WorldStage Newsonline– Nigeria’s ranking in the 2019 edition of the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business dropped by one step to 146 when compared with last year, despite the improvements recorded in the process of starting a business, getting electricity, trading across borders, according to the report.
The report however may be far from the true reflection of development in the country as it captured information gathered from only two major cities- Kano and Lagos.
The positives recorded for Nigeria, according to the report showed that the country as captured in Kano and Lagos made starting a business easier by reducing the time needed to register a company at the corporate affairs commission and introducing an online platform to pay stamp duty.
The report also said that Nigeria made getting electricity easier by requiring that the distribution companies obtain the right of way on behalf of the customers and by turning on the electricity once the meter is installed.
However, on registering property, the report said Nigeria (Kano) made property registration less transparent by no longer publishing online the fee schedule and the list of documents necessary to register a property.
On trading across borders, the report said Nigeria reduced the time needed to export and import by implementing joint inspections, the NICIS2 electronic system and around-the-clock
The best performing African countries in the report are Morocco at 60, Kenya at 61 and South Africa at 82.
Other African countries that are ahead of Nigeria in the report are 145 Mali, 144 Tanzania, 143 Niger, 141 Senegal, 137 Togo, 135 Mozambique, 127 Uganda, 122 Côte d’Ivoire, 120 Egypt, Arab Rep, 114 Ghana, 111 Malawi, 107 Namibia, 106 Lesotho, 87 Zambia, 86 Botswana.
The top 10 economies with the ease of doing business according to the report are 1 New Zealand, 2 Singapore, 3 Denmark, 4 Hong Kong SAR, China, 5 Korea, Rep, 6 Georgia, 7 Norway, 8 United States, 9 United Kingdom, and 10 Macedonia.
The last three economies are Venezuela 188, Eritrea189, and Somalia 190.
The 10 economies improving the most across three or more areas measured by Doing Business in 2017/18 are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire , Turkey, Rwanda.
According to the report, governments around the world set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year.
The reforms, carried out in 128 economies, benefit small and medium enterprises as well as entrepreneurs, enabling job creation and stimulating private investment. This year’s reforms surpass the previous all-time high of 290 reforms two years ago.
“The private sector is key to creating sustainable economic growth and ending poverty around the world,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Fair, efficient, and transparent rules, which Doing Business promotes, are the bedrock of a vibrant economy and entrepreneurship environment. It’s critical for governments to accelerate efforts to create the conditions for private enterprise to thrive and communities to prosper.”
The report finds that reforms are taking place where they are most needed, with low-income and lower middle-income economies carrying out 172 reforms. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a record number of 40 economies implemented 107 reforms, a new best in number of reforms for a third consecutive year for the region. The Middle East and North Africa region scaled a new high with 43 reforms.
The indicator Starting a Business continued to see the most improvements, with 50 reforms this year. Enforcing Contracts and Getting Electricity saw milestone reforms, with 49 and 26, respectively.
“The diversity among the top improvers shows that economies of all sizes and income levels, and even those in conflict can advance the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises. Doing Business provides a road map that different governments can use to increase business confidence, innovation, and growth and reduce corruption,” said Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank’s Senior Director for Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist.
Sub-Saharan Africa set a new milestone for a third consecutive year, implementing 107 reforms in the past year, up from 83 the previous year. In addition, this year also saw the highest number of economies carrying out reforms, with 40 of the region’s 48 economies implementing at least one reform, compared to the previous high of 37 economies two years ago. The region is home to four of this year’s top 10 improvers – Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda. While reforms in the region were wide-ranging, many improvements focused on easing property registration and resolving insolvency.