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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday signed three executive orders that will pave way to ease of conducting business in Nigeria.
The executive orders were issued “in exercise of the presidential authorities vested in the Executive arm of government”.
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, he listed the highlights of the three orders as follows: every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) of the Federal Government shall publish a complete list of all requirements or conditions for obtaining products and services within the MDA’s scope of responsibility, including permits, licences, waivers, tax related processes, filings and approvals.
The list shall include all fees and timelines required for the processing of applications for the products and services; and: be conspicuously pasted on the premises of the relevant MDA and published on its website within 21 days from the date of issuance of this Order.
It will henceforth “be the responsibility of the head of the relevant MDA to ensure that the list is verified and kept up-to-date at all times. If there is any conflict between a published and an unpublished list of requirements, the published list shall prevail.”
Where the relevant agency or official fails to communicate approval or rejection of an application within the time stipulated in the published list, all applications for business registration, certification, waivers, licences or permits not concluded within the stipulated timeline shall be deemed approved and granted and the mode of communication of official decisions to applicants shall be stated in the published requirements.
Where applications are rejected within the stipulated timeline, all rejections shall be given with reasons. Rejections of applications shall be tracked and accurate records kept at all times for each MDA and shall be submitted to the head of the MDA on a weekly basis.
There shall be at least two (2) modes of communication of acceptance or rejection of applications to the applicants by the relevant MDAs before the expiration of the stipulated time, including letters, emails and publications on MDA websites.
The applicant’s acknowledgement copy of the application, including electronic submission acknowledgements, shall serve as proof of the date of submission of the application for purposes of determination of the commencement of the application timeline.
An Applicant whose application is deemed granted under this Directive may apply to the Minister for the time being in charge of the application for the issuance of any document or certificate in evidence of the grant within 14 days of lapse of the MDA’s stipulated timeline for the application.
Failure of the appropriate officer to act on any application within the timeline stipulated, without lawful excuse, shall amount to misconduct and be subject to appropriate disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the law and regulations applicable to the civil or public service.
An MDA that requires input documentation, requirements or conditions from another MDA in order to deliver products and services on applications within the originating MDA’s remit or mandate, including permits, licenses, waivers, tax documentation, filings and approvals shall only request a photocopy or other prima facie proof from the applicant. It shall be the responsibility of the originating MDA to seek verification or certification directly from the issuing MDA.
Service Level Agreements shall be binding on MDAs and shall be relied upon by MDAs in the issuance of published stipulated timelines for processing of applications for the products and service.It shall be the responsibility of the head of the relevant MDA to ensure that the agreed terms of the Service Level Agreements are adhered to.
Failure of the appropriate officer to act within the timeline stipulated in the Service Level Agreement, without lawful excuse, shall amount to misconduct and be subject to appropriate disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the law and regulations applicable to the civil or public service.
Ordinary tourist and business entry visas to Nigeria shall henceforth be issued or rejected with reason by the Consular Office of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions within 48 hours of receipt of valid application. The timeline shall be notified to the public by pasting a notice conspicuously at every Consular Office and by publication on every website of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions.
A comprehensive and up to date list of requirements, conditions and procedures for obtaining visa on arrival, including estimated timeframe, shall be published on all immigration-related websites in Nigeria and abroad, including Embassies and High Commissions, and all ports of entry into Nigeria.