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Ease of Doing Business: FG proposes N315bn World Bank intervention for states

The Federal Government yesterday proposed a $750 million World Bank Ease of Doing Business intervention fund for the states in the country. This was disclosed yesterday by Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary to the Presidential Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), chaired by the Vice President Yemi- Osinbajo.

In a statement issued by the spokesman to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, Oduwole made this disclosure yesterday at the virtual PEBEC meeting chaired by Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa where a presentation of the State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Program coordinated by the secretariat and the World Bank was discussed. She told the Council that, “we have been collaborating for over two years in conceptualizing the SABER Program.

It is the first programme of this size that the World Bank is embarking on at this scale globally.” Oduwole explained that the program was a $750million operation comprising two main areas – $730million Program-for-Results Financing (PforR) component and $20million technical assistance for investment project financing.”

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had made a formal request to the World Bank for the preparation of the State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Programme with government partners. This was after a request came from PEBEC, through its Vice Chairman, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, asking for the World Bank’s support for deepening ease of doing business reforms at the subnational level.

The four main objectives of this PEBEC–NEC Ease of Doing Business intervention were to deepen subnational business-enabling reforms through SABER program incentives, using resultbased financing targeted at improving the business environment; deliver technical assistance to all states to support gaps in reform implementation and provide opportunities for structural development and institutionalization of reforms across the country leveraging the PEBEC-NEC implementa- tion structure; ride on the back of State Fiscal Transparency, Accontability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme, which has created a mutual accountability platformbetweentheFederal Government and the States.

The SABER will further consolidate and deepen gains from EoDB reforms implemented across the country and facilitate crowding-in private investments at scale, a key requirement for the achievement of Nigeria’s development priorities Osinbajo in his comments urged the governors to work hard on order to actualise the objectives of PEBEC in their states. The SABER Program is a 3-year (Jan 2023 – Dec 2025) performance-based intervention jointly designed by the World Bank and the PEBEC Secretariat with support from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Secretariat. The purpose was to incentivize and strengthen the implementation of business enabling reforms in Nigeria specifically across the participating States of the Federation and the FCT.




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