Opinion

Naija rising - World Bank Report Shines Green


Great news released today for anyone watching the Nigerian economy, but no surprises for those of us who are on the ground: in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business list, Nigeria was among the 10 economies showing the most considerable improvement.

Demonstrating our resilience to turbulent oil prices, recovering export markets and general financial instability, Nigeria has done the impossible and risen 24 places in the ranking of the world's countries.

Some of the initiatives that have been introduced include improvements to the business environment, like new systems to speed up the processing of visas for businesspeople. Anyone who has ever travelled into Abuja on a foreign Passport will be absolutely delighted to hear it!

And that's what it's all about, we have to be attractive to investors outside the country as much as we have to be supportive of investors inside our borders. For years and years, local and foreign business people have complained that the mismanagement, corruption and red tape have completely stifled the opportunity to operate in Nigeria. Considering that Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, second largest economy and that Lagos alone is the fifteh largest economy on the continent, our potential may live and die by the appeal of our business environment.

And it seems as though that recognition is dawning on some of Africa's other ambitious economies, with the report stating that Malawi and Zambia, along with Nigeria, also rank in the top 10 improvers of the 2016-2017 period.

Nigeria has scored highly because they have made the process of starting a business faster by introducing electronic approval of registration documents. This is great for administration, but Nigeria has also improved access to credit information and introduced a centralized electronic system to pay federal taxes which makes starting and running a business easier too.

For would-be Benedict Peters, or Arthur Ezes, or Aliko Dangotes, this can only be good news.



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