In Oct-2018, the World Bank published it’s ‘Doing Business Report’ for 2019. According to the report, Nigeria’s overall Doing Business Ranking fell from prior 145 to 146, despite the recent effort by Nigerian Authorities aimed at easing the business environment.
Save for an appreciable improvement recorded in Paying Taxes (up 14points) and Starting a Business (up 10 points), Nigeria continues to rank outrageously low in critical indices such as Registering Property (184), Trading Across Border (182) and Getting Electricity (171), compared to 190 countries surveyed.
The feedback from the report in our view is that structural challenges confronting the economy such as huge infrastructure deficit, the difficulty of getting electricity and regulatory bottlenecks, which are key concerns for investors, remains largely unresolved despite the obvious economic exigencies.
To match Nigeria rising population size, projected at c.400m by 2050, the country must address sustained infrastructural deficit to drive a sustainable and inclusive growth. Clearly, this is reflected in the low ranking of the country in Trading Across Border (182) and Getting Electricity (171). The Apapa Port gridlock in Lagos is currently the best symbol of gapping infrastructure in the country, a reflection of the poor state of road networks, port congestion and regulatory lapses.
Going by the above, except radical reforms are instituted, investments in Nigeria may remain suboptimal in the short to medium term.