The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Akwa Ibom State chapter, has called for the reduction in the cost of doing business in the state through the automation of its administrative processes in the areas of taxation, timely issuance of certificates of occupancy and construction permits as well as the removal of any other antithetical practice.
The group also urged the Federal Government to liberalize the electricity sector by removing all laws impeding state governments and other investors from participating fully in the generation, distribution, and transmission value chain of power.
These were contained in a communiqué issued to journalists after the 2021 Annual Conference of ICSAN held in Uyo, the state capital, with the theme: “Strategies on corporate sustainability: Impact on economy, society and governance” which was read by the state chairman, Barr. Ime Asibong.
The communique, which commended the governor of the state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for his industrialisation strides and the numerous incentives given to investors, noted that the one-stop business approval agency set up in the state would undoubtedly remove the bottlenecks faced by investors and encourage other prospective investors to come into the state.
The communique read in parts, “The conference appealed to government to take necessary steps to automate its administrative processes in the area of tax assessment and collection, timely issuance of certificates of occupancy, timely issuance of construction permits in order to reduce human interference to curb corruption and other antithetical business practices.
“The conference lauded the Akwa Ibom state government led by Mr. Udom Emmanuel for building world-class infrastructure to support industrilisation policy, particularly as exemplified in the massive road construction, transportation, setting up a one-stop business approval agency to reduce the cost of doing business.
”The conference acknowledged the importance and critical role of public electricity supply for economic development and other uses and appealed to the federal government to take immediate steps in the devolution of licencing authority/power to state governments to meet the social and economic needs of the people.”
The chairman also appealed for a strategic partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Government to build capacity, up the skill development of the youths and corporate organizations to prepare them to compete globally and access the benefits of initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
He, therefore, harped on the need for chartered secretaries and administrators to brace up so as to adequately weather the challenges of the times saying,
“enduring and sustainable corporate organizations conceived to address the needs of the citizenry must necessarily be built on the foundations of robust corporate governance framework predicated on the principles of accountability, fairness, transparency, independence, integrity and ethical conduct.
“It enjoined public and private sector organizations in our economy to work assiduously towards ensuring that corporate governance culture becomes an integral part of their operational structure in the course of their developmental trajectory if they desire to meet the demands of the emerging digital economy,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, it was disclosed at the recently concluded conference of ICSAN that the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, led by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ranked Akwa Ibom State 4th on the Ease of Doing Business Index among the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.