By Innocent Anaba
Head of Commercial Law, Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies, NIALS, Prof Paul Idornigie, SAN, has called on the Federal Government to reform the country’s laws to ease business operation in Nigeria.
Idornigie noted that Nigeria ranks 124 out of 139 countries, according to the Global Competitive Report of the World Economic Forum, behind Rwanda and Gambia in the ease of doing business in the world.
He made the call as experts in business, law, media and social justice were raising concern that Nigeria may remain at the bottom of global business ratings for years if it does not channel its efforts towards competitive indicators used for ratings, rankings and reports across the globe.
It will be recalled that the 2016/2017 ‘World Bank Doing Business’ report placed Nigeria at a bottom position in its rating of favourable environment to do business in a survey conducted among African countries.
The ‘Doing Business Report’ is a survey conducted by the World Bank, which measures the burden imposed by regulation across 190 different countries.
Prof Idornigie, SAN, in his lead paper at a roundtable organised by Law Media and Social Justice Development Initiative, LMSJDI, with the theme, “Improving the Laws and Regulations Hampering Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria,” in Abuja, said that since the inception of the Doing Business’ Report in 2005 (11 years running), Nigeria has barely made any significant move up the ratings.
He said, “Nigeria, rich in human and natural resources is the leading economy in Africa. Unfortunately, this is where the success story ends. In almost other significant sectors, Nigeria has done very badly. To move forward however, we must improve on all the indicators used by the World Economic Forum and the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
Also speaking, President, LMSJDI, Mr Charles Odenigbo made a case for sound business laws and a thriving private sector.
Currently, there are several bills in the National Assembly aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria especially with access to finance for the micro, small and medium enterprises. Also in existence are several reform bills aimed at reforming the remaining key economic sectors that are in the National Assembly. It was agreed by all, that these laws be passed immediately.