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Explainers - Profiles - October 24, 2019

World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking: Nigeria Moves Up 15 Places

Nigeria has moved up 15 places in the World Bank ease of doing business 2020 ranking.

The report which was released by the World Bank on Thursday, showed that the West African country, though ranked 131 out of 191 in the overall ease of doing business 2019, moved up in the index.

The index compared business regulation in the 190 countries across the world to form their basis for the ranking.

The report also shows that Nigeria effected business reforms that affected 6 indicators measured by the Doing Business Report.

For the overall ranking, the report measured how easing it is to Start a business, Dealing with construction, Getting electricity, Registering property, Getting credit, Paying taxes, Trading across borders, Enforcing contracts, Resolving insolvency.

For starting a business, Nigeria scored 86.2 points, ranking 105. Nigeria made ‘starting a business’ easier by reducing the time needed to register a company and improving online platforms. This reform applies to both Kano and Lagos. Kano state also made starting a business easier by no longer requiring on-site inspections for business premises registration.

For Dealing with construction permits, Nigeria scored 73.6 points to rank 55. According to the report, Lagos state made dealing with construction permits less costly by eliminating the Infrastructure Development Charge (IDC, the fee for construction permits) for warehouses.

For Getting electricity, Nigeria ranked 169 (47.4 points). Nigeria made getting electricity easier by allowing certified engineers to conduct inspections for new connections.

Registering property, ranked 183 (29.5 points). Lagos state improved its land administration system by implementing a geographic information system.

For Getting credit, it ranked 15 (85 points); for protecting minority investors Nigeria ranked 28 (72 points); for paying taxes, ranked 159 (53.7 points).

For trading across borders, the country ranked 179 (29.2 points). Nigeria reduced the time to export and import by further upgrading its electronic system and by launching e-payment of fees.

For enforcing contracts, Nigeria scored 61.5, ranking 73. Nigeria made enforcing contracts easier by introducing a pretrial conference as part of the case management techniques used in court. Kano state also made enforcing contracts easier by issuing new rules of civil procedure for small claims courts, which limit adjournments to unforeseen and exceptional circumstances.

Finally, for resolving insolvency, Nigeria scored 30.6 points to rank 148.

The improved ranking indicates that efforts by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Concil (PEBEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are finally paying off.

This also gives green light to foreign investors that Nigeria is a safe investment destination.

Last year the PEBEC had slashed the cost of registering a business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission to N5,500.

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