the FGN as part of an application process if an original of the document is in the possession of another FGN MDA. A photocopy will be sufficient. Instead, FGN MDAs are now required to bear the responsibility of seeking verification or certification directly from the issuing MDA.
Entry Experience of Visitors and Travellers
With specific reference to travellers to Nigeria, visas will be issued within 48 hours and the processing of issuance of visas on arrival shall be carried out in a transparent manner. Our airports and sea ports are not excluded. There will now be only one centrally located interface for agencies and touting has been strictly prohibited.
Any official caught soliciting or receiving bribes from passengers or other port users shall be subject to immediate removal from post and disciplinary as well as criminal proceedings in line with extant laws and regulations.
All agencies currently physically present in Nigerian Ports have been directed harmonise their operations into one single interface station in one location in the port and implement by a single joint task force at all times.
The Apapa Port shall resume 24-hour operations within 30 days from today and each Port in Nigeria shall assign an existing export terminal to be dedicated to the exportation of agriculture produce within 30 days of this Order in order to jumpstart our international trade and economic activity.