Things might be taking a good turn for the economy of Nigeria especially with efforts to wooing foreign investors and encouraging small business startups as the World Bank Doing Business Report ranks Nigeria 145th moving up 24 places in ease of doing business.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who welcomed the latest development attributed the significant improvement to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up by President Muhammadu Buhari and headed by him. He also praised the efforts of those who had worked hard and all the stakeholders who cooperated with the council to achieve the feat.
While speaking on the development, the Vice President said, “I welcome Nigeria’s improved performance. We are one of the top ten reforming economies in the world in 2017. After a decade-long decline in Nigeria’s rankings, last year the government recorded a modest increase.
“This year, Mr. President set us an ambitious target of moving up twenty places in the rankings – I am delighted that we have exceeded his goal.
“Improving the business environment is at the heart of the Buhari administration’s reform agenda. We are reinforcing our economic turn-around by a vigorous and active implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) so businesses operating in Nigeria can thrive and be competitive globally.
“For the first time, coordinated efforts across various levels of governments have been undertaken to make it easier to do business in Nigeria.
“I commend all stakeholders who worked with us to achieve this significant result, particularly the National Assembly, Lagos and Kano State Governments, and the private sector,” he said.
The statement further said before arriving at the decision, the World Bank highlighted five reforms it said made it easier to do business in Kano and Lagos, the two cities covered by the report in Nigeria last year.
The five reform areas identified by the bank were starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, and paying taxes.
Osinbajo on Tuesday also affirmed that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would continue to ensure that Nigerians find it easier to do business.
He also explained further that the World Bank report endorsed the direction that government has been taking to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria over the last 12 to 18 months, adding that there is still much work to be done before the full impact of the reforms would be felt by Nigerians.
“We are also collaborating with the National Assembly to deliver an Omnibus Bill to jointly furnish a more business-friendly legal framework for Nigerian businesses in the future,” Mr. Osinbajo said.
“Furthermore, the Federal Executive Council has approved the concession of our major international airports, which will be fast-tracked to enable easier movement of persons.
“We are also nearing the implementation stage of our National Trading Platform to ensure our cross-border trading is more efficient, while collaborating with other countries to safeguard our security.
“This policy will also be supported by ongoing reform efforts to simplify trading within Nigeria, whether that be the ease of trade in goods, regulatory approvals or the protection of intellectual property.”