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Ease of Doing Business; Nigeria Moves Up 15 Steps on World Bank’s Index

Latest rankings on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020 will elicit some popping of champagne and clinking of glasses in Nigeria’s tower of power in Abuja.

This is because Nigeria, the most populous Black nation on earth, has moved up 15 steps on the index, even though most financial and economic analysts would argue that Nigeria is not there yet in terms policies and enabling environment for business and financial prosperity.

The latest ranking released by the World Bank, Wednesday, showed that Nigeria moved from its 2019 spot of 146 to 131 in the 2020 rankings.

Not only that, the country was also tagged as one of the most improved economies in the world for running a business.

In faraway Sochi, where he is attending the Russia-Africa Summit, President Muhammadu Buhari received the good news with gladness, as he took to his twitter handle where he wrote: “Nigeria’s 15-place rise on the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index is welcome news. We‘re now ranked 131st, from 146th last year; & up 39 places since 2016, when we established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). Our goal is a Top 70 position by 2023.”

On Thursday, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council applauded the progress that Nigeria made in the latest assessment.

The body, in a statement, said it had more plans to deliver sustainable economic growth and improvement of businesses across the country.

“We are committed to more engagement between reform-implementing organs of government and the private sector players and we are happy to see that this has resulted in a more favorable validation of the reforms by the private sector,” PEBEC secretary, Jumoke Oduwole, said in the statement.

“The council is focused on delivering even more substantive reforms for the improvement of the general business climate,” Oduwole said.

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index is an annual classification exercise that assesses the business environment in 190 countries using various indicators including paying taxes, trading across borders, starting a business, and protecting minority investors.

The Crest recalls that President Buhari had, in 2016, established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, with the mandate to minimise constraints that obstruct running business effectively in Nigeria.

The PEBEC hit the ground running, putting in place reforms designed to create a more conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive in the country, and make business owners smile.

Though economic analysts agree that this year’s ranking is a cheerful news as it signposts a major improvement from 2019, they believe there is still a lot of work to be done as  there are some counter-productive policies that place serious hurdles on the paths of business owners.

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