Nigeria has moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report published today, and for the first time the country is recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world. The World Bank Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 countries.
Recall that the Muhammadu Buhari government vowed to remove red-tape, eliminate bureaucratic bottlenecks, procedural delays, graft and make Nigeria an attractive investment destination for serious entities; setting a target of moving from 169 into 149 in 2017-18 and leapfrogging into the top 100 in the Doing Business survey by 2030.
To deliver on this, it set up a 60-day national action plan covering key priority areas under what is known as The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
This action plan was closely followed by the release of the scorecard on the 60-day action plan to measure the progress and achievements. The report highlighted 31 completed reforms across eight priority indicators. The scorecard specifically covered the success achieved within the 60 days period from February 21, 2017 to April 21, 2017.
A statement by Mr. Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said the vice-president welcomed Nigeria’s improved performancs as one of the top 10 reforming economies in the world in 2017, after a decade-long decline in Nigeria’s rankings.
“This year, Mr. President set us an ambitious target of moving up 20 places in the ranking – I am delighted that we have exceeded his goal,” the statement said.
“Improving the business environment is at the heart of the Buhari administration’s reform agenda. We are reinforcing our economic turnaround by a vigorous and active implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan so businesses operating in Nigeria can thrive and be competitive globally.
“For the first time, coordinated efforts across various levels of governments have been undertaken to make it easier to do business in Nigeria.
“I commend all stakeholders who worked with us to achieve this significant result, particularly the National Assembly, Lagos and Kano state governments, and the private sector.”
The World Bank report showed that five reforms made it easier to do business in Nigeria’s two major cities, Kano and Lagos. The reforms include Starting a Business; Dealing with Construction Permits; Registering Property; Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes.