…As Boko Haram suicide bomber kills four in Borno IDPs camp***
The Federal Government has launched an up-to-date online portal, `iGuide Nigeria’, containing necessary information and relevant data for willing investors.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, at the launch in Abuja on Thursday, said the portal would greatly improve the Ease of Doing Business in the country.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Edet Akpan, represented the minister at the event.
“The ranking of Ease of Doing Business for now is not good enough for Nigeria; we are working hard to ensure that in the next ranking the country will be among the top 10,’’ Enelamah said.
The latest World Bank rating says Nigeria ranks 145 out of 190 countries listed in the Ease of Doing Business index for 2018.
The report indicated that Nigeria had moved up by 24 points from 169th position on the 2017 ranking and also 170th position on the 2016 ranking to 145 in the World Bank 2018 Report.
Ms Yewande Sadiku, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), said the portal would help investors get access to the basic information needed to make better informed decisions on Nigeria as a preferred investment destination.
“ iGuide is an easy to use online platform providing investors with up-to-date and pertinent information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of doing business in Nigeria.
“It provides information on starting business, labour, production factors, land, taxes, investor rights, growth sectors and opportunities,’’ she said.
According to her, the purpose of the portal is put together with the support of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Sadiku said the portal would be updated quarterly and that it had language functionality, meaning that the platform has different languages.
“It is a marketing tool, as information on Nigeria’s investment processes and procedures are on one platform for easy access,’’ she said.
Mr Emmanuel Chinyama, Economic Commission for Africa Officer, said Nigeria was among the first four countries to improve on iGuide.
Chinyama said the portal was the best way to fast track process of doing business which contained local data, relevant rules and contacts.
He said that the portal would also be used to share experiences, saying “iGuide is key to address challenges of doing business’’.
Chinyama said the system would strengthen lots of institutions and agencies in the country.
In the meantime, at least four people were killed in northeast Nigeria on Thursday in a suicide blast at an open-air mosque, militia and refugee camp officials told AFP.
The suspected Boko Haram bomber was disguised as a worshipper, detonated his explosives at a camp for people displaced by the insurgency in Dikwa, a town 90 kilometres (55 miles) east of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
“Early this morning a suicide bomber killed four people and injured 15 others when he detonated his explosives as people gathered to pray at the ‘1,000’ camp in Dikwa,” militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP.
An official at the camp, who , said that “the attack by a male suicide bomber happened at 5:17 am (0415 GMT)”.
“We lost four people in the attack and 15 others sustained injuries and are in hospital receiving medical care,” he said.
Dikwa is home to more than 70,000 displaced people from the war-torn region who live in several camps scattered across the town, relying on food handouts from aid agencies to survive.
The attack came two days after a suicide bomber killed five militia members fighting Boko Haram jihadists in the town of Konduga, which lies 35 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri.
Boko Haram’s nine-year quest to carve out an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has led to the deaths of 20,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands more from their homes.
The militant group has been weakened since it controlled swathes of territory in 2014 but attacks still persist.
The jihadists frequently use suicide bombers, many of them women and young girls, to target military checkpoints, mosques, markets and other crowded places.
On May 1, an estimated 86 people were killed in twin suicide blasts targeting a mosque and a nearby market in the town of Mubi in neighbouring Adamawa state.
Additional report from Citizen