President Goodluck Jonathan
The World Bank and its private sector arm - the International Finance Corporation - have ranked Nigeria 131 on the list of 185 countries with ease of doing business.
By the current ranking, Nigeria maintained her last year’s position, showing that it did not improve on her ease of doing business in the period under review.
Mauritius, South Africa and Ghana came far ahead of Nigeria having ranked 19, 39 and 64, respectively, on the table of 10th edition of Doing Business, which was released Tuesday by the Bretton Woods institutions.
Apart from the three countries stated above, others rated above Nigeria included Rwanda 52, Botswana 59, Namibia 87 and Zambia 94.
Doing Business, which is a survey conducted across 185 countries, shows how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations.
The 185 economies the data set covers included: 46 economies in sub-Saharan Africa, 33 in Latin America and the Caribbean,
24 in East Asia and the Pacific, 24 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 19 in the Middle East and North Africa and 8 in South Asia, as well as 31 OECD high income economies.
It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and employing workers.
The indicators are used to analyse economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where and why.
Called Doing Business 2013, the report revealed: In starting a business, Nigeria ranked 119; dealing with construction permits, 88; getting electricity, 178; registering property, 182; getting credit, 23; protecting investor, 70; paying taxes, 155; trading across borders, 154; enforcing contracts, 98; and resolving insolvency, 105.
The report showed that Nigeria introduced a new compulsory labour contribution paid by the employer. It listed areas of business regulation reform recorded in Nigeria as paying taxes.
It acknowledged that African economies made consistent progress in improving business regulation in the reviewing year.
It revealed that of the 50 economies making the most improvement in business regulation for domestic firms since 2005, 17 are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Commenting, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group, Augusto Lopez-Claros, said: “This year’s report marks the 10th edition of the global Doing Business report series and over the life of the report, Africa has consistently recorded a high number of reforms.
Rwanda particularly stands out as having consistently improved since 2005. A case study in this year’s report features Rwanda, which since 2005 has implemented 26 regulatory reforms as recorded by Doing Business.
“The report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, finds that from June 2011 to June 2012, 28 of 46 governments in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier to do business—a total of 44 reforms. Burundi, with four reforms, ranks among the 10 economies worldwide that improved the most in the past year across three or more areas measured by Doing Business—the only low-income economy on the list.”
“Yet despite those achievements, much more can be done to enable African economies to build a strong and competitive private sector. The region’s average ranking on the ease of doing business is 140 out of 185. Mauritius and South Africa are the only African economies among the top 40 in the global ranking.
“Doing Business is about smart business regulations, not necessarily fewer regulations,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “We are very encouraged that so many economies in Africa are among the 50 that have made the most improvement since 2005 as captured by the Doing Business indicators,” he added.
African economies that have improved the most since then include Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Angola, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Globally, Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year. Joining it on the list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia.