The Bayelsa State Government has faulted a 2010 World Bank Report on business prospects in Nigeria in which it rated Bayelsa State as the most difficult place to start an investment in the country.
According to a statement signed by the Director-General of the Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA), Ms. Freda Murray-Bruce, the World Bank report, among other things, based it’s assessment on the undue delay and inefficiency in the registration of companies as well as clouded tax regime.
The statement said the state government may not have any problem with the World Bank assessment but was quick to observe that the 2010 report is an old report and is not a factual and accurate reflection of the exact situation of things on ground now, adding that since 2010, and especially since February 2012, a lot of institutional changes for the better have occurred in the business climate in Bayelsa State.
Continuing, the statement said the present state of affairs is as a result of proactive measures and the investment-friendly policy of the Seriake Dickson-led administration in the state.
The statement further stated that conscious of the need to develop the real sector of the economy and create an investment haven in Bayelsa State, the State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, on assumption of office, established the Bayelsa State Investment Promotion Agency (BIPA) and in the process, creating a clearing house and a one-stop shop for investors.
Since the appointment of the Director General, Ms Freda Murray-Bruce, a lot of work has gone into making Bayelsa State investment-friendly.
Among other things, BIPA has created an operational website, which provides first hand, up-to-date information on profitable, high-yielding investment potentials that abound in the state to the investing international business community.
The Agency has also trained its personnel on how to promote and facilitate investment in the state to attract investors.
Furthermore, the Investment Promotion Agency has collaborated with the necessary agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Customs as well as the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) so as to eliminate bottleneck procedures always experienced by investors in the process of starting a business.