September 19, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Ease of Doing Business: The Gombe State example

An economist, Dr Ibrahim Hameed, once observed that the Ease of Doing Business entails the suitability and attractiveness of a state to both local and international investors.
  • An economist, Dr Ibrahim Hameed, once observed that the Ease of Doing Business entails the suitability and attractiveness of a state to both local and international investors.

He observes further that the more the state improves its business regulatory environment, the more it attracts investment and achieve sustainable growth, creates jobs and reduces poverty.

According to him, this will result in the rise in standard of living of people of the state which is key in delivering the dividends of democracy and good governance.

Residents of Gombe State believe that Gov. Muhammadu Yahaya of the state is providing atmosphere conducive for development by engaging principles of Ease of Doing Business.

They note that his administration’s commitment to good governance, culminating in comprehensive reforms in land administration, financial management, revenue administration and the massive infrastructural development are cardinal in that regard.

Yahaya has said in an event that: “The drastic reduction in transaction time for processing land title and ease of payment of taxes as captured in the harmonised Gombe State revenue law is essential.

“In addition, the clear and purposeful drive in vocational and technical education, as well as support to SMEs, have ensured the upgrading of the skills of the youthful population of Gombe State.

The governor assured citizens of Gombe of his determination to sustain the tempo, while acknowledging the hard work by the public service in making these achievements happen.

He expressed the belief that the successes recorded so far are also part of the dividends of his administration’s comprehensive reforms in the civil service.

The residents of the state note that Gov. Yahaya has recorded many feats in governance and has bagged many awards, including being adjudged the best governor in providing Ease of Doing Business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

The council, headed by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is a status report podium on the current attractiveness of states’ business climates for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The council adjudged Sokoto State, Jigawa and Akwa Ibom as second, third and fourth positions respectively.

The residents believe that since assumption of office at a time the economy of the state, and indeed that of the country in general, were already struggling to stay afloat in the murky waters of economic doldrums, Yahaya’s exceptional business acumen which accounted for his phenomenal success in his private businesses, has been brought to bear in the governance of the state.

To this end, Yahaya has triggered a robust 10-year Development Plan otherwise known as Development Agenda for Gombe — DEVAGOM.

The plan is basically aimed at positioning the state as a beacon for socio-economic infrastructural and cultural development, while making it a destination haven for investors.

To achieve the initiatives contained in the plan, the All Progressives Congress administration in the state came up with “Network 11-100’’, targeting the construction of no fewer than at 100 kilometres of road in each of the state’s 11 local government areas.

Similarly, the state government has embarked on the construction and revitalisation of primary health care centres across the 114 political wards in the state.

Yahaya on assumption of office, approved the procurement of 50 buses for the Gombe State transport service, known as Gombe Line.

The immediate approval for the procurement of the buses came at the heat of public outcry on condition of the Gombe Line buses; the transport company is currently doing creditably well, providing services to commuters travelling to different parts of the country.

The governor also established the Gombe Geographic Information Systems in an effort to digitise, manage land matters effectively in the state.

Incontrovertibly, these measures introduced by Yahaya made Gombe to outclass other states, have resulted in making it the best in providing the Ease of Doing Business environment.

Observers note that it is not surprising, therefore, to see Yahaya giving tacit encouragement and support to small and medium scale industries.

The Gombe State government has reorganised the Gombe industrial cluster by providing them access to financial services and building infrastructure such as road networks to ease the movement of goods and services in the area.

The political sagacity and economic dexterity of Yahaya can be better appreciated in his conceptualisation of the Gombe Industrial Park in Dadinkowa, Yalmatu Deba Local Government Area of the state.

The industrial park is standing on a 1,000 hectres of land with the complement of 40-megawatt hydroelectricity in Dadinkowa Dam.

The industrial park is expected to revolutionise the agricultural sector which is the main occupation of the state.

Furthermore, Yahaya has been able to promote relative peace and tranquility in the north-eastern part of the country.

This relative peace is perhaps the most fundamental factor that placed the state at a vantage position to be ranked first in the country with the favourable conditions for doing business.

All these efforts by the APC led-government in Gombe State aptly capture the parameters used by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) won the committee’s heart.

This sub-national survey methodology framework was developed by the PEBEC-NEC Technical Working Group comprising representation from six states, embodying the six geopolitical zones, the NEC (National Economic Council) Secretariat, Nigerian Governors Forum, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Nigerian Summit Group and other private sector representatives.

PEBEC has developed a home-grown indicators used in the survey which are infrastructure and security, transparency and access to information, regulatory environment and skills and workforce readiness.

Each state was rated on a 10-point scale across the indicators, which provided the basis for calculating the overall performance of the state.

The field survey was conducted by KPMG Professional Services between November 2020 and January 2021.

The survey captured the reforms baseline enabling each state’s Ease of Doing Business Council to craft their own reform agenda and implementation roadmap based on empirical data and feedback from a cross section of 998 SMEs across the 36 states and the FCT.

Analysts, therefore, observe that with the tempo of hard work and massive support enjoyed presently by Yahaya’s administration it is quite clear that sooner than later, more national and international recognitions are on the way for the governor and Gombe State known as the Jewel in the Savannah.(NANFeatures) (www.nannews.ng)

**If used, please credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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