Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday exercised presidential authority when he signed three executive orders.
The orders he signed were “the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment, designed to facilitate ease of doing business in Nigeria; support for local content in public procurement by the government, and timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies”.
This action is coming amid rumours that acting president is being undermined by some persons in government.
In an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday, Ita Enang, legislative aide of president Muhammadu Buhari, said that Buhari, who is in the UK for medical treatment, would sign the 2017 budget.
But a few hours later, Laolu Akande, media aide of Osinbajo, said the acting president would assent to the budget when he is satisfied with all components in it.
This has sparked a wild controversy over the authority of Osinbajo as acting president.
Regardless, the acting president is pursuing the goals of the Buhari administration by emphasising the government’s preference for indigenous goods and services as well as the removal of bureaucracies that stalls doing business in the country.
Ministry of trade and investment alongside the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council (PEBEC) are expected to monitor the compliance of the stipulated orders.
The Acting President at an interactive session held at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja, said the government will work out incentives for performance even as it builds reward system that punishes malfeasance.
Osinbajo highlighted the importance of cooperation amongst agencies of government stating that it was key in achieving an improved business clime that will be at par with global standards.
According to him in the first 60 days target set up by the government to ensure 70 percent effectiveness was achieved and the 30 percent can be achieved through continuous transparency and cooperation of government agencies.
“I agree that a system of rewarding performance, and punishing malfeasance is key. we must work out incentive schemes even as we tighten up sanctions regimes.
“We hit 70 percent quickly on the 60 days of doing business target because of the cooperation of all the agencies like ministry of interior, immigrations, customs etc and that is why the remaining 30percent we will also achieve and deliver. I will hold myself accountable to it and I will also hold you accountable.
“Usually we blame the system . But the system is men and women not machines. So we can and must reform it. These proposed executive orders present a unique opportunity to perform.
“Ladies and gentlemen let us perform. The President has laid out a cornerstone policy of this administration…we must grow what we eat and make what we use. The President again enunciated this principle in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan…Buy Nigerian, Use Nigerian.
“So we must now insist that at State banquets we eat and drink Nigerian.”