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The Guardian : Tackling competitiveness by looking beyond bureaucracy

Over the last few years the reality of Nigeria’s lack of competitiveness in industry has been apparent. Most international agencies which measure competitiveness have placed us close to the bottom of their rankings. The World Economic Forum ranked us 125th out of 137 countries in their 2017 global competitiveness rankings for instance, a position we have hovered around for most of the last decade. The ratings in the World Bank’s doing business index paint a similar picture. Besides the rankings, there has also been a tacit acceptance that the country is not a great place to do business. With many obstacles and bottlenecks holding businesses back, the local business community has pushed for improvements for a while too.

The reality of the situation has rightly spurred government to acting to correct some of the challenges. In the last few years various initiatives have been launched to try to improve the business environment with varying degrees of success. Most recently, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has tried tackle some of the bureaucratic bottlenecks to doing business in Nigeria. Their work has focussed on important aspects such as registering businesses and getting goods and people in and out of the country without too much hassle, and they have recorded successes with Nigeria moving up multiple places in the latest World Bank Doing Business rankings.

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