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Business Finance Info & Updates

Presidency plans new law to institutionalise business reforms

The Presidency is working on enactment of a new law that will encompass all the over 140 reforms so far introduced into the business sector into a single legislation.

The bill is being prepared by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

The Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Why Presidency is seeking an omnibus business reform bill issued on Wednesday.

Oduwole said, having made what she described as steady progress in the transformation of Nigeria’s business climate over the years, PEBEC would in the coming weeks boost the process of consolidating the gains recorded through the enactment of the new law.

She said the essence of having an omnibus bill on business facilitation was to institutionalise all the reforms, primarily for ease implementation and sustenance of the efforts.

She explained that the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, an arm of the Presidency driving the reforms, had in 2017 ‘sought and got the approval of PEBEC to adopt an omnibus bill as a legislative reform tool for business climate reform in Nigeria’.

She added, “Over the next few months, the EBES team will be engaging with stakeholders across the legal and business community for their input, including the Nigerian Bar Association – Section on Business Law, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable as well as other organised private sector stakeholders and members of the public at large.

“In Q4 2017, over 40 law firms from across the country supported an SBL Steering Committee pro bono to review and categorise the submissions received, which were then distilled into a document that formed the basis of the work of the drafting team from the Ministry of Justice that resulted in the earlier version of the draft bill prepared in 2018.”

Oduwole said the bill would, among other things, amend some provisions of the present legislative framework that have been identified by stakeholders as bottlenecks for the business climate reforms.

She added that it would introduce new provisions that would accentuate business climate reforms.

“The bill is now being reopened for review and further input because a number of the provisions earlier included in the draft have been addressed by the Financial Act 2019 and Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.

“Just like a standard bill, omnibus bills are formal proposals to change laws that are voted on by lawmakers and transmitted to the executive arm for final approval.

“The difference with omnibus bills is they contain numerous smaller bills, ostensibly on the same broad topic. For instance, an omnibus tax bill may include changes on everything from income, corporate, and sales taxes, but all of those issues can fit under the large umbrella of taxes.”

According to her, the omnibus bill aims to consolidate legislative provisions and has been used in several countries across the globe.


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