In recent times, the term “Executive Order” has become commonplace in global political and economic discourse. In early 2017, the current United States president signed a series of executive orders to address what he felt were the most critical and urgent matters for his administration. Typically, executive orders are not in conflict with the constitution and aim to fast-track the implementation of critical actions/mandates. Coming closer to home, these presidential directives are normally recorded and published in a “Gazette” as official memorandum for the relevant agencies and the general public to act upon.
In May 2017, Acting President Osinbajo issued several executive orders. In particular, the orders were designed to drive transparency and efficiency of business operations with an aim to improve ease of doing business, secondly, support local content in procurement by the Federal Government and also fast-track submission of annual budgetary estimates by all agencies and companies owned by the Federal Government.
The executive orders cut across multiple agencies but this article will highlight a few high impact directives
1. MDAs are now required to display the full requirements for obtaining permits, licenses, approvals, etc. on their premises and websites with seamless updates. If updates occur but are not published, then the published version (albeit outdated) is upheld. Furthermore, a “default approval” process ensures that failure to communicate approval or rejection within stipulated timelines will automatically grant the applicant the right to request for the relevant approval.
2. MDAs that require input documentation from other MDAs are now mandated to certify and verify the submitted information themselves under clearly defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
3.Port-based agencies must be synchronised into a single customer interface (without prejudice to their back end procedures).The single interface stations at ports will capture and track the movement of goods and remit information to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) weekly.
4.Company registration & payment processes at the Corporate AffairsCommission will be online from commencement to completion.
5.FGN agencies are now expected allocate at least 40% of their procurement expenditure to locally manufactured goods for the following: uniforms/footwear, food/ beverages, furniture/fittings, stationary, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, and information and communication technology.
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