Shettima inaugurates PEBEC, seeks conducive business environment

ABUJA- Vice President Kashim Shettima on Thursday inaugurated the 3rd Cohort of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

In his remark at the council’s inaugural meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Shettima urged its members to be 100 per cent committed to promoting a conducive business environment in the country.

He also implored the members of the council to align themselves effortlessly with the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

This, according to him, will directly reflect the strong political will behind the transformative initiatives of the Tinubu-led government.

Shettima said, “‘Aligning seamlessly with the vision of His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu and 8-point Renewed Hope agenda of this administration.

” Our commitment to fostering a conducive business environment is a direct reflection of the strong political will driving the transformative initiatives of this government.

” Today, we stand on a robust foundation, and we recognise that achieving PEBEC’s mandate directly contributes to the success of our shared economic prosperity as a nation.

” Undoubtedly, reforms are formidable undertakings, particularly in our region. However, history has proven that they are achievable, and we draw inspiration from past successes.

” As a council, our dedication to these reforms must be unwavering, and each member must take ownership of this mission with 100 per cent commitment.”

Similarly, Shettima urged the members of the council to be diligent for the overall success of the Tinubu administration.

He added that teamwork and shared commitment were the right attitudes required to actualise the transformative impact that PEBEC could bring to Nigeria’s business environment.

The vice-president said,” Today, as we confront these difficulties head-on, our goal is not merely to weather the storm but to create more winners, enterprises that not only withstand challenges but thrive and contribute substantially to our economic vitality.”

Shettima explained that the PEBEC was an enabler for the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in government.

He said, ” Our role, therefore, calls for a unified and collaborative effort across the council and MDAs.

” Reforms require a collective commitment, and success will be a shared triumph, resonating not only within our council but throughout the nation.”

Shettima recalled that emerging markets, particularly in Africa, were slowed down in the face of global economic challenges occasioned by the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

” Heightened geopolitical tensions in the West African Sahel, coupled with concerns about national debt sustainability, contributed to a slowdown in Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth to 3.6 per cent in 2022.

” Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa, experienced a significant economic slowdown over the past decade.

” For instance, by the end of the last decade, Africa’s GDP was $400 billion less than what experts predicted it to be.

” Nigeria alone accounted for $140 billion (or 37 per cent ) of this unrealised GDP gain,” he added.

Shettima, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria has remained steadfast in navigating the challenges through its commitment to economic revival and growth at both the national and continental levels.

According to him, with 2023, businesses are generating over $1 billion in revenue.

” Furthermore, amidst the economic challenges, it is with great pride and optimism that we acknowledge the remarkable resilience of the Nigerian business landscape.

” Currently, our nation boasts 23 businesses generating over $1 billion in revenue, a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and economic prowess within our borders,” he noted.

Shettima underscored the need to consider them as the beginning of Nigeria’s potential.

He urged that all hands must be on deck to foster the growth of more businesses of such caliber.

Shettima added, “Creating an environment conducive to the emergence and sustenance of high-value enterprises is the true litmus test of the collective endeavors we put into reforming and expanding our economy.

” Our commitment should extend beyond overcoming challenges; it should drive us to cultivate an ecosystem where innovation, investment and entrepreneurship thrive.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the President on PEBEC and Investment, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, had said that PEBEC’s mandate was to deliver Nigeria’s business environment reform.

” With the dual mandate to remove bureaucratic and legislative constraints to doing business and improve the perception about the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

” PEBEC’s model aligns with global best practices and includes a strong performance tracking element that ensures MDAs are accountable for reform implementation,” she said. (NAN)

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