How Nigerian states rank

By Emmanuel Aziken

The Coronavirus lockdown and the inability of Nigeria’s governors and ministers to travel abroad in search of foreign investments may have changed the narrative of Nigeria and its states surviving without the elusive foreign investments!

Indeed, belying that claim for foreign resources to develop the country is the emerging fact that all of the nation’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory are enormously endowed with resources that have been overlooked by successive administrations.

Indeed, had these resources been tapped and managed, it is now claimed that Nigeria would have been among the leading lights in the comity of nations.

Examples in this direction are regularly pointed at Malaysia which reportedly got its palm seedlings from Nigeria. From the seeds of those palm seedlings that nation has built a multi-trillion dollar economy that is now among the most developed in the world.

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It is perhaps in that direction that the leadership of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in partnership with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) decided to change the narrative by producing a dossier that documents the investment opportunities and competitive advantage for all 36 states in the country including the FCT.

The easy to read dossier which comes in the way of infographics shows the relative advantages of all 37 components of the federation with investment opportunities, demographical information, and such.

The dossier styled as the Book of States also provides information as to the ease of doing business in the various states with each of the 37 federal components ranked according to the ease of starting a business, registering property, dealing with construction limits, and enforcement of contracts.

The FCT for example comes first in the ranking of starting a business but does poorly in dealing with construction permits and enforcement of contracts, ranking 27 out of 37 in both areas.

The dossier, for example, parades several investment potentials available in the FCT including artwork, tourism, real estate, education, transportation among others.

Enugu State which comes third in the rank of starting a business, however, comes 28 out of 37 in dealing with construction permits and is 31 out of 37 in enforcing contracts.

Imo State normally reckoned as the heartland of industrialists is below average in all scores and is last, that is 37 out of 37 in the enforcement of contracts.

The situation in Imo is despite the competitive advantages it has in tourism, notably having the largest natural lake within mainland Nigeria with the Oguta Lake. The state also has the largest palm oil plantation complex in West Africa.

Jigawa State scores well taking 3 out of 37 in the three areas of registering property, dealing with construction permits and enforcement of contracts. The state, however, scores 9 out of 37 in the ease of starting a business.

Jigawa also scores second in the country in the Ease of Doing Business in the country and parades itself as the largest producer of Sesame and has the largest livestock market in Africa (Maigatari).

Nearby Kaduna State takes first position in two of the four areas of doing business. The state is first in registering property and also in enforcing contracts. The state is also fifth in the area of starting a business but lags behind in dealing with construction permits where it scores 17 out of 37.

Kaduna, however, parades itself as the largest producer of ginger in Nigeria and boasts of an efficient land management system with a 30 day processing time.

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Lagos which is the nation’s commercial capital presents two ironies in the rankings. It is the second in the ease of starting a business but ironically last, that is 37 out of 37 in providing construction permits. So, while Lagos may allow you to easily start a business, it will help to choke your business!

Lagos also comes out as the seventh-fastest economy in the world and is presented as the state with the highest GDP and IGR among the states. The state’s towering economic prowess is despite the fact that it has the smallest land size in the country.

The Book of the States from the NIPC also presents other variables to guide potential investors including topography, population, land size among other variables.

What the NIPC has gone out to show is the fact that Nigeria has abundant natural resources and the dossier provides any shrewd investor with a catalogue to frame the factors of production to his advantage.



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