Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria has exceeded its targets on ease of doing business with World Bank’s recent ranking of the country as one of the top 10 most-improved economies in the world.
Osinbajo said exceeding what he called “an ambitious targets” set up President Muhammadu Buhari was made possible by all stakeholders who worked together to achieve this significant result, particularly the National Assembly, Lagos and Kano states, and the private sector.
Nigeria has moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report published Tuesday, the first time is making the top 10 ranking.
The World Bank Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies worldwide.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement, quoted as saying “
I welcome Nigeria’s improved performance. We are one of the top 10 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 20 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 turnaround 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.”
Osinbajo said SMEs remains the focus with which Nigeria is to drive the ease of doing business, adding that the latest ranking just endorsed the work of the last 12 to 18 months.
“Our focus remains firmly on ensuring that SMEs operating in Nigeria find it easier to do business. Our ultimate success will be the testimonials received from businesses all across the country. However, this report endorses the direction that we have been taking to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria over the last 12-18 months. Although we are beginning to get some positive feedback, we still have a lot of work to do before the full impact of our reforms are felt by all Nigerians.
“Some of our critical ongoing reforms include a new sub-national ‘ease of doing business’ project being implemented in conjunction with all the States and the FCT to replicate similar reforms across the country. We are again 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. Furthermore, the Federal Executive Council has approved the concessioning 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.”
The World Bank highlighted five reforms making it easier to do business in Kano and Lagos, the two cities covered by the report in Nigeria over the course of last year: Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes.