Trade & Investment
Economic Reform Programmes
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari introduced the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in 2017 as a policy option. The ERGP is designed to diversify the economy, restore economic growth, create jobs, empower the youths, develop the human capital and infrastructure, improved business environment and bring about technological growth.
Since the policy was launched, it has helped stabilized the macroeconomic environment; achieved agricultural and food security and has also ensured energy efficiency especially in power and petroleum products. Additionally, the ERGP has improved transportation infrastructure and industrialization primarily through the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Similarly, Nigeria has introduced some innovative legislative bills in in the last seven years in order to have positive impacts on the fight against corruption, insecurity, economy, and electoral process. These include Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, which repeals the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and provides a comprehensive legal and Institutional Framework for the prevention and prohibition of money laundering in Nigeria, while also conferring on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the legal status of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering.
Others are Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022, which makes comprehensive provisions for the seizure, confiscation, forfeiture, and management of properties derived from unlawful activity as well as Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, an Executive Bill, signed into law in 2019. The Bill facilitates the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property, and other instrumentalities of crime, as well as the prosecution of offenders in criminal cases regardless of where in the world they might be.
Legislations specifically enacted to address the challenges of insecurity include Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, which repeals the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended in 2013, and provides for the effective implementation of international instruments on the prevention and combating of terrorism and suppression of the financing of terrorism as well as Act establishing the Police Trust Fund, which will improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force (2019) in addition to Nigeria Police Act, 2020 – the first comprehensive reform of Police legislation since the Police Act of 1943.
On 25 February 2022, President Buhari signed the long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law, saying the new law contains salient and praiseworthy provisions that could positively revolutionize elections in Nigeria through the introduction of new technological innovations that would guarantee the constitutional rights of citizens to vote and to do so effectively.
Accordingly, Nigeria has been gaining on the world index of Ease of Doing Business. From the 145th position in 2019, it dropped to 131st in 2020. This improvement has been well flaunted by the government as an achievement. There has been consistent progress in the country’s ratings over the last six years considering Nigeria was ranked 170 and 169 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.