State governments are directly involved in the regulation of the business environment by issuing land permissions, property registration, construction licenses, contract enforcement, and local taxation, among other things.
MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises) account for 47.8% of the country’s GDP. Due to the hard business environment, businesses in this category have jointly expressed dissatisfaction with their level of productivity.
As a result, through an exercise called National Doing Business Survey, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has established domestic metrics to assess the business environment of States and their level of appeal to investors.
This project intends to accelerate the implementation of business climate changes at the subnational level, ensuring that SMEs are able to conduct business without difficulty anywhere within Nigeria.
The new indicators highlight four key sectors in which MSMEs contribute to enhancing subnational efforts that have a continuous impact on the business environment.
Infrastructure, transparency and access to information, regulatory environment, skills, and labor are the four areas.
The Subnational Ease of Doing Business Survey is based on these categories, which emphasize ‘What to Improve’ from MSMEs’ responses.
The major topic of the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) survey report, which includes the study’s findings and analysis, is ‘How to Improve.’ The study serves as a foundation for comparing findings from other states.
The third step, known as the ‘Outcomes of Improvement Initiatives,’ ensures that reforms improve the business environment in each state.
This exercise is conducted annually by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and is used to provide an updated viewpoint on subnational rankings on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
For example, the MSMEs’ assessments of the business environment and current economic realities at the state level were captured in the 2021 Doing Business survey report.
This effort establishes a benchmark against which particular state Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) can refine their reform agendas.
While the study identified key pain points for MSMEs, it is clear from the survey report that private sector perception has a significant impact on the evaluation process, making it critical for the Edo State government to engage more with businesses in its environment and address their challenges.
As the economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, PEBEC hopes to use the lessons learned thus far and feedbacks from stakeholders to improve the methodology, assess progress made in different States, and highlight reform priorities in the second edition of these studies.
Through its homegrown indicators, the list evaluates the various States’ efforts in the country to make their economic environment desirable for investors.
The Edo State Government has responded by recognizing the importance of MSMEs in the development of the local economy and prosperity.
The government is also striving to resolve business issues by enacting business environment reforms to alleviate private-sector restraints.
Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State Governor, has established a 15-man Business Enabling Climate Task Team to identify and provide solutions to bottlenecks that impede business growth and create an enabling environment for businesses in the State.
The task team is comprised of senior reform champions in the Ease of Doing Business ecosystem of the state, whose mission is to collaborate with MDAs and other stakeholders to help the State improve its PEBEC national doing business ranking.
The Edo State Investment Promotion Office’s (ESIPO) Ease of Doing Business Secretariat is working diligently with MDAs and other stakeholders to identify and resolve difficulties confronting the private sector in the state.
Actionable initiatives are being done as part of its role in coordinating business environment improvements, such as drafting a roadmap to guide the process and plans to convene public-private dialogues to address difficulties faced by local businesses.
Several reform measures were emphasized during the ‘Doing Business Technical Session Engagement with Stakeholders’ held in March, including the development of a rigorous performance management system to ensure the civil service complies to the government reforms.
During the discussion, a representative from the private sector argued for increased cooperation between the government and corporations in areas of mutual interest such as taxation and the provision of public services.