NIGERIA is among the top 20 countries that enjoyed a significant improvement in doing business according to a recent report by the World Bank Doing Business team which conducted a recent survey of 190 countries.
According to Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on ease of doing business, the World Bank Doing Business Report was an objective assessment of prevailing business environments based on a number of ease of doing business indicators. She said that the announcement came ahead of the October 24 release of the 2020 World Bank Doing Business rankings.
According to Dr Oduwole, the report assesses doing business conditions in the two largest commercial cities of Lagos and Kano. She added that in 2017, Nigeria moved up by an unprecedented 24 places in the Doing Business rankings.
Dr Oduwole added: “The World Bank’s announcement acknowledges reforms spearheaded by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (Pebec) in the areas of operationalising a new electronic platform that integrates the tax authority and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). It also acknowledges reforms carried out in some of the World Bank Doing Business indicator areas such as starting a business, registering property, getting construction permits, getting electricity, enforcing contracts, and trading across borders.
“The CAC also upgraded its name reservation platform and in Kano, there is now an electronic platform for registering business premises online, eliminating the need to appear in person. In Lagos, land administration was made more transparent following the digitisation of cadastral plans in a geographic information system and digital copies of cadastral plans are now easily obtainable.
“Nigeria also made getting electricity easier by allowing certified engineers to conduct inspections for new connections. Initiatives also made commercial litigation of smaller cases more efficient as the chief judges in Lagos and Kano issued practice directions for small claims courts introducing pre-trial conferences and limit adjournments, while customs integrated more agencies into its electronic data interchange system, and port authorities launched an e-payment system, speeding up both exports and imports.”
Dr Oduwole, who is also the Pebec secretary, said that the recognition being given to Nigeria showing that the country had implemented the most reforms in 2019 was significant. According to her, the validation confirms that Pebec’s strategy is working and it will continue to push even harder.