Government restates commitment to improved World Bank rankings
The Federal Government has affirmed its resolve to initiate and implement the Doing Business reforms to improve the country’s World Bank sub-national rankings.
The assertion was made in Abuja at the kick-off mission for the sub-National Doing Business (SNDB) in Nigeria project organised by the World Bank and the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES).
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, commended the state governments for their willingness to drive the sub-national rankings project, noting that some states are already implementing reforms, but a lot more could be achieved by applying best practices like efficiency, transparency and performance management.
According to Oduwole, the key barometer on whether the various reforms are working will be the testimonials of small and medium business owners across the country.
A Reform Leader at the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Mrs. Toyin Bashir, stated that the Doing Business reforms at the state level “will lead to job creation, as Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) currently make up 90 percent of registered businesses in Nigeria; better living standards; and increased foreign direct investments at a time when the country is grappling with a decline in oil prices.”
Bashir explained that removing bottlenecks around the 11 indicators on which states are to be ranked would provide relief for business owners and signal to the world that Nigeria is open for business.
“The 11 indicators affect firms throughout their life cycles. ‘Starting a Business’ and ‘Regulatory Environment’ affect firms at startup phase; ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Growth & Productivity’ affect firms in their daily operations; while ‘Registering Property’, ‘Access to land and property’ and ‘Dealing with Construction permits’ affect the firms when trying to get a location,” Bashir said.
Furthermore, she explained “‘Enforcing Contracts’ is a relevant indicator for when things go wrong, while ‘Transparency and accessibility to information’ is crucial at all phases of the business.”
The World Bank Doing Business Country Adviser for Nigeria, Ms. Cemile Hacibeyoglu, who listed some common features of successful reformers, said “high-level leadership and ownership of the reform agenda, long term vision with clear objectives, inclusive reform process, detailed goals, private sector commitment and effective communication” are essential for a successful reform process.
Recall that the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, had made a presentation seeking the buy-in of governors for the sub-national rankings at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, which was unanimously endorsed by the governors at the meeting.
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