By Babajide Okeowo
Following damning findings of a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, PwC which revealed a high level of corruption in many regulatory agencies of the Federal Government, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has directed that the report be shared with the heads of the agencies while vowing that they will be held accountable.
Specifically, the Cost of Compliance Report presented to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) at its first virtual meeting on Tuesday revealed persistent corruption, the duplicity of functions, poor service orientation, and several anti-business disposition in some of the regulatory agencies which in turn makes the ease of doing business agenda of government difficult.
Osinbajo, who presided over the meeting directed that CEOs and heads of such government regulatory agencies involved should be presented with the outcomes and interaction should take place regarding some of the worrying disclosures in the report.
“If the environment on account of regulatory authorities is so difficult or expensive, such that people are discouraged or it doesn’t make sense for people to do business, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot in a manner we can only blame ourselves.
These are human issues and we must do something very serious about these issues.
I am in full support of holding our CEOs to account because they, in turn, must hold their staff to account. If there is systemic corruption, bribery, and extortion, and nobody is held to account, there is a problem” Osinbajo stated
Prof Osinbajo further stated that the plans of the Federal Government in growing the economy and changing the lives and livelihood of Nigerians for the better was largely dependent on the business environment in which they operate.
Hear him, “Every one of our plans around sustaining economic growth, improving job creation and opportunities, whatever it is that we plan to do to make life better for the citizens, depends entirely on the environment in which people have to do business.
It determines whether they will invest their resources, expand their businesses, and it just determines practically everything.”
Others present at the PEBEC meeting include the Ministers of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Vice Chairman of PEBEC; Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Budget and National Planning (State), Clem Agba; Special Adviser on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, and Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, representing the National Assembly among other top government officials and representatives from PwC.