Abuja, Nigeria, June 10, 2010—Nigerian states have been actively reforming to encourage business activity over the past two years, finds Doing Business in Nigeria 2010. Launched today, the joint IFC-World Bank report is the second in a series analyzing business regulation in Nigerian states and the first to assess the ease of doing business in all 36 Nigerian states and in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Results show that eight of 11 states evaluated in 2008 have improved in at least one of the areas measured between June 2008 and January 2010. A total of 14 reforms were recorded, eleven of which focused on property registration and construction permits. Kano is the top reformer, with reforms in three out of four indicators. The top three performers are: Jigawa, Gombe and Borno.
“In Nigeria, secure property titles exist for less than 5 percent of the land area, keeping 90 percent of businesses in the informal sector without access to credit,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director. “Reforms that make it easier to get property titles and streamline regulatory compliance can yield big payoffs in terms of job creation.”
The report finds wide variation in local business regulation across the country, and ample room for further reform. All states can learn from the local regulatory practices of their peers. For example, publishing court statistics online can improve court efficiency, as was shown in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, which could rank among one of the top 35 fastest cities to enforce a contract in the world, as measured by Doing Business 2010.
“Efficient, accessible, and simple regulations could unleash the natural entrepreneurship of small and midsize firms in Nigeria even further,” said Janamitra Devan, World Bank Group Vice President and Head of Network, Financial & Private Sector Development. “This report unravels a dynamic synergy in which all states can learn from the local regulations and practices of their peers.” Devan added.
Doing Business in Nigeria 2010 studies business regulation from the perspective of a small to midsize domestic firm. It benchmarks four regulatory areas—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, and enforcing contracts.
The projectis part of the Nigeria Subnational Investment Climate Program, which supports state governments in improving their business environments. The program is the Nigerian government’s response to its National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy and the Country Partnership Strategy between the government, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and the World Bank Group.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world.