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Nigeria improves ease of doing business, promises to work harder

Nigeria improves ease of doing business, promises to work harder

The vice president of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo says the West African country will work more rigorously to improve its economy by making key policy changes, this after an improved ranking on the World Bank's 2018 Doing Business report.

According to a press statement from the office of the Vice President of Nigeria, Osinbajo, who delivered a speech recently at the 55th anniversary of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chambers Of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said Nigeria's latest ranking in the report was an indication that the Buhari administration's reforms were producing results.

The World Bank's latest report confirms Nigeria's climb in the rankings, of 24 places to reach number 145 on overall worldwide rankings on ease of doing business. Nigeria earned a place on the list of 10 most improved economies in the world, according to the World Bank.

"This is fantastic news, but by no means an excuse for us to slow down. Instead, we're taking it as the very reason why we need to ramp up our reforms, for the benefit of Nigeria. There is still work to be done in reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks in the award of contracts and generally in obtaining approvals," said the VP.

Osinbajo added that despite the impressive ranking, the Buhari administration will continue to actively pursue its reform agenda to keep improving the nation's economy.

"It is for this reason, the creation of a business environment that catalyses business activity and investment - that this year alone we have issued an Executive Order focusing on improving the business environment, and launched two National Action Plans designed to be short-term interventions aimed at implementing specific business environment reforms. The second National Action Plan is ongoing, and we expect that it will yield results across every sector of the economy," he said.

Realising tech potential

In terms technology and digitisation, Nigeria (one of the largest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa) has been identified as one of the countries in the region that had recently made great strides in ICT adoption, according to the Digitalisation Maturity report 2017 by Siemens, including South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

The report notes that SA is the country with the highest potential to realise digital maturity followed by Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. "While Nigeria has a larger economy than South Africa and is forecast to grow at a slightly faster rate over the next five years, it has a much lower per capita income so comes second to South Africa."

The Ethiopian economy is roughly the same size as the Kenyan economy but scores slightly higher as it is expected to achieve faster average annual real GDP growth (7.2% over the next five years).

According to McKinsey & Company, Nigeria's economy, like South Africa, is highly reliant on imported technology.

Siemens also notes, "However, as part of government's support for local content, Nigeria is expanding into hardware manufacturing and software development. Nigeria manufactures laptops and is looking to expand into affordable mobile phones for the domestic and regional market."

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