On May 18, 2017, the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo issued the following Executive Orders -
1. Executive Order on Support for Local Content in Public Procurement by the Federal Government which requires that MDAs utilise made in Nigeria products.
2. Executive Order on Budget which specifies timelines for MDAs to submit their budgets to the Ministry of Finance to facilitate timely submission to the National Assembly; and
3. Executive Order on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment.
Our main focus is on the Executive Order Promoting Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment ("the Order") aimed at improving the business environment in Nigeria.
We have provided highlights of the Order below-
Information Management and Timelines: MDAs are required to publish on their websites and paste at their premises, a complete list of all requirements for obtaining approvals within their purview, with set timelines and applicable fees. In the event of a conflict between a published and an unpublished list of requirements, the published list shall prevail.
Default Approvals: Where approval or rejection of an application is not communicated within the stipulated timeline, the application will be deemed approved. The applicant's acknowledgement copy of the application will serve as proof of the date of submission of the application for purposes of determination of the commencement of the application timeline.
With the deemed approval, the applicant may apply to the Minister supervising such MDA to request issuance of the Certificate as evidence that the application has been granted. This must be done within 14 days of lapse of the stipulated timeline.
Entry into Nigeria: Tourist and Business Entry Visas are now required to be granted or denied with reasons, at the Consular Office of Nigerian Embassies, within 48 hours of receipt of the application.
Port Operations: Only licensed staff should be at the airports. Non-designated dignitaries can no longer be met at any secure areas of the airport by officials of FAAN, Immigration, security agency or Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or any other agency.
The Apapa Port is expected to resume 24-hour operations within 30 days of the issuance of the Order. Registration of Business: Registration processes at the CAC are required to be automated within 14 days of the issuance of the Order. This has already commenced at major offices across the Country.
These measures are commendable but most importantly it will be good to see the effect of the Order in practice, and how it will indeed lead to more transparency in government, an improvement in the timelines for granting approvals and overall improvement on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.