Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday said that both public and private sectors had a big role to play in using technology to boost the economy of the country.
Osinbajo made this known during a conference organised by Perchstone and Graeys, Knowledge and Resources Ltd. in Lagos.
The theme of the conference was: “Technology as a Catalyst: Ease of Doing Business 2018”.
He said: “The greater responsibility of using technology to boost the economy obviously lies in the hands of the public sector.
“The key to this greater new world is collaboration and this is the rationale for the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council.
“PEBEC is a forum where private and public sectors can collaborate with the objective of removing delays and restrictions that come with doing business in Nigeria.”
Osinbajo said that the country would be made a place where an entrepreneur could start, sustain and grow a business.
He said that the PEBEC had also formulated and introduced initiatives relying on technology to reduce the time taken to obtain approvals, pre-investment registration and effective internal and external trade processes.
The vice president noted that PEBEC was not the only mechanism adopted, saying that government had been able to reposition Nigeria as an important player in the world.
He said: “Our agencies, ministries and departments and even some state governments have been able to reduce operational cost, corruption, revitalisation of investments in numerous sectors of the economy, using technology.
“The Federal Inland Revenue Service for instance, successfully gained access to automate the majority of the services and processes, which resulted into reducing the stress involved in recovering and filing corporate taxes from 14 days to 72 hours.
“The National Food and Drug Administration and Control has just recently been able to clear a backlog of over 5,000 outstanding NAFDAC applications using technology solutions.
“This is critical, especially for small and medium scale businesses, which held for so long without being registered.
“Also the energy sector through the introduction of electronic application, approval of new connection of power has been made easy and time spent on connections has reduced by 147 per cent.”
The vice president said that through the implementation of modern web-enabled national collateral register, the Central Bank of Nigeria aggregated over 530 financial institutions with over 30,000 finances and statements valued at almost N630 billion.
He said: “I am also sure that some of you have also heard about the operations of the biggest ongoing government technology programme – the digital identification of all citizens and legal residents on a harmonised platform.
“Very soon, Nigeria will have the largest digital base in Africa and that will be second only to the India identification system.”