The World Bank Doing Business in Nigeria 2018 report has ranked Enugu State as the third-best state to start a new business, putting it only behind the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Lagos.
The report also ranked Enugu ninth in the entire federation on the Ease of Registering a Property.
The report, the fourth since the World Bank’s launch of the sub-national series on Nigeria, analysed business regulations in four areas namely, Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property, and Enforcing Contracts.
“While no state performs well across all areas benchmarked, Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra made the biggest strides in improving their business regulations,” the report noted.
Enugu’s positive ranking, especially in regard to the Ease of Registering a Property, apparently stemmed from measures taken several months ago by the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration to eliminate multiple property tax.
Gov. Ugwuanyi had last year inaugurated a 10-member Land Use Charge Assessment and Appeal Tribunal in response to complaints from property owners about the multiplicity of taxes on their lands and buildings.
“There have been stringent complaints that local governments and agencies of state government impose all manners of taxes, rates and levies on land and landed property,” the governor had said while inaugurating the tribunal chaired by Barrister Chigozie Nnadi.
He noted that the tribunal’s creation was consistent with the vision to consolidate Enugu State’s reputation as one of the most investor-friendly states in the country.
The governor’s inauguration of the Enugu State Ease of Doing Business Council (SEODBC) early 2018 had further underscored the resolve to bolster the state’s economic potential and make it an economic hub. He added that difficult business environment remained a major factor often cited by foreign investors as the reason Nigeria is hardly a choice destination for foreign investment despite its huge potential.
“It is also the most frequently cited reason most small businesses in our local communities die before their fifth anniversary. It was in light of the above facts, among other factors, that the Federal Government of Nigeria in July 2016 established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) chaired by His Excellency, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN,” Ugwuanyi explained during the council members’ swearing-in.