Investor’s Dream: How Close is Nigeria to the “Ease Agenda”?

There are multiple regulatory agencies in Nigeria operating on the framework of various laws and practices, with administrative authorities constituted at different levels to enforce compliance. With such plethora of regulatory authorities, overlap and duplicity of functions, operational models, resulting in sometimes multiplicity of charges and bureaucratic bottlenecks become the daily experience of stakeholders.

It is therefore not surprising that, based on World Bank’s 2017 Ease of Doing Business Report, Nigeria ranked 169th out of 190 countries (a higher ranking means greater gap from best practice). A summary of the rankings for Nigeria and other African countries is provided below:

The major underlying parameters assessed in arriving at the above rankings includes; the procedure, time and cost involved in complying with the above indicators. Therefore, the number of regulatory agencies business entities are subjected to plays a huge role in determining total compliance time, cost and procedures, which ultimately influences the World Bank’s rankings.

There is no gainsaying that an efficient regulatory system and a vibrant economy are two peas in a pod. An effective regulatory system provides an undistorted corporate environment in which large businesses thrive, small enterprises grow and investors participate. Accordingly, streamlining such duplicity and overlap would be crucial to delivering on the “ease of doing business” agenda.

A pertinent question would then be whether Nigeria has a regulatory framework that is nimble, agile, or adaptive enough to unlock its potential for economic growth and development as well as enhance ease of doing business?

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