ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, in the exercise of the presidential authorities vested in the Executive arm of government, signed three executive orders that government believes would significantly change some of the ways government business and operations are conducted in the country.
The orders have specific instructions on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country; timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the federal government and support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government.
The signing of the orders came amidst controversy over who should sign the 2017 budget with government officials giving conflicting indications.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, was on Wednesday forced to clarify that the acting President would assent to the budget following a claim by Ministry of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who suggested that the decision had not been made despite executive powers vested in the acting President.
Before the signing of the executive orders on Thursday, the acting President had presided over an interactive session at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with all relevant government officials, including ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of departments and agencies among others.
The orders were approved at the session in which Osinbajo said the government would work out incentives for performance and build a reward system that punishes malfeasance.
The acting President called for cooperation amongst agencies of government as he believed that this was the key in achieving an improved business clime that will be at par with global standards.
Osinbajo noted that 70 percent effectiveness was achieved in the first 60 days target set by the government while the 30 percent could be achieved through continuous transparency and cooperation of government agencies.
The acting President observed: “I agree that a system of rewarding performance, and punishing malfeasance is key. We must work out incentive schemes even as we tighten up sanctions regimes.
“We hit 70 percent quickly on the 60 days of doing business target because of the cooperation of all the agencies like ministry of interior, immigrations, customs etc and that is why the remaining 30percent we will also achieve and deliver.
“I will hold myself accountable to it and I will also hold you accountable.
“Usually we blame the system, but the system is men and women not machines. So, we can and must reform it.
“These proposed executive orders present a unique opportunity to perform.
“Ladies and gentlemen let us perform. The President has laid out a cornerstone policy of this administration. We must grow what we eat and make what we use.
“The President again enunciated this principle in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Buy Nigerian, Use Nigerian.
“So we must now insist that at State banquets we eat and drink Nigerian.”