Business - Business & Economy - Interviews - News - September 30, 2022

World Bank approves $750m to boost Nigeria’s business environment

MEDIATRACNET

The World Bank has approved $750m for the Nigeria State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Programme-for-Results.

The World Bank, which disclosed this on its website monitored on Friday in Abuja, said the approved International Development Association (IDA) credit, would help Nigeria accelerate the implementation of critical actions that would improve the business-enabling environment in states.

“Nigeria has made progress in advancing reforms to eliminate constraints in the business environment, especially through actions driven by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

“However, Nigeria’s ability to attract domestic and foreign investment remains low compared to its peers.

“Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are capable catalyse private investments, but vary significantly in their efforts and ability to do so,” the bank said.

Given the importance of state-level reforms, the bank said the government developed a new SABER programme, to accelerate the implementation of critical actions that improve the business-enabling environment in Nigeria’s states.

The World Bank said the government’s SABER programme builds on the successes of PEBEC, to strengthen the existing PEBEC-National Economic Council subnational interventions by adding incentives.

“These incentives are results-based financing to the states, and the delivery of wholesale technical assistance available to all states, to support gaps in reform implementation,” the bank said

The Programme-for-Results supports the most critical state-level business enabling reforms of the government’s SABER programme.

Besides, the bank said the programme was open to all states in Nigeria and FCT, given their ability to take concrete steps towards addressing major business-enabling environment challenges around land administration.

“Also around regulatory framework for private investment in fibre optic infrastructure, public-private partnerships (PPP) and investment promotion frameworks and services, and business enabling regulatory environment.”

“The programme was in line with Nigeria’s National Development Plan (NDP) which sets an ambitious strategy to pursue sustained private sector-led economic growth.

“The NDP is aimed at generating 21 million full-time jobs and lifting 35 million people out of poverty by 2025,” the statement said.

“SABER would support states to improve the efficiency of land administration and the regulatory framework for private investment in fibre optic infrastructure.

“SABER will also support states to improve the services provided by investment promotion agencies and PPP units, and the efficiency and transparency of government-to-business services.” World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said.

“Private sector investments remain the major vehicle to create more jobs, increase revenues to the states and improve social and economic outcomes for citizens,” he added.

Task Team Leader for SABER, Bertine Kamphuis, was quoted as saying “overall, the SABER programme looks to consolidate and deepen business enabling environment reforms across more states.

“The use of the Programme-for-Results model, which ensures disbursement of funds after achieving results, helps the government in strengthening its programme by incentivising institutional performance at the state level, through results-based financing.

Kamphuis said state governments would be responsible for achieving the programme results and thus will be leading the implementation of the programme. (NAN)

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