-By Sylvester Iloba:
In pursuance of its drive towards making Delta State conducive for investments to thrive, the Delta State Government had inaugurated the Council on Ease of Doing Business.
The SSG who represented His Excellency Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa said the Governor is the Chairman of the Council and listed the members to include; Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Trade & Investments, Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Economic Planning, Head of Service, Chief Economic Adviser, Permanent Secretary, Ministry Finance, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands & Surveys.
According to him other members include; Permanent Secretary and Solicitor-General, Ministry of Justice, Chairman Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA), Chairman Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Chief Registrar State High Court of Justice, President Delta State Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and the Director General Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA), Member/Secretary
“We are here to formally inaugurate the Delta State Council on Ease of Doing Business which is under the aegis Of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) with Mr. Vice President as the Chairman.” He said.
He noted that both at the Federal and State levels the overall objective of the Councils is to remove critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to ease of doing business.
“In line with the Federal Government directive and to enhance the business climate in the State , the Terms of Reference of the Delta State Council have been broken down to include the following;
i.Remove bureaucratic constraints, trade encumbrance to doing business and make Delta State a progressively easier place to start and grow a business.
ii.Strengthen the implementation of Business Environment Reforms and deepen collaboration among MDAs, using focal persons towards achieving Socio-Economic advancement.
iii.Ensure transparency and efficiency in the business environment through the strengthening of the State website with critical and quality information on Government laws, policies and programmes to aid Business Owners and Investors.
iv.Institute electronic filling of taxes and tax payment.
v.Establish specialized/small courts for quick resolution of Trade/Business Disputes.
vi.Ensure Delta State achieve performance in result areas and meet eligibility criteria to access the World Bank backed funds of the 3years State Action on Business Enabling Reform Programme SABER and
vii.Constitute a Technical Committee consisting of SABER representatives from the listed World Bank disbursed linked indicators as contained in the eligibility criteria matrix.
He called on members to study the SABER report with a view to making significant effective contributions towards creating a more friendly and productive business environment in Delta State.
Speaking on behalf of other members of the Council, the Honouable Commissioner for Economic Planning Mr. Barry Gbe thanked His Excellency The Governor for finding them fit to serve in the Delta State Council on Ease of Doing Business.
He emphasized that the members possessed the requisite capacity to deliver on the assignment given to them and promised that they would ensure that they lay down a good business environment that subsequent administration could build on.
Speaking earlier the Chairman Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA) Mr. Paul Nmah said that at the commencement of operations at DIDA the Agency had been at the forefront of driving investments in the State.
He said that DIDA has a department called the One State Shop for Investors which mandate is to ensure that investors coming into the State carry out their business without hassles.
“DIDA has been championing the ease of doing business programme and has through its machinery attracted a lot of investments into Delta State.” Mr. Nmah said.
On his part the Director General (DIDA) OlorogunLucky Oghene-Omoru said that a lot of initial preparatory works had been done by the Agency through setting up of the Ease of Doing Business Committee comprising the relevant DTSG MDAs and representatives of the Private Sector in accordance with PEBEC guidelines and coordinating their activities to ensure that Delta State keyed into the World Bank Ease of Doing Business programme.
He noted that Delta State Ease of Doing Business Committee had been working hard since inception with the relevant Agencies of Government and the Private Sector to ensure that the Delta State Government achieves the laudable objectives of PEBEC to create a conducive Ease of Doing Business environment in the State.