Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is partnering with Microsoft, via its Africa Open4Business programme, to digitally transform the delivery of services to the investor community in Nigeria and evolve the regulatory and procedural environment governing business.
The ministry while harnessing advances in cloud technologies aims to transform the reach and scope of government-to-investor services in the country, creating an agile and investment-friendly environment.
It affirmed that digital technologies play a pivotal and fundamental role in evaluating and changing the landscape for reforms, with e-reforms becoming the next big thing for Nigeria, for government operations and services, and for the economy at large.
“Our partnership with Microsoft is designed to drive business model innovations, which will transform the delivery of services to current and prospective investors in Nigeria,” said Okechukwu Enelamah, minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. “The objective is to deliver self-provisioned, expedient and technology-driven services to the highly-valued constituencies of investors that we are mandated and keen to serve”.
The partnership between the ministry and Microsoft will tap into the portfolio of services availed via the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, to jointly drive digital transformation and advance Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business ranking.
The World Bank compiles the Ease of Doing Business ranking annually in partnership with governments, and Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 190 economies.
Country rankings are highly observed by the global investor community, as they generally reflect not only the conduciveness of the regulatory and procedural environment facing new market entrants, but also how businesses interact with government regulatory agencies throughout their lifespan.
Commenting on the support from Microsoft, Hakeen Adeniji-Adele, public sector director at Microsoft Nigeria, said: “The Africa Open4Business programme helps to tackle one of the main challenges deterring investors: A lack of credible and timely investment-related information. By helping to modernise and digitise this information, we will enable government to engage with investors on a frequent and timely basis, to increase investment levels and, ultimately, the pace of job creation.”
On his part, Azza El Shinnawy, director of Government Solutions, Microsoft Africa Initiatives, “By integrating cloud technology, we will be able to cut down both the time and costs investors spend to incorporate and maintain their businesses in Nigeria.
“Cloud technology will also help government to proactively communicate opportunities to a global community of investors, expanding investment horizons and showing that Nigeria is indeed open for business.”