The World Bank is to rank Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the scale of the ease of doing business within each location for the period 2014-2018.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and the Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Jumoke Oduwole, disclosed this in their presentations to the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday.
The minister said the sub-national rankings would be undertaken with the EBES and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) providing support to the state governments in their implementation of priority reforms.
The 11 indicator areas to be evaluated include four by World Bank and seven additional areas of interest governed or implemented by state governments.
The World Bank indicators include starting a business, enforcing a contract, registering property and dealing with construction permits.
The seven additional indicator areas include trade/investment & marketing, infrastructure, access to property, regulatory environment, institutional support & business resources, transparency & accessibility to information and security.
Unlike the global World Bank Doing Business rankings, which evaluates nations based on the performances of one or two major cities, the sub-nationals exercise would rank all states, capture local differences, help regions compete and tell their stories, and provide good practices that could be replicated.
The sub-national process cycle, which has already begun, would culminate in the release of the report and rankings in the first half of 2018.
The NEC chaired by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, comprises the 36 state governors, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other officials whose portfolios revolve around the economy.
Improving ease of doing business has been at the heart of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s agenda to drive investment in the economy.
In July 2016, the President established the PEBEC, with a mandate to remove bureaucratic and regulatory constraints to doing business in the country.
The 2018 Nigerian sub-national rankings would be the fourth in the series, following similar efforts by the World Bank in 2008, 2010, and 2014.
Since 2005, the World Bank Sub-national reports have benchmarked 438 locations in 65 economies.
The reports have established a strong relationship between Ease of Doing Business Rankings and economic prosperity in affected countries.
The World Bank Global Ease of Doing Business Ranking evaluates 190 countries annually across 11 indicator areas.
However, depending on a country’s population, the World Bank collects data from only one or two cities in each participating country.
In Nigeria, the two cities from which the Bank collects data are Lagos and Kano, with rankings encompassing data collection beyond the two, to all 36 states and the FCT.
Other features captured by the report include local differences, with different states able to compete and tell their stories, best practices shared and success stories replicated.
The benefits of the ease of doing business to the states include jobs and improved quality of life for citizens; competitiveness and investment readiness as well as improved efficiency and transparency.