ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday called on civil and public servants to show commitment in the implementation of the new Executive Order for ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Osinbajo gave the charge during an interaction with civil and public servants between Grade Level 8 and 14, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Acting President, who is the Chairman, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), said the interaction was to sensitise civil and public servants on the implementation of the executive order.
He said that the public service was the engine room of any economy; and that the public servant played an important role in creating conducive business and work environment.
According to him, he wants the power of the public service to change the social, political and economic story of this country.
“It is the public service that determines whether the business environment will be friendly and welcoming or that the business will be driven away or destroyed.
“The opportunities to create jobs will be there if businesses exist but it depends on the public service.
“Anytime a potential business owner wants to register a company, he may want to get a tax clearance certificate or pay for NAFDAC Registration or pay land registration; or any other paper and approvals and certification from bank.
“And if you do not willingly and efficiently help him or her, we are failing the job that could have been created.
“Every time we postpone the jobs that we could have done today, we are postponing the prosperity of one person; but in reality the prosperity of so many.
“Every time a public officer is an obstacle to business, he attacks the prosperity of our economy and he attacks the prosperity of our future; and it means that our children will not find jobs.’’
Osinbajo said government was set to prioritise salary and allowances of workers as part of its efforts to motivate public servants to put in their best in the discharge of their duties.
He urged workers to take the executive order seriously and ensure its proper implementation in the interest of the country.
The Acting President also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had described the 3rd executive order as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s economic policy.
He said the president had at the presentation of the economic growth recovery plan charged Nigerians “grow what we eat; and we must make what we use.’’
He, however, expressed sadness that rice which was being produced in large scale in Nigeria, ironically being imported for local consumption.
Osinbajo said the rice being produced in Nigeria’s northern region alone was enough to feed the whole of Africa, but was somehow out of the reach of the common man.
According to him, the reason why local rice is expensive today is because the commodity was not being subsidised for farmers by the government as was the global practice.
The Acting President said, however, government had developed strategies to encourage rice farmers to produce enough for local consumption and export.
“In the coming months, our rice will compete with other rice in the world through coordinated strategy.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 3rd Executive Order recently signed by the Acting President emphasised the need for support for local content in public procurement by MDAs.