SON Beats Customs, Shipper’s Council, Emerges as Best in Ease of Doing Business Ranking
A new Executive Order 001 (EO1) compliance report by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has identified Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) as one of the top-performing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that promoted transparency and efficiency in Nigeria’s business environment for 2022.
Maritime industry agencies that performed poorly are; Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Shippers Council.
Apart from SON, other agencies that performed well are; Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Federal Competition, Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
A breakdown of the report show that SON recorded 78.7 percent in the compliance index followed by FCCPC with 69.1 percent, NEXIM had 64.6 percent and CAC with 63.7 percent.
A further breakdown of the report, which assessed 36 agencies show that the Nigerian Shippers Council, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry scored 19.28 per cent, 16.03 per cent and 14.83 per cent respectively. Other agencies that got low points include the Nigeria Customs Service 13.97 per cent, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs 13.5 per cent, the Commercial Law and Trademarks Department 12.0 per cent and the Nigerian Police Force 11.06 per cent.
The least compliant agency in the list is the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), which had 8.54 per cent.
“From the report, the top five MDAs achieved an average score of 71.4 percent on the efficiency and transparency matrix with the overall winner NCDMB achieving a score of 81.1 percent,” it said.
It said the top-performing MDAs differentiate themselves by achieving a balanced performance on both the efficiency and transparency scales, across the three cross-cutting directives of transparency, default approval and one government.
At press briefing on Thursday, Jumoke Oduwole, the Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business and PEBEC Secretary, said the overall EO1 performance score is based on efficiency (70 percent) and transparency (30 percent).
“Efficiency measures an MDA’s compliance with service delivery timelines, as well as compliance with the default approval and one government directives of the EO1, while transparency is measured based on the existence of an updated website, interactive online service portal, detailed timelines, costs, statutory requirements and customer service contact details,” she said.
The top five most improved are Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
In 2017, the EO1 on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment was issued by President Muhammadu Buhari administration, to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria and make the country a progressively easier place to start and grow a business.
“The key learnings from the EO1 report analysis over the years show that progress is being recorded on the efficiency and transparency directives. From our assessment, most MDAs now have functional websites while 25 out of the MDAs tracked have adopted an online process for citizen application for services,” the report said.
Africa’s biggest economy recorded some improvement in the latest World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking as it moved up by 15 places to rank 131 out of 190 nations in 2019 from 146 in the previous year.
But stakeholders in the business sector project that the country could trend around 135 in the global ranking for 2023.
In a bid to further deepen the impact of the EO1 and improve sustainability of the reforms within the MDAs, the PEBEC report recommends institutionalising the training of reform champions and ensuring an active EO1 committee within the MDAs to eliminate gaps arising from high staff turnover within certain MDAs.
“This will serve as an avenue to preserving institutional memories therefore necessitating frequent fresh starts. Continuous engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders with focus on improving service delivery experiences for customers,” it said.