By Eromosele Abiodun
The reform efforts of the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan may have yielded some dividend as Nigeria moved up five places in the latest ranking by the World Bank Group on the ease of doing business.
The World Bank ranked Nigeria 170th among 189 countries survey, this shows an improvement of 2.9 per cent on the 175 position it occupied last year.
Also, Nigeria was ranked 129 on the ease of starting a business (138 last year), on dealing with construction permits it was ranked 171 as against 168 last year. On registering property it remained 185th as it was the previous year.
The country however improved immensely on access to credit ranking as it moved from 125 in 2014 to 52nd position in the current ranking.
Nigeria fell by one basis point on protecting minority investors ranking as it moved from the 61st position last year to the 62nd position this year. On paying taxes, Nigeria was ranked 179 as against 177 in 2014.
The report showed that Singapore was the best country in the world to do business, while Mauritius remained the best in Africa with a ranking of 28.
New Zealand emerged second followed by Hong Kong. Denmark, Norway, United States, United Kingdom Finland and Austria were ranked the top 10 countries.
Haiti, Angola, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Congo DR, Chad South Sudan, Central African Republic, Libya and Eritrea were ranked the top 10 worst places to do business on the planet.
Tagged, “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency,” the report revealed that entrepreneurs in 123 economies saw improvements in their local regulatory framework last year.
Between June 2013 and June 2014, the report, which measures 189 economies worldwide, documented 230 business reforms, with 145 reforms aimed at reducing the complexity and cost of complying with business regulation, and 85 reforms aimed at strengthening legal institutions – with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for the largest number of such reforms.
The annual World Bank Group 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 the distance to frontier scores for 10 topics and covers 189 economies.
The Word Bank said the distance to frontier score aids in assessing the absolute level of regulatory performance and how it improves over time.
“This measure shows the distance of each economy to the “frontier,” which represents the best performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies in the Doing Business sample since 2005. This allows users both to see the gap between a particular economy’s performance and the best performance at any point in time and to assess the absolute change in the economy’s regulatory environment over time as measured by doing business.
Economies, it added, were ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1–189 adding that a high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive for starting and operating local firms.
“The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic. The rankings for all economies are benchmarked to June 2014,” it added.