Nigeria is positioned at 169th out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business report, one spot above its previous position. In light of this ranking, the World Bank has proposed some strategies for Nigeria and to help it improve.
The most recent ease of doing business index came out in October 2015 and has a forward looking evaluation, basically a guide for investors for the following year.
This also come after earlier in the month Lagos State government revealed its Lagos Global website to provide investment services to stakeholders to encourage foreign direct investment and the ease of doing business.
“The average rank for a Sub-Saharan African economy is 143, this is out of 189 economies globally – if you had to break down these averages per region, you’d see and observe that this is the lowest regional average you see on the index,” said Cemile Hacibeyoglu, Doing Business Report expert.
She adds that Mauritius maintained its top position as the highest ranked African economy on the index, placed in the 32nd position.
While West Africa’s Nigeria also made notable strides on the index.
“When you look you actually see there is room for improvement in many areas – in some of the areas Nigeria’s performance is very exemplary.”
The country was also ranked 20th in the category of protecting minority investors.
According to Hacibeyoglu, this addresses the rights of minority shareholders related to party transactions and the rights of shareholders in major transactions.
“That is where Nigeria does very well and it looks strictly at the legal framework that applies to these transactions,” she said.
Another area the country does well in is the credit space, the country ranks 59th and here the report looks at two things: 1. Credit information index, what type of information is available on borrowers and 2. The secure transactions and rights of borrowers
“Nigeria is currently implementing a lot of efforts both at federal and state level to improve its business environment to make it easier for smaller medium enterprises to do business,” said Hacibeyoglu.
“Simple things such as putting procedure details, fees, and laws online, they make differences for businesses”
The issue is that it is very difficult for them to reach information, or related officers or to enquire about fees.
Some of the recommendations in the short term are: making things more transparent, putting them on the internet, web pages, work portals and making them more accessible explains Hacibeyoglu.
“Other recommendations are about consolidating the processes and making them more streamlined and reducing interactions for the users for the entrepreneurs – these are all things which are in line with the mentality and the thinking that we see.”
“We know from our discussions with our counterparts here, there are many efforts ongoing to improve in these areas where Nigeria does well but also in others where Nigeria wishes to improve its standing further,” Hacibeyoglu said.