Improved EODB commendable but gaps remain, says LCCI
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lauded the Federal Government for moving 15 places up the ladder among the countries in the ease-of-doing-business in the world, but noted that major issues around infrastructure, policy, regulation, quality of institutions and insecurity need to be addressed.
According to the chamber, the investment environment is still characterised by unstable and unfavourable government policies as well as the regulatory issues impeding private sector development.
Specifically, the LCCI noted that regulatory and policy risks had heightened in the past few years, adding that government should stimulate growth with favourable policies and avoid constant policy summersault that impacts negatively on the business environment
“As noted by the World Bank’s report on Doing Business for 2019, efficient design and poor implementation are just two factors that explain why some reforms succeed while others fail. It stated further that there is a significant positive association between the availability of training programs for public officials and streamlined business regulation.
“Therefore, there is need for government to ensure constant training of public officers as improved understanding, clarity and trust in regulatory requirements are associated with more efficiency in the regulatory framework”, the chamber’s Director General, Muda Yusuf said in a statement.
The chamber also noted that the report captured two cities where less than 15 per cent of the country’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operate.
The two cities captured by the World Bank include Lagos and Kano.
The LCCI in his response said the World Bank report failed to capture cities like Aba, the industrial hub of the South-East region, Onitsha, Abuja and Port-Harcourt where commerce also thrives.
The chamber believed that Lagos and Kano will not adequately capture what it takes to do business in Nigeria on the heels of numerous challenges like epileptic power supply, bad roads, multiple taxes, insecurity, among others.
According to LCCI, the World Bank captured Nigerian business environment using Lagos and Kano largely as a result of their economic and commercial importance to Nigeria and of course both states are two most-populous states in Nigeria.
“We are of the view that the World Bank findings in the two cities might not be broad enough considering the fact that the combined MSMEs in Lagos and Kano is less than 15per cent of total MSMEs (41 million) in Nigeria, according to a 2017 SMEs national survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“We believe that only two cities will not adequately capture what it takes to do business in Nigeria. The report failed to capture cities like Aba, the industrial hub of the South-East region, Onitsha, Abuja and Port-Harcourt where commerce also thrives,” the LCCI in its response explained.
The latest response by LCCI signed by the Director General (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, said, present administration has disclosed intention to be among top 70 countries on the ranking by 2023, stressing that the goal is laudable but would only be achieved when the government address major issues around infrastructure, policy, regulation, quality of institutions and insecurity.
According to him, the ranking is Nigeria’s best performance since 2011.
He noted that, “Our analysis of the report shows Nigeria climbed four spots higher to snatch the 17th position in the Sub-Saharan Africa and jumped two spots higher to claim the 5th spot in West Africa.
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