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Uwaibi calls for a peaceful election in Edo



MANAGING Director of Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Kelvin Uwaibi has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Federal Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders to work together to ensure credible and peaceful elections in the 2023 Presidental Elections.

  Speaking to journalists in his office in Benin City, MrUwaibi noted that distorted elections anywhere in the world negatively impact the business environment, resulting in job losses and an unproductive economy.

 Uwaibi,who also doubles as the Secretary, Edo State Ease of Doing Business Council, said Nigeria has made some progress with providing a friendly business environment, highlighting the Business Facilitation Act of 2023 which was signed into law by President MuhammaduBuhari on February 10, 2023, as a major milestone.

  He further explained that the act is beneficial in many ways, including the provision of incentives to encourage MSMEs growth; enhancing efficiency and transparency in public service delivery with stipulated cost, time, and procedures for doing business; the promotion of good governance practices through public private partnerships; and many others.

  He noted that Edo State had the foresight to make strategic efforts, to domesticate some of the benefits contained in the Business Facilitation Act of 2023 even before it was signed by the president, adding that Edo State will launch a key component of the law, the Service Level Agreements (SLAs), for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the coming months.

  He said: “For us in Edo State, we have ensured we get it right. We are always intentional in setting the pace, that’s why the SLAs for MDAs are key.”

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  Uwaibi took the opportunity to showcase some milestones recently recorded by Edo State in terms of the legislative framework for business-related matters, including the Edo State Investment Promotion Law of 2021, the Private Property Protection Law that was repealed in 2022, the Law to Establish an Electricity Market in 2022; the Bill to Establish a Diaspora Agency which was passed in 2022, highlighting that “Edo has been a proactive sub-national.”

  The publication of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) by MDAs on their websites and mandatory adherence to the stipulated timelines are some of the highlights of the Business Facilitation Act, of 2023, and the ESIPO MD has insisted that Edo State will be working with MDAs to fulfil these criteria in the shortest possible time.

  “In terms of incentives to ensure MSMEs growth, I am sure you are aware Edo State came up with her Incentive Compendium last year which again will be reviewed with stakeholders later this year.

  “We have it as a document, and to ensure efficiency and transparency in public service delivery about time and procedures for doing business, we launched an EoDB guide last year.

“Similarly, we have established the Edo State Ease of Doing Business Council. We are the first on e-governance in Nigeria through the deployment of an e-gov platform to digitally process internal memos. All the ongoing reforms in public/civil service in the state right now are to address some of the issues in the Business Facilitation Act of 2023.”

  Hence, on behalf of the state government, MrUwaibi called on the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the gains made in the business environment at national and sub-national levels are not eroded by distorted elections which cause panic and instability.

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