Nigeria improves in global business regulation ranking – IFC

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

A new International Finance Corporation, IFC and World Bank report has indicated that Nigeria recorded a marked improvement and is closer to the global good practices in business regulations between June 2012 to June 2013 than any time since 2009.

In its Doing Business 2014 report, IFC admitted that Nigeria has had positive developments in such areas as trading across borders, where the time to export and import has been cut thanks to continued impact this year from previously implemented reform efforts.

The report which focuses on “Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises” stated that Nigeria already implements some of the global good practices in the areas of Doing Business. For example, Nigeria allows a general description of collateral, which makes it easy for local entrepreneurs to get credit.

The report indicates that since 2005, Nigeria implemented 10 business regulatory reforms making it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business. “The biggest impact was in the area of getting credit, where Nigeria improved its credit information system through a central bank guideline defining the licensing, operational and regulatory requirements for a privately owned credit bureau. Thanks to this, Nigeria is among the ten economies in the world that made the biggest improvement in getting credit since 2009,” the IFC report said.

“Business regulatory environment requires strong and sustained actions,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group, who said that he looks forward to Nigeria’s continued commitment to make the regulatory environment easier for the local entrepreneurs in the coming years.”

Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.

In addition to the global rankings, every year Doing Business reports the economies that have improved the most on the indicators since the previous year.

The 10 economies topping that list this year are (in order of improvement) Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala.

“Yet challenges persist: five of this year’s top improvers—Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, the Philippines, and Ukraine—are still in the bottom half of the global ranking on the ease of doing business,” the report said.

The joint World Bank and IFC flagship Doing Business report analyses regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency.

The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 189 economies.

Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure the quality of fiscal management, other aspects of macroeconomic stability, the level of skills in the labor force, or the resilience of financial systems.

Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies.

This year’s report marks the 11th edition of the global Doing Business report series and covers 189 economies.

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