On Tuesday the 31st October 2017, the World Bank released its annual report for the ease of doing business in 189 countries surveyed. The International Bank for reconstruction & development, typically charged with the task for eliminating poverty in developing nations, says in its “Doing Business 2018, reforming to create Jobs” Nigeria moved 24 spots from 169 in 2016/2017 to 145th position. Nigeria, Djibouti, Malawi, El Salvador, Thailand, Zambia, Brunei, Kosovo, Uzbekistan implemented 53 reforms in ten (10) areas, ”
- Starting a business
- Dealing with construction permits
- Getting electricity
- Registering property
- Getting credit
- Protecting investors
- Paying taxes
- Trading across borders
- Enforcing contracts
- Resolving insolvency
Nigeria moved eight (8) spots from 138th to 130th in registering a business, it moved twenty seven (27) spots from 174th to 147th in terms of getting a construction permit, it moved eight (8) spots from 180th to 172nd position in getting electricity, it moved three (3) spots in registering a property, the report shows that Nigeria made the most leap in getting access to credit by moving twenty six (26) spots from 32nd to 6th position, it moved eleven spots from 182nd to 171st position in collecting taxes, and forty three (43) spots in enforcing contracts moving from 139th to 96th position.
However the report shows that the country moved backward in resolving insolvency dropping five (5) spots from 140th to 145th position.
The World Bank Group says 83 business reforms were carried out in Sub Saharan African compared to 80 for the previous year. The Bank says “The Sub-Saharan Africa region continues to struggle in the area of getting electricity. On average, obtaining an electricity connection takes 115 days in the region, compared to the global average of 92 days. “The reform effort in Sub-Saharan Africa is singularly worth celebrating, as the region is beset with myriad crises, including conflict and violence. We hope to continue recording the region’s successes in enabling entrepreneurship to address the challenge of job creation, particularly for the region’s millions of young women and men.” This is some cheering news for the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up by the incumbent administration in 2016 with the mission to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria and make the country a progressively easier place to start and grow a business.
National Collateral Registry Bill & Credit Bureau services bill which were priority bills has being front and center in the successes recorded with the access to credit for businesses. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with a population of 170m people, forecasted to grow by as much as 140% to 390m by the year 2035 by the United Nations Food & Population Agency.