The National Economic Council (NEC), comprising the 36 Governors of the Federation, FCT Minister and Governor of the Central Bank, have commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, for driving Ease of Doing Business reforms, which has seen Nigeria move up fifteen (15) places in the World Bank Doing Business Ranking for 2020.
The NEC, chaired by the Vice President, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for setting up the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), and commended the Vice President for vigorously driving the Ease of Doing Business reforms, noting that Nigeria being named among the Top-10 improved economy for the second time in three years is commendable. Last week, the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI) ranked Nigeria 131 out of 190 countries, up 15 places from 146 position last year.
The report also named Nigeria one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world. Nigeria is one of only two African countries to make this highly prestigious list. With this year’s leap, the country has improved an aggregate of 39 places in the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016. The global body’s Doing Business Index is an annual ranking that objectively assesses prevailing business climate conditions across 190 countries based on 10 ease of doing business indicators. NEC also received regular financial updates by Minister of Finance and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, including the Excess Crude Account (ECA), reporting that its current balance stood at $324,035,696.29; the Stabilisation Fund Account balance which stood at N28,560,710.55; and the Natural Resources Development Fund Account, which has a balance of N70,691,826,511.84.
Other highlights of NEC’s 98th meeting were the presentation to the Council on Budget estimate for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting and other Related Activities for the year 2019 by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; and a presentation was also made to Council on Clean Nigeria: ‘Use of Toilet’ campaign by the Minister of Water Resources. The Minister of Health also presented updates on Disease Control; Polio, Routine Immunisation and Primary Health Initiative in Nigeria, while emphasising on the need for states to be strengthened in the area of health security in the country. NEC also received briefing on NNPC’s effort on addressing PMS (petrol) diversion, round tripping and smuggling.