By Babajide Komolafe
Thirteen African countries have been ranked higher than Nigeria in Forbes Magazine’s Best Country for Business ranking for 2019.
Nigeria emerged as the 110th Best Country for Business, below South Africa, ranked 59, Morocco (62), Seychelles (66), Tunisia (82), Botswana (83), Rwanda (90), Kenya (93), Ghana (94), Egypt (95), Namibia (96), Senegal (100), Zambia (103) and Cape Verde (104).
“Forbes has rated the business friendliness of the world’s biggest economies annually for the past 13 years. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the United Kingdom ranked first for the second straight year on the strength of its workforce, innovation and lack of red tape.
“We determined the Best Countries for Business by rating 161 nations on 15 different factors namely property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, infrastructure, market size, political risk, quality of life, workforce, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection. Each category was equally weighted. We only included countries with data across at least 11 categories. The U.K. was the only country to rank among the top 30 countries in each of the categories,” said Forbes.
Nigeria was ranked 135 in trade freedom, 141 for monetary freedom, 116 for innovation and 93 for technology. Nigeria was also ranked 123 for technology, 105 for red tape, 37 for investor protection, 91 for personal freedom and 132 for tax burden.
Forbes noted that though Nigeria has strong fundamentals, its economic potentials is been undermined by inadequate power supply, lack of infrastructure and other socioeconomic challenges. It stated: “Despite its strong fundamentals, oil-rich Nigeria has been hobbled by inadequate power supply, lack of infrastructure, delays in the passage of legislative reforms, an inefficient property registration system, restrictive trade policies, an inconsistent regulatory environment, a slow and ineffective judicial system, unreliable dispute resolution mechanisms, insecurity, and pervasive corruption.
“Regulatory constraints and security risks have limited new investment in oil and natural gas, and Nigeria’s oil production had been contracting every year since 2012 until a slight rebound in 2017. President BUHARI, elected in March 2015, has established a cabinet of economic ministers that includes several technocrats, and he has announced plans to increase transparency, diversify the economy away from oil, and improve fiscal management, but has taken a primarily protectionist approach that favours domestic producers at the expense of consumers.”