The just released World Bank report of ‘Doing Business in Nigeria 2014’ has noted that Nigeria has recorded significant improvements in its ‘Doing Business’ index since the last benchmarking exercise was conducted four years. The World Bank report recorded for the first time that reforms that make it easier to start a business have been undertaken in the country.

According to the Doing Business study, progress is measured in four regulatory areas, such as; Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property and Enforcing contracts. From 2010 till date, the study said Nigeria recorded 34 improvements in its ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index, of which 13 focused on starting a business, eight on dealing with construction permits, 10 on registering property, and three on enforcing contracts.

The report also measured the progress made by the states in Nigeria, noting that 22 of the country’s 36 states have improved in at least one of the four regulatory areas. Cross River and Rivers states in the Niger-Delta, Niger State in the North-Central, and Ogun and Ekiti states in the South-West recorded the most progress, the study noted. World Bank Country Director, Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly said the five states stood out for introducing several high-impact reforms that narrowed the gap to best practices the most.

Marie-Nelly, who spoke during the public presentation of the report in Abuja on Monday, noted that the improvement in the Ease of Doing Business in most of the states of the federation was a positive landmark for the federal government’s Doing Business and Investment Climate Reforms Programme, which it is currently implementing in partnership with the World Bank and DFID.

She added: “Nigeria’s business climate has improve significantly since 2010 when the last benchmarking exercise was conducted. This is a positive achievement we all should be proud. This shows that change is possible in Nigeria, especially now that the country positioned itself as the largest economy in Africa and the leading destination for foreign direct investment globally.”

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