Delta moves to achieve world bank reforms on ease of doing business
By Ifeanyi Olannye
Delta Government says it has articulated strategies to enable it achieve the World Bank’s reforms on the ease of doing business in the state.
The Chairman, Delta State Investment Development Agency (DIDA), Mr Paul Nmah, stated this at the a day Engagement Meeting on Ease of Doing Business with Organised Private Sector and Other Stakeholders, organised by DIDA on Friday, in Asaba.
Nmah said that all the factors inhibiting businesses have been identified and were being addressed to enhance the ease of doing business in the state.
He said that the Agro-Industrial Park, Ogwashi-Uku and the Kwale Industrial Hub which were being marketed by DIDA for investors, would have Independent Power Plant (IPP) and other ancillary facilities that would ensure ease of doing business.
“We know all the issues and we are working hard to resolve them. So, investors should be patient with us,” he said.
He said that DIDA as an investment facilitation Agency has been at the forefront of driving the investment thrust of the state from over reliance on Oil and Gas to other sectors of the economy.
He noted that DIDA under the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa led administration had attracted many investments into the state.
“Some of the investments have been completed while others are nearing completion or undergoing the process of implementations.
” As the Chairman of DIDA, I have made it a priority to always interface with the organised private sector towards ensuring that Delta remains the preferred investors’ haven.
“I wish to encourage and invite both local and foreign investors to avail themselves of the conducive business environment we have created for them to invest in the state,” Nmah said.
On his part, DIDA Director-General, , Olorogun Lucky Oghene-Omoru, noted that the engagement with private sectors has become necessary now that the country was facing economic and social challenges which had adversely impacted the performance of most businesses.
According to Oghene-Omoru, the ease of doing business of the World Bank programme has 10 parameters designed to remove bottlenecks that endanger the performance of businesses within the state and the country.
“The parameters are briefly; starting a business, dealing with construction permit, registering property, enforcing contract, paying taxes, resolving insolvency, obtaining credit, getting electricity, trading across borders and protecting minority investors.
“In DIDA, we have the One-Stop-Shop Department which is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the ease of doing business in the state, guiding and advising investors with respect to the investment and programmes of the state government.
“Delta government has inaugurated the State Ease of Doing Business Council, which together with DIDA and other relevant state Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) are working together to achieve the World Bank reforms on ease of doing business.”
Oghene-Omoru, urged the stakeholders to bare their minds on issues that affect their businesses for consideration and the attention of the governor.
He, however, said that the recent ranking that placed Delta as the 35 position out of 37 in the country on the ease of doing business was not a true reflection of the reality on ground.
He said that the evaluators should use indices from Asaba, the state capital as done in other states instead of using Warri, adding that businesses in Asaba has maintained a steady and rapid growth over the years.
The President, Delta State Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (DACCIMA), Chief Anthony Idigbe, represented by Mrs Onyinye Molokwu, urged the state to reflect on the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council publications (PEBEC).
According to him, the PEBEC report which published the KPMG Nigeria rankings of the States in the country, placed Delta as 35 out of 37 States and FCT on the ease of doing business.
Also, the Chairman, National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Mr Prince will Ojei and his counterpart with Manufacturer’s Association of Nigeria (MAN), Edo/Delta, Dr Udensi Okwara stressed the need for power and energy and grants to support small businesses in the state.
While representatives of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) urges collaboration with DIDA to deepen support to SMEs in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the engagement was an interactive one with the stakeholders aimed at knowing their challenges and communicating such to the government