Nigeria ranked 131st reforming economy- World Bank
Nigeria moved up 38 places in World Bankrankings from 169th in 2017 to 131st in 2019 to emerge one of the top 10 reforming economies in the world.
The World Bank said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, that the progress was attributed to key reforms implemented by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC.
It noted that PEBEC aims to make it easier for firms to do business by removing bottlenecks affecting business and property registration, access to finance, payment of taxes, construction permits, access to electricity, import and export of goods, as well as entry into and exit from Nigeria.
The Global bank had recently ranked Nigeria among the world’s top 10 most improved economies for ease of doing business in its Doing Business 2020 study.
To discuss the challenge of catalyzing private investment and job creation in the states and what needed to be done to improve the enabling environment for businesses at the state level, the bank in partnership with the PEBEC and Nigeria Governors Forum held a workshop for key stakeholders, last week.
World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, stressed that “The new rankings show that Nigeria has made substantial progress, but clearly, there is much that still remains to be done.
“We, at the World Bank Group, look forward to continuing to work with states and federal governments as well as the private sector on this important agenda and build on the existing reform momentum.
“Political leadership and robust institutional mechanisms and action at the state-level will be especially critical for continuing and even accelerating the progress made thus far.”
The bank in the statement signed by Mansir Nasir, said Nigeria recorded reforms in 6 of the 10 areas measured by the doing business report with the biggest progress made in dealing with construction permits.
It added that the elimination of the infrastructure development charge for warehouses in Lagos state contributed significantly to the progress made in this area.
“At the subnational level, 29 states implemented 43 reforms in the last four years with Kaduna, Enugu, Lagos, Abia and Anambra states making the most progress. In Enugu State, the time to enforce contracts was cut nearly in half.
“Kaduna stands out for having engaged in a holistic reform effort in the four areas measured by the subnational report and is now the top ranked state in the area of registering property and enforcing contracts.
“The subnational report shows that there is a lot opportunity for states to learn from each other as no single Nigerian state dominates the indicator rankings across all areas benchmarked. The results show that most states, if not all, have something to showcase and something to learn,” it said.
The World Bank noted that there has been significant progress made by the Corporate Affairs Commission in simplifying registration processes by streamlining the application form, introducing online registration and collaborating with FIRS to introduce e-stamping to the registration process.
“These changes led to a reduction in the registration time significantly from 30 days in 2016 to 7 days as of the latest report. Within the last year the registration fee for SMEs was also reduced by half,” it added.
The global bank however said, “Nigeria still needs to make progress in certain areas: land administration remains a critical problem.
“Transferring property in Nigeria requires on average 12 procedures and costs more than 15% of the property value, making the process twice as cumbersome and expensive as in the average economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Jumoke Oduwole, said "Nigeria has an ambitious target of being ranked among the top 70 countries on the World Bank doing business report by 2023.”
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