The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) has partnered with Microsoft, via the latter’s Africa Open4Business initiative, to transform the delivery of services to the investor community via digital tools.

The partnership is also aimed at evolving the procedural environment controlling business incorporation. By leveraging advancements in cloud technology, MITI hopes to expand the scope of government-to-investor services in Nigeria, creating an agile and investment-friendly environment in the process.

“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,” says the Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, in a statement.

“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 will tap into the portfolio of resources made available through Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative to drive digital transformation and improve Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business ranking. The World Bank ranking currently puts Nigeria at 169 out of 190 economies.

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“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,” says Hakeen Adeniji-Adele, Public Sector Director at Microsoft Nigeria.

Speaking on the partnership, Azza El Shinnawy, Director of Government Solutions, Microsoft Africa Initiatives, says, “By integrating cloud technology, we will be able to cut down both the time and costs investors spend to incorporate and maintain 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.”

Nigeria is notoriously difficult to do business in and it is a problem that has served to be a hindrance to local and foreign investors looking to do business in the country. While this partnership may greatly improve the situation, there really isn’t no telling what the immediate impact is going to be.

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