The World Bank's 2019 Doing Business Index (DBI) yesterday reported an improvement in Nigeria's ease of doing business as the country moved from 51.52 to 52.89.
The report is themed: 'Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform'.
According to the report, Nigeria carried out four reforms which included making starting a business easier in Kano and Lagos, the two cities covered by Doing Business. Getting electricity and trading across borders also saw reforms in the two cities.
The measures in the report released yesterday said Nigeria scored 52.89 higher than 51.52 which it scored in the 2017 report as it made improvements in ease of starting a business, getting electricity, trading across borders and enforcing contracts, ranking 146 out of 190 countries.
Nigeria was ranked 145 in the 2017 report, however, this year, the country score went up by 1.37. "In addition, Lagos made Enforcing Contracts easier by issuing new rules of civil procedure for small claims courts, while Kano, in a negative move, made property registration less transparent by no longer publishing online the fee schedule and list of documents necessary to transfer a property," the report read in part.
Nigeria made starting a business easier by introducing an online platform to pay stamp duties. Also it reduced the time needed to register a company at the corporate affairs commission and introducing an online platform to pay stamp duty.
The report also showed 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.
The country also made trading across border easier as it reduced the time needed to export and import by implementing joint inspections, the NICIS2 electronic system and around-the-clock operations at Apapa Port.
Enforcing contracts likewise added to the score of the country as Nigeria, particularly Lagos state made it easier by issuing new rules of civil procedure for small claims courts which limit adjournments to unforeseen and exceptional circumstances. But, the report revealed that Kano made property registration less transparent by no longer publishing online the fee schedule and the list of documents necessary to register a property.
However, the report ranked Nigeria 146 down from 145 position it was in the last one year, out of 190 countries that were assessed. In the 2017 edition of the World Bank report, Nigeria moved 24 places from its 2016 spot of 169 to 145.
The report also showed that economies in Sub Saharan Africa set a new record for a third consecutive year, carrying out 107 reforms in the past year to improve the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises, says the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, released today.
In the World Bank Group's annual ease of doing business rankings, the top 10 economies are New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, which retain their first, second and third spots, respectively, for a second consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China; Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; United States; United Kingdom and FYR Macedonia.
Mauritius joins the group of top 20 economies this year. It is the highest ranked Sub-Saharan African economy. The second highest ranking economies in the region are Rwanda (29) and Kenya (61). - South Sudan (185), Eritrea (189), and Somalia (190) are the lowest ranked economies in the region. - Other large economies in the region and their rankings are Democratic Republic of Congo (184), Ethiopia (159), Nigeria (146), Tanzania (144), Sudan (162), and Uganda (127). - The region's economies perform best in the area of Starting a Business (122), according to the report that was released yesterday
Four of the region's economies have earned coveted spots in this year's global top improvers, Togo, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, and Rwanda. And, Mauritius regained a spot in the world's top ranked economies, in 20th place. Five reforms were carried out in Mauritius during the past year, including the elimination of a sole gender-based barrier.
Rwanda carried out the most reforms in the region in past year, with seven, and moved up to 29th rank globally, the report said.
"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.