Doing business in Nigeria now easier - World Bank

By The Citizen

The World Bank has given a positive assessment of doing business in Nigeria and 34 other countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the global body, the report of this year's study on Doing Business indicated that almost all nations in the continent took deliberate steps to implement reforms which made doing business easier for private sector operators.

'The report, Sub-Saharan Africa has had a great year of reform, with 35 of 47 economies recording at least one reform that makes it easier to do business - 75 reforms in total', it said yesterday.

Nigeria alone undertook 10 regulatory reforms in its push towards making private sector operators take charge of the economy.

Majority focused on improving business incorporation, trade, and credit reporting systems, allowing Nigeria to gradually narrow the gap with the best regulatory practices in the region.

The report finds that Nigeria ranks among the top five economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in two areas - the ease of getting credit and the strength of minority investor protections.

Between 2013 and 2014, Nigeria saw an increase of 3.6 points in its distance to frontier score, greater than the global average increase of 0.8.

This, the World Bank report said 'is due in large part to an increase in the coverage rate of Nigeria's credit reporting system and a reduction in the company registration fee that made it less costly to start a business.'

Nigeria is one of the 11 economies with a population of more than 100 million where the report now covers two cities, providing new insights into the variability of business regulation within economies. Lagos and Kano were covered in the report.

'This year, for the first time, the DB team analyzes business regulations in Kano as well as Lagos making Nigeria one of few countries where the report covers two cities', the bank said.

It added, 'Francophone Africa had an excellent year, with Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo counted among the top ten reformers globally. Senegal is the global top reformer, with 6 reforms, closely followed by Cote d'Ivoire and the DRC with 5 reforms each'. - Vanguard.