The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), has submitted a proposal for a three-year State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Programme with a budget of $750 million, to enhance business enabling reforms in Nigeria across the participating States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande reveals that the proposal was made by the Special Adviser on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary of PEBEC, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, during a virtual meeting chaired by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The World Bank, the PEBEC Secretariat, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Secretariat collaborated to construct the 3-year (January 2023–December 2025) performance-based SABER Programme.
In his remark, Osinbajo asserted that state governments and their agencies must play a vital part in creating an environment that supports the growth of businesses.
According to Prof Osinbajo, “for all who are charged with responsibilities at the state level, you have your work cut out for you.
“If we are going to have the kind of business environment that our country deserves and that can make a difference for our economy, it is the hard work at the sub-national level that would really move the needle.”
He added that “the states’ process is a very important one and I hope that we will be able to spend individually, especially in the states, a fair amount of time trying to work out how this will work in actual practice in our various states.”
Osinbajo noted that at the Federal level, it has been a major challenge “just trying to coordinate agencies and parastatals.”
In her remarks, Oduwole, stated that “we have been collaborating for over two years in conceptualising the SABER Programme,” adding that “it is the first programme of this size that the World Bank is embarking on at this scale globally.”
She explained that “the programme is a $750 million operation comprising two main areas – $730 million Programme-for-Results Financing (PforR) component and $20million technical assistance for investment project financing.”
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had made a official 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, Niyi Adebayo, asking for the World Bank’s support in deepening ease of doing business reforms at the sub-national level.