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Making business work in Nigeria


2013 Tutu Fellow Jumoke Oduwole is working on reforms that should have a dramatic impact on the economy of the country. Expectations are ambitious: for Nigeria to move 20 places up in the World Bank 'Doing Business' Rankings by October 2017, and into the Top 100 by 2019.  As a senior advisor to the Nigerian Vice President on Trade & Investment, who in turn has an executive role in transforming the economy, many of the changes will make it easier for micro, small and medium sized businesses (MSMEs) to do business in the country. 

Almost half of Nigeria's GDP is produced by these entrepreneurs. The ability of these enterprises to innovate and generate revenue is critical to economic development. So for the country to accomplish its socio-economic aspirations, MSMEs cannot struggle to flourish because of unnecessary and superfluous bureaucratic and regulatory constraints. In an extensive opinion piece in the Premium Times, Oduwole explains that the Buhari government's National Action Plan seeks to make business work in Nigeria by making the country progressively an easier place in which to do business for domestic and international investors alike.  The plan prioritises some key reform areas:

  • Starting a Business
  • Getting Credit
  • Paying Taxes
  • Getting Construction Permits
  • Registering Property
  • Trading across Borders
  • Getting Electricity
  • Entry and Exit of People

.Alongside these priorities is government transparency across the board and ten government ministers are part of the inter-governmental council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and engaged in reforms. An example of how this is playing out is that last month, Nigerians were surprised to learn that the vice president had paid an unscheduled visit to inspect the facilities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos. The fact that there was absolutely no foreknowledge of his visit meant that he could see and experience first-hand what the problems are.

The full article, which is extensive, can be read at The Premium Times.

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Tuesday, 28 September 2021

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