By Obinna Chima
Nigeria has dropped on the World Bank’s 2019 ‘Doing Business’ report to 146th position, lower than the 145th position the country was ranked last year.
The World Bank said it tracked 314 reforms by 128 governments across the world.
“Nigeria carried out four reforms which included making Starting a Business easier in Kano and Lagos, the two cities covered by Doing Business. Getting Electricity and Trading across Borders also saw reforms in the two cities.
“In addition, Lagos made Enforcing Contracts easier by issuing new rules of civil procedure for small claims courts, while Kano, in a negative move, made property registration less transparent by no longer publishing online the fee schedule and list of documents necessary to transfer a property,” the Washington-based institution said in the report released yesterday.
The report stated that economies in sub-saharan Africa set a new record for a third consecutive year, carrying out 107 reforms in the past year to improve the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises.
It noted that the latest reforms were a significant increase over the 83 reforms that were implemented in the region the previous year. In addition, this year also saw the highest number of economies carrying out reforms, with 40 of the region’s 48 economies implementing at least one reform, compared to the previous high of 37 economies two years ago.
“Four of the region’s economies have earned coveted spots in this year’s global top improvers, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and Rwanda. And, Mauritius regained a spot in the world’s top ranked economies, in 20th place.
“Five reforms were carried out in Mauritius during the past year, including the elimination of a sole gender-based barrier. In the area of Starting a Business, Mauritius equalized the business registration process for men and women and further consolidating the registration process for all applicants. Minority investor protections were strengthened by clarifying ownership and control structures and introducing greater corporate transparency. Reforms were also carried out in the areas of Registering Property, Trading Across Borders and Paying Taxes.
“Rwanda carried out the most reforms in the region in past year, with seven, and moved up to 29th rank globally. The latest improvements in Rwanda, which has carried out the most reforms since the inception of Doing Business 16 years ago, included making starting a business less costly by replacing electronic billing machines with free software for value added tax invoices,” the report added.