The World Bank Doing Business Report 2016 says Nigeria remains one of the poorest business destinations in the world, improving marginally by just one step from its ranking last year.
Out of 189 countries surveyed, Nigeria moved from 170th position with 43.56 per cent points in 2015 to 169 with 44.69 per cent points.
The World Bank said it was more difficult to do business in Nigeria in 2016 than it was last year. The country equally improved by just one step in 2014 to the previous position last year.
While Nigeria’s ranking for starting business dropped eight places from 131st position in 2015 to 139th; dealing with construction permits remained unchanged at 175th spot as last year.
Getting electricity became more difficult in 2016, as the country fell in ranking from 181st position to 182nd, while registering property improved by four places from 185th to 181st, and getting credit gets is becoming tougher with a seven place drop in ranking from 52nd ranking to 59th.
Other rankings included protecting minority investors, which recorded the highest improvement of 13 steps up the ladder from the 33rd position last year to 20th in the current ranking, with paying taxes, trading across and borders enforcing contracts remaining unchanged at 181st, 182nd and 143rd positions respectively.
In Africa, the best business destinations are Mauritius, ranked at 32nd, Rwanda at 62nd position, Botswana and South Africa at 72nd and 73rd ranking respectively.
Ghana emerged tops from the West African sun-region on 114th position.
Among the 189 countries surveyed, Singapore topped the ranking as the easiest destination for doing business, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Korea Republic and Hong Kong SA China, with United Kingdom and United States coming closely in that order.
The world’s top 10 economies that implemented at least three reforms during the past year and moved up the rankings scale included Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya, Cyprus, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Senegal, and Benin.
In the report, the World Bank said developing economies quickened the pace of their business reforms in the last one year to facilitate easier start up and business operation for local investors.
The bulk of the new reforms, the bank said, were aimed at improving the efficiency of regulations, by reducing their cost and complexity, with the largest number of improvements made in the area of starting a business, measured by how long it takes to obtain a permit and its associated processing costs.
World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Kaushik Basu, said although modern economies cannot function without regulation, businesses cannot be brought to a standstill through poor and cumbersome regulation.
“The challenge of development is to tread this narrow path by identifying regulations that are good and necessary, and shunning ones that thwart creativity and hamper the functioning of small and medium enterprises,” the report said.
The World Bank Group’s Doing Business report tracks the regulatory and bureaucratic systems of nations by conducting detailed annual surveys.