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Microsoft partner Nigerian ministry to improve investment climates

Microsoft partner Nigerian ministry to improve investment climates

Microsoft has partnered Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) in a bid to digitally transform the delivery of services to the country's investor community and evolve the regulatory and procedural environment governing business incorporation.

The collaboration, which is through Microsoft's Africa Open4Business programme, aims to harness advances in cloud technologies to transform the reach and scope of government-to-investor services and create an agile and investment-friendly environment.

MITI said it strongly believes digital technologies play a pivotal role in evaluating and changing the landscape for reforms, with e-reforms becoming the next big thing for Nigeria, government operations and services, and the economy at large.

"Our partnership with Microsoft is designed to drive business model innovations, which will transform the delivery of services to current and prospective investors in Nigeria," said Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. "The objective is to deliver self-provisioned, expedient and technology-driven services to the highly-valued constituencies of investors that we are mandated and keen to serve."

The partnership between MITI and Microsoft will tap into the portfolio of services availed through the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, to drive digital transformation and advance Nigeria's Ease of Doing Business ranking.

Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 190 economies in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking, which are highly observed by the global investor community as they generally reflect the conduciveness of the regulatory and procedural environment and how businesses interact with government regulatory agencies.

"The Africa Open4Business programme helps to tackle one of the main challenges deterring investors: A lack of credible and timely investment-related information. By helping MITI modernise and digitise this information, we will enable MITI to engage with investors on a frequent and timely basis, to increase investment levels and, ultimately, the pace of job creation," said Hakeen Adeniji-Adele, public sector director at Microsoft Nigeria.

Azza El Shinnawy, director of government solutions at Microsoft Africa Initiatives, said by integrating cloud technology, the partners aimed to cut down both the time and money investors spend on incorporating and maintaining their businesses in Nigeria.

"Cloud technology will also help MITI proactively communicate opportunities to a global community of investors, expanding investment horizons and showing that Nigeria is indeed open for business," El Shinnawy said.

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