L-r: Adesoji Yusuf, Protocol/Financial Secretary, Association of Africans in Scotland AAS; Nosa Odoko, PRO, AAS; Andrew Vhibi, Treasurer, AAS; Collins Ikhide, President, AAS; Prince O. Williams-Joel, Managing Partner, Prince Joel & Associates; Erhun Odoko, Welfare Secretary, AAS; Abayomi Odubanjo, Vice President, AAS; Daniel Evar-Moraro, Secretary, AAS; Ohis Ikhide, Assistant Secretary/GLC, AAS

Solomon Elusoji

A leading business services law firm in Nigeria, Prince Joel and Associates, has described the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Ease of Business reforms as an indication of how favourable the Nigerian economy has become for business operations.

The Law Firm expressed this opinion in a press statement released through its Business Consultant, George Onuma, in connection to a discourse event organised by the Association of Africans in Scotland in collaboration with the law firm.

The discourse event was themed ‘Real Estate Investments and Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria: Challenges and Realties’ and it was held at Crammond Kirk Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland, last Saturday.

Speaking at the event, Managing Partner at Prince Joel and Associates, Prince Williams-Joel, applauded the prompt decision by the Nigerian Government to re-evaluate the ease of doing business policies.

“Nigeria recorded progress in eight out of 10 topics appraised in Ease of Doing Business Index,” he said. “Accordingly, Nigeria is amongst the 10 most improved countries for the 2018 ranking. The most notable increases were made in the ease of company registration, getting credit, enforcing contracts and dealing with real estate and construction permits topics.”

Williams-Joel also noted that the rising prominence of credit bureaus and the increased sophistication of the identity authentication system – SIM Card Registration, Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number (NIN) – contributed to Nigeria’s jump in this index. This reduced the risk associated with lending, boosting credit availability. Also contributing to this improvement, he said, was the effective implementation of the goals laid out in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP). The move from traditional means of registering a company (with papers) has been replaced with online processes. New companies can confirm name availability, get all the information needed, and download and submit registration forms – all online. Other notable changes are: introduction of the visa-on-arrival option, airport infrastructure development and the removal of baggage check post in the checking-in process just to mention but a few.

The Ease of Doing Business is an index developed by the World Bank, that scores and ranks countries based on how easy it is to set up and operate a business there. The focal point of the evaluation by the global apex bank is premised on the policies government put in place to guarantee business start-ups, a seamless process in getting permits, or licenses depending on the sector of investment. power, loan, land permit, payment of multiple taxes, bureaucratic bottle necks, among others.