Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday asked civil and public servants to be commitment in the implementation of the new Executive Order for ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Professor Osinbajo held an interactive session with civil and public servants between Grade Level 8 and 14 in Abuja to sensitise them on the implementation of the executive order.

He is the Chairman, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and he believes the public service is the engine room of any economy.

According to him, he wants the power of the public service to change Nigeria's social, political and economic story.

“It is the public service that determines whether the business environment will be friendly and welcoming or that the business will be driven away or destroyed.

“The opportunities to create jobs will be there if businesses exist but it depends on the public service.

“Anytime a potential business owner wants to register a company, he may want to get a tax clearance certificate or pay for NAFDAC Registration or pay land registration; or any other paper and approvals and certification from bank.

“And if you do not willingly and efficiently help him or her, we are failing the job that could have been created.

“Every time we postpone the jobs that we could have done today, we are postponing the prosperity of one person; but in reality, the prosperity of so many.

“Every time a public officer is an obstacle to business, he attacks the prosperity of our economy and he attacks the prosperity of our future; and it means that our children will not find jobs,” professor Osinbajo told them.

The Acting President further stressed that the government is set to prioritise salary and allowances of workers as part of its efforts to motivate public servants to put in their best in the discharge of their duties.

He urged workers to take the executive order seriously and ensure its proper implementation in the interest of the country.

The Acting President also disclosed that the President had described the 3rd executive order as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s economic policy.

He said the president had at the presentation of the economic growth recovery plan emphasised that Nigerians must “grow what we eat; and we must make what we use.’’

Professor Osinbajo, however, expressed sadness that rice, which was being produced in large scale in Nigeria, is ironically being imported for local consumption.

“The rice we produce in Nigeria’s northern region alone is enough to feed the whole of Africa, but is somehow out of the reach of the common man.

“The reason local rice is expensive today is because the commodity is not being subsidised for farmers by the government as was the global practice,” he stated.

According to him, the government has developed strategies to encourage rice farmers to produce enough for local consumption and export.

“In the coming months, our rice will compete with other rice in the world through coordinated strategy.’’

The Acting President had signed 3 Executive Orders last week, with the 3rd Order emphasising the need for support for local content in public procurement by MDAs.