Despite continued promises by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to make Nigeria a favorable place for investors and businesses, the World Bank on Monday ranked the nation as one of the worst places for doing business in the world.
Africa’s largest economy, which improved by just one point from last year was ranked 169th with 44.69 per cent points, moving from 170th position with 43.56 per cent points in 2015.
The World Bank said it was more difficult to start business in Nigeria in 2016 than it was last year, as the country dropped eight places from 131st position in 2015 to 139th.
The report also revealed that electricity in 2016 became a major challenge just as the country fell in ranking from 181st position to 182nd; however, dealing with construction permits remained unchanged at 175th spot as last year.
Registering property improved by four places from 185th to 181st, and getting credit dropped in ranking from 52nd ranking to 59th.
Nigeria, however enjoyed the highest improvement in protecting minority investors by moving from 33rd position last year to 20th this year, with paying taxes, trading across and borders enforcing contracts remaining unchanged at 181st, 182nd and 143rd positions respectively.
In the report, the World Bank noted that 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.
“Where informal construction is rampant, the public can suffer. Take the case of Nigeria, which lacks an approved building code setting the standards for construction,” the report said.
“Without clear rules, enforcing even basic standards is a daunting task, and many buildings fail to comply with proper safety standards. Structural incidents have multiplied.
“According to the Nigerian Institute of Building, 84 buildings collapsed in the past 20 years, killing more than 400 people.”
Mauritius and Rwanda remained the best destinations for business in Africa at 32nd and 62nd, with Botswana and South Africa at 72nd and 73rd ranking respectively while Ghana led the West African sub-region at 114.
Eritrea remained at the bottom.
Globally, Singapore topped the ranking as the easiest country to do business followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Korea Republic, Hong Kong, SA China, United Kingdom and United States.