The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report for 2020 listed Nigeria, the most populated nation in Africa, as one of the ten countries with the “most notable improvement”.
Doing Business 2020 study conducted by the World Bank samples business regulation in 190 economies across the globe. Out of the sampled countries, the report indicated “115 economies made it easier to do business”.
Along with Nigeria, also featuring on the list of the 10 economies that improved the most on the ease of doing business after implementing regulatory reforms were; “Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, and India”.
The report stated that “these economies implemented a total of 59 regulatory reforms in 2018/19 — accounting for one-fifth of all the reforms recorded worldwide.
“Their efforts focused primarily on the areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, and trading across borders.”
Also ticked for Nigeria as part of reforms that contributed to its improvement are; getting electricity; enforcing contracts; and registering property.
On electricity, “Ghana and Nigeria reduced electricity connection times”. However, Nigeria reform was trailing the path of Kenya.
“Nigeria has embarked on a comprehensive reform journey following the example of Kenya.”
Nigeria, the nation with the largest economy, highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa, however, ranked 131 among the 190 countries included in the report.
“Only two African economies [Mauritius and Rwanda] rank in the top 50 on the ease of doing business; no Latin American economies rank in this group.”
“More than half of the economies in the top-20 cohort are from the OECD high-income group; however, the top-20 list also includes four economies from East Asia and the Pacific, two from Europe and Central Asia, as well as one from the Middle East and North Africa and one from Sub-Saharan Africa [Mauritius].
“Conversely, most economies (12) in the bottom 20 are from the Sub-Saharan Africa region.” The report noted.
Listing the prominent characteristics shared by the top-20 countries, World Bank said they have; “widespread use of electronic systems.
“All of the 20 top-ranking economies have online business incorporation processes, have electronic tax filing platforms, and allow online procedures related to property transfers.
“Moreover, 11 economies have electronic procedures for construction permitting. In general, the 20 top performers have sound business regulation with a high degree of transparency.”
The report also hinted that it takes “nearly six times longer on average to start a business in the economies ranked in the bottom 50 than it does in the top 20.”