#BUSINESS NEWS:FG under tension over Ease of Doing Business report

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Stakeholders yesterday, slammed the Federal Government on the Nigeria’s drop on the ease of doing business ranking of the World Bank.
World Bank’s report on ease of doing business revealed that Nigeria now ranks 171 out of 190 countries from its 182nd position in 2017, in terms of paying taxes and 179th from 182nd in 2017 in terms of registering property. According to the report, the country also moved from 180th position in terms of getting electricity in 2017, to 172nd position in 2018 ranking.
However, on the dealing with construction permit ranking, the country moved from the 174th position in 2017 ranking to 147th in the 2018 ranking. The World Bank also stated that Nigeria made the greatest stride in improving access to getting credit. It moved from 32nd position in 2017 to 6th position in 2018.
On contracts ranking, the country moved from the 139th position in 2017 to 96th in 2018 and on starting a business, it moved from 138th to 130th position in 2018.
However, the report showed that the country was dwindling in the rankings for trading across border ranking, going from the 181st position in 2017 to 183rd in 2018; resolving insolvency – from the 140th position in 2017 to 145th position in 2018; protecting minority investors – from the 32nd position in 2017 to 33rd position in 2018.
 Stakeholders have apportioned the downgrade to corruption, insecurity and long process of documentation.
In his remarks on Nigeria’s latest ranking, a development economist, Mr Odilim Enwegbara said that corruption is increasing instead of reducing.
“There are too much political risks in our country so, investors are no longer investing.Due to enormous corruption the way of doing business has been affected. Corruption is increasing instead of reducing.
“Insecurity and poverty capital of the world tag on Nigeria, its ease of business would definitely be affected. It is a function of how transparent the government is” he said.
That not withstanding, the lead director of Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyekpere attributed the result to long process of documentation.
“The government is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. The time of processing and documentation is still a challenge.
Even with PEBEC in place, he said that it is not the first time the government is setting up a presidential advisory committee. What about the executive order they gave? How has it worked?” he asked.
However, the 2018 report released on Wednesday themed ‘Doing Business 2019: A Year of Record Reforms, Rising’ showed that Nigeria was displaced by Mali, dropping from 145 to 146.
In the 2017 edition of the report, Nigeria moved 24 places from its 2016 spot of 169 to 145 as the World Bank said it tracked 314 reforms by 128 governments across the world.
“Governments have the enormous task of fostering an environment where entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises can thrive,” said Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group president.
“Functional and adequate business regulations are critical for entrepreneurship and a thriving private sector. Without them, we have no chance to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity around the world.”
Report filed stated that a total of 107 reforms were carried out in sub-Saharan Africa, a record for the region.

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