South East Stakeholders Brainstorm In Awka On Creating Better Business Environment


Top government officials, policy makers, business leaders and major players in the economy met in Awka, in a two-day (15th-16th November,2018) workshop tagged, "Regional Learning Event on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB)" to fashion out ways to create a better environment for businesses to grow and be sustainable in the South East.

This is in keeping with the key policy thrust of creating a Regional Ease of Doing Business by the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF).

On 18th October 2018, the World Bank published the Sub-National Doing Business report in Nigeria for 2018 measuring progress in business environment in Nigeria from 2014 focusing on the four regulatory areas of: Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits, Registering property and Enforcing contract.

Though the result ranked Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra tops for implementing progressive reforms that engender business growth sustainability, the results show that the successes are still far from global best practices which necessitated the South East Governors’ Forum, SEGF and the Partnership To Engage, Reform and Learn programme of the DFID to seek ways to map-out actionable plans that will improve Ease of Doing Business in the Region.

Speaking to the participants drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including EoDB Desk Officers from five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, the Director General of SEGF, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, applauded the governors of the region, pointing out that three out of the five top states in EoDB rating in Nigeria were in the region. Ortuanya, however, said the states in the region lagged behind in the global best practices and that there was so much room for improvement. He said the forum would continue to support states in the region to improve business environment and quality of governance.

Leading the Discussion on the Implications of the 2018 World Bank Sub-National Report of Doing Business for South East States, the Consultant Dr Mark Ubani commended the South East Governors for approving the workshop, adding that it would enable them critically evaluate the challenges and proffer solutions. Abani said the workshop would equip participants with properly designed action plan which would be reviewed in six months and 12 months to monitor progress.

“The governors have shown commitment by asking the SEGF to put together a workshop like this, where we dissect why we have been doing it wrongly and also put in place action plans to correct it.

“The governors must get themselves together and ensure that they get a fair share of the infrastructure for business to thrive.

“How much power is the region getting from national grid that can power a good number of industries?

“The governors are trying but they must throw their support behind the demands of DISCOs to implement the contract that they signed,” he said.

called for consistent implementation of reforms and reenactment of informed laws that have the framework to improve and not stifle the business ecosystem.

The President, South East Chambers of Commerce, Industry ,Mines and Agriculture, Chief John Udeagbala represented by the Director General of the Chamber, Engineer Henry Nduka, the Attorney General of Imo State, Barrister Miletus Nlebedum, his counterpart in Anambra, Dr Uju Nworgu, and the Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State on Small and Medium Enterprises and investment Promotion, Mr. Anayo Agu in their separate speeches, commended the move and said there is need for more synergy between major players to ensure success and continuity of positive policies.

A syndicate session where members brainstormed and identified key areas of strengths and proffered solutions, and as well advocated for synergy of government agencies also featured at the workshop.