Gombe, not Lagos, has been ranked number one by a survey on the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in Nigeria, according to a report by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Gombe State was ranked number one with an overall average score of 7.69, out of a maximum score of 10.
The report obtained showed that Sokoto State and Jigawa State took the second and third positions, respectively. These states also scored 6.88 and 6.79 respectively.
The “States Ease of Doing Business Survey Results,” by PEBEC was prepared in collaboration with the KPMG Nigeria. The survey also showed that the Zamfara State had the lowest score with 3.54 and ranked 37.
In addition, Edo State, Delta State and Taraba State were ranked 34, 35 and 36, respectively. They scored 4.38, 4.32 and 3.91 respectively.
However, Rivers, Kaduna and Lagos States that are believed to be the country’s economic hubs were ranked 11, 13 and 20, respectively with 5.88, 5.74 and 5.28 marks.
Also, for the South-east states, Abia State with overall average score of 4.48 was ranked 33; Anambra with a score of 6.35 took the seventh position; Imo State with a score of 5.88 took the 11th position; Ebonyi with overall average score of 5.20 took the 23rd position; and Enugu with a score of 5.02 held on to the 27th position.
PEBEC surveyed 998 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Its respondent distribution showed that the North-west, the North-central and the North-east had 157, 180 and 85 respondents respectively while the South-west, South-east and South-south had 314, 128 and 134 respondents, respectively.
The Special Adviser to the President on EoDB and Secretary of the PEBEC’s Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Jumoke Oduwole, said the report captured, “the different business environment realities across the country to encourage peer learning and review, healthy competition and provide guidance for investors as an information resource document.”
Oduwole described the survey as a dividend of the ongoing collaboration between the PEBEC and the National Executive Council (NEC) that captured the reforms baseline that enabled each state’s EoDB council to craft its own reform agendas and implementation roadmaps based on empirical data and feedback from a cross-section of SMEs across the country.
She said: “These independent experiences and perceptions of doing business in Nigeria will help determine enablers to sub-national competitiveness opportunities and identify constraints, which will facilitate dialogue and drive policy making.”
The survey also showed that the regulatory environment in Nigeria is still perceived to be generally unfavourable for businesses especially in the area of communicating tax policies.
It added: “Sokoto leads the regulatory environment indicator with a score of 7.91, while the FCT sits at the bottom with 3.38. The high score in Sokoto is driven by the state’s high performance in the starting a business, paying taxes and land, property acquisition and development sub-indicators.”
It also showed that “Ekiti leads the skills and labour indicator with a score of 8.01, while Zamfara sits at the bottom with 2.86.”