Nigeria will enact its biggest corporate reform in 30 years to boost ease of doing business and drive foreign direct investment. President Muhammadu Buhari will soon sign the Companies and Allied Matters Bill into law, the Nation reported.
The bill is touted as a major step to address corporate challenges and enhance the business environment. The bill aims to resolve the impediments in the earlier companies act. In addition, it will bring issues such as company incorporation, liquidation, and insolvency in line with global standards.
The ultimate aim of the Nigerian Companies and Allied Matters Act is improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria and driving foreign investments into the country.
In terms of ease of doing business, Nigeria has progressed from 170 to 146 in global ranking, in four years until 2018. Ease of doing business in Nigeria hit a record high of 120 in 2008 and has averaged 145 between 2008 and 2018, according to Trading Economics.
Kenya and South Africa are ranked much ahead of Nigeria in ease of doing business in 2019. Kenya ranked 61 and South Africa ranked 82 in ease of doing business in 2019, while Nigeria ranked 146.
Nigeria ranked relatively better in getting electricity connections, registering property, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), foreign direct investment into Nigeria decreased by 36 percent to $2.2 billion in 2018. In 2017, Nigeria had seen foreign investments of $3.5 billion. Comparatively, Africa’ s FDI inflows as a whole increased 6 percent to $40 billion in 2018.