Explainer: This is how Nigeria became one of the top 10 rated nations in ease of doing business

The Federal Government, through its Twitter handle, recently claimed that the world bank currently rates Nigeria as one of ten top performing countries on its Doing Business Index.


Ease of Doing Business index

The World Bank’s Doing Business Index is a yearly ranking mechanism that assesses prevailing business climate conditions across 190 countries based on 10 ease of doing business indicators. 

The index captures reforms around ease of doing business that have been validated by the private sector, offers comparative insights based on private sector validation in the two largest commercial cities in countries with a population higher than 100 million. And the report consequently features Lagos and Kano for Nigeria.  

Over the last four years, Nigeria has steadily improved on the World Bank Doing Business Report, after years of a downward trend in both score and ranking in the years preceding 2016.

In 2017, Nigeria was recognised as one of the top 10 reformers in the area of doing business, having moved up by an unprecedented 24 places on the Doing Business rankings that year.

According to the report, globally, governments of 115 economies launched 294 reforms over the past year to make doing business easier for their domestic private sector, to pave way for more jobs, expand commercial activity, and stimulate higher incomes for many.

The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report assesses prevailing business climate conditions of 190 economies based on the following 10 indicators; starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. An area that is also measured but not included in the rankings is employing workers.

 In July 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari created the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, with 13 ministers as members amongst others. The council is mandated to make Nigeria an easier place to do business, by eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks to doing business, and working towards the fulfillment of projections of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020). The Plan is designed to deliver sustainable economic growth in Nigeria by restoring growth, investing in citizens, and building a competitive economy.


First consulted is data kept by the world bank which spearheads the global Doing Business Index (DBI). A review of the latest DBI report by the world bank, which was released on October 24, 2019, showed that Nigeria is one of the ten countries who made it to the DBI top 10 most improved economies in the world. The report shows that Nigeria also increased its ease of doing business (DB) score by 4.01 points to 56.9.  

With this rating, Nigeria, which was one of only two African countries to make this list, rose 15 places from 146th in 2018 to place 131st position out of 190 countries in 2019.

The World Bank report also reveals that apart from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, and India were also economies with the most notable improvement in the DB 2020.

The report acknowledges reforms carried out in some of the World Bank Doing Business indicator areas, such as starting a business, registering property, getting construction permits, getting electricity, enforcing contracts, and trading across borders.                     

It also recognised reforms spearheaded by the PEBEC in the areas of operationalising a new electronic platform that integrates the tax authority and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).


The latest World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI), which was released on October 24, 2019, listed Nigeria as one of ten top most improved economies in the world for the second time in three years. The report shows that the country also increased its ease of doing business (DB) score by 4.01 points to 56.9. The federal government’s claim is, therefore, true.

The Fellow produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with CORE TV NEWS to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

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