Thinking of starting a business in Nigeria? Go north!

For local entrepreneurs wanting to start and operate a small business in Nigeria, location matters as large differences exist throughout the country in the business regulatory environment.

In the fourth report of the Doing Business in Nigeria series by the World Bank, the data for 36 states and FCT Abuja and measured progress since 2014 in four regulatory areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property and enforcing contracts. It also incorporates measures of regulatory quality in the latter three indicators.

While no single Nigerian state dominates the rankings, Kaduna showed a lot of improvement from 2014 when the previous study was done and it ranked 17th till 2018, where it topped the rankings. The results also show that most states, if not all, have something to showcase and something to learn.

The report also highlights that most reforms were federally driven in the area of starting a business, and most were focused on the efficiency of processes rather than the quality of regulations. Hence a hands-on approach by the state governments to implement federal reform initiatives in centrally regulated areas, but also design and implement their own reforms in areas under state authority, will be key to improving Nigeria’s business environment.

The results of the report are summarised in the images below using the average score of the states across the four dimensions used to rank them.




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