The World Bank has released the fourth subnational report of the Doing Business series in Nigeria 2018— compares business regulations in 36 states and FCT Abuja and measures progress since 2014 in four regulatory areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property and enforcing contracts. It also incorporates measures of regulatory quality in the latter three indicators. The report finds that 29 states implemented 43 reforms across the four areas benchmarked, making it easier for local entrepreneurs to start and operate a business.
Where is it easiest to do business in Nigeria?
No single Nigerian state dominates the indicator rankings across all areas benchmarked. The results show that most states, if not all, have something to showcase and something to learn.
The states that lagged behind in 2010 have been improving and narrowing the gap in regulatory efficiency with the better-performing states.
In the past four years, 29 Nigerian states implemented 43 reforms across the four areas benchmarked, with Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra showing the largest advance toward the global good practice frontier.
Most reforms were federally driven in the area of starting a business, and most were focused on the efficiency of processes rather than the quality of regulations.
A proactive approach where state governments implement federal reform initiatives in centrally regulated areas, but also design and implement their own reforms in areas under state authority, will be key to improving Nigeria’s business environment.
Twenty-eight states have made major improvements in starting a business since 2014, thanks to a combination of the use of an online platform, establishment of new stamp duty offices and simplification of incorporation forms.
Dealing with construction permits is easiest in Niger, where it takes 11 procedures and 53 days, at a cost of 3.9% of the warehouse value. But the process is fastest in Jigawa, where it takes 33 days.
Transferring property in Nigeria requires on average 12 procedures and costs more than 15% of the property value, making the process twice as cumbersome and expensive as in the average economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kaduna is the easiest place to enforce a contract within Nigeria. Resolving a standardized commercial dispute there takes 307 days and costs 25.2% of the claim value.
Sources: NIPC, Worldbank