Regulatory Alert: Nigeria’s Business Climate and Ease of Doing Business Initiatives

Nigeria is viewed by many as a country with enormous opportunities and business potentials. The sheer size of the country’s population, human and natural resources as well as its diverse culture place the country in a class of potentially great nations. It is, therefore, a sad narrative when the challenges faced by businesses and entrepreneurs are considered. According to the World Bank Doing Business Report 2017, Nigeria is ranked 169 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business.

A country’s rating on the index is based on the average of multiple indices, about 10 of them. These include timing, procedure and cost of starting a business, dealing with construction and registering properties, access to electricity, getting credit, investor protection, ease of paying taxes, cross-border trading, enforcing contracts and insolvency procedure. Without engaging in any scholarly research, an average Nigerian is likely to award a very low score to the country on any of the indices. The government also seems to fully recognise this challenge as some of the initiatives being pursued by the National Economic Council (NEC) are directed at these areas.

In furtherance of Federal Government’s commitment and determination to improve the business environment in Nigeria, various actions have been initiated. One of these initiatives is the 60-day national action plan covering key priority areas. The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) was directly in charge of the action plans and implemented through its Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES). The action plan was closely followed by the release of the scorecard on the 60-day action plan to measure the progress and achievements. As noted in our Tax Alert 1 and Tax Alert 2, the report highlighted 31 completed reforms across eight priority indicators. The scorecard specifically covered the success achieved within the 60 days period from February 21, 2017 to April 21, 2017.

Many giant steps have been taken by government to position Nigeria as a business-friendly nation. Some of the key initiatives are discussed in this piece.

Explore the full report HERE .

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