Thursday, November 02, 2017 9:38AM /FBNQuest Research
headline emerging from the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2018 report
is that Nigeria has climbed 24 places to no 145 out of 190 countries over the
past year. It appears that the head of state set a target of a rise of 20
places. For the first time Nigeria has joined the ranks of the top ten
improvers, measured by the introduction of reforms to business regulations.
This would have been unthinkable in the recent past, and sees Nigeria rubbing
shoulders with the likes of India.
The rankings are
published alongside a country’s distance to frontier score, which captures the
gap between current performance for the set indicators and best practice for
the same across all economies. Nigeria’s score of 52.03 was 3.85 points above
the previous year’s. It therefore achieved an improvement in absolute terms and
relative to other economies surveyed.
involved in the report have calculated that a ten percentage point (pp) rise in
this score can be equated with a two pp reduction in the economy’s poverty
rate, which is measured by the number of adults earning less than US$1.90 per
Among the ten
areas which together make up the overall ranking, the most striking is
Nigeria’s no 6 slot for getting credit. The report is not assessing the
availability of credit, for which the ranking would be far lower, but movable
collateral laws and credit information systems. It has identified specific
reforms introduced in both areas.
enabling business environment council, formed by the head of state n July 2016
and chaired by the vice-president, has been an influence behind the climb
towards mid-table respectability. It is now pushing hard on its second 60-day
national action plan. This is the 15th report in the series, and we
believe that it is among those most monitored by foreign investors.
To its credit, Doing
Business 2018 publishes the names of its respondents and their companies,
or at least those prepared to be acknowledged individually. The vast majority
are employed by government agencies, lawyers, accountants and consultancies.
These may well be the most reliable respondents but, if we wanted to be
difficult, we could say that are likely to have a similar mindset.
No two indices
are the same, and we have often said that there are too many of them. For the
record and for the context, however, we note that The Global Competitiveness
Report, 2017-18, released in September by the World Economic Forum, placed
Nigeria at no 125 out of 137 countries while noting that its score had fallen
each year since 2012.