SAN FRANCISCO, January 24, (THEWILL) – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has posited that people will behave well once a system is in place that punishes bad behaviour and enforces the consequence for misconduct.
This was declared on Tuesday, in Aso Rock, at the monthly meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) which was established by President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate the political will necessary to identify and implement the reforms that will improve the business environment in Nigeria, and thereby improve Nigeria’s ranking in the annual World Bank Doing Business global ranking.
“We are at a point when we feel obliged to do our very best to improve in all the factors that will create an enabling environment for businesses in the country,” Prof. Osinbajo stated.
“We have to be committed to what we want to achieve. We must develop a system that punishes bad behaviour and reward good behaviour.”
Continuing, the Vice President recalled how between 1999-2007, in Lagos State, a reform of the judiciary ended the perception of corruption in that arm of government once the principle of enforcing consequences for bad behaviour was in place.
He said in 1999, lawyers in Lagos, in a survey, said there was corruption in the State judiciary by an overwhelming 89%, and yet no one was being sanctioned.
“So we decided to deal with the situation. In the first year we sacked 21 magistrates and 3 judges in the second year,” he disclosed.
“By 2007 when we conducted the same survey, the result was o%.
“Nigerians, like any other will behave well, if we put in a system where people won’t get away with misconduct. We are the ones to do it.”
The Vice President said the Council considered different options, and decisions that would be taken in the nation’s ports, on starting a business, construction permits, registering property, getting credit, trading across the borders and enforcement of contracts among others.
The meeting which had nine Ministers in attendance also included an interactive session with the World Bank team led by the Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoud, and other senior officials from the Washington DC head office of the global financial institution.
Prof. Osinbajo also received a delegation from General Electric, GE, led by its Global CEO Jeff Immelt, and urged the company to speed up its infrastructural engagements in Nigeria.
One of such is the proposed concessioning deal of the East-West lines of the Nigeria Railways to General Electric-GE- for which the firm would be investing $2B into the Nigerian economy, the refurbishment of the single-gauge lane of the lines and the building/assembling of train coaches here in Nigeria.
Addressing the GE delegation, the Vice President noted that “it is important we move quickly this year and get things done, whatever it is that is required to make things move faster, let us know.”
Meanwhile, a delegation of the Nigerian Fisheries Forum also met with the Vice President, urging the Buhari presidency to support the restoration of the fishing industry in the country.
Prof. Osinbajo asked the Forum, led by its President Elder Philip Amiengheme, to develop a concise roadmap for the industry which the Federal Government can consider.