Stakeholders seek improved ease of doing business

Stakeholders have emphasised the need to improve ease of doing business in Nigeria as a crucial key to growing entrepreneurship, attracting international investment and promoting sustainable development.

They noted that though there have been efforts to diversify the economy and strengthen the business environment, obstacles such as inadequate infrastructure, corruption, and security issues remain a threat.

This expectation was at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) inward trade mission featuring UK companies in the fashion and beauty industry in partnership with the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.

Chairperson of the Advocacy Committee, NBCC, Anne Rinu, noted that though Nigeria has made strides toward simplifying the process of starting a business, through the creation of online registration platforms, which revolutionised company registration procedures, decreasing time and cost, however, bureaucratic red tape and delays in acquiring permits and licenses continue to deter businesses.

“Insufficient infrastructure presents challenges for business in Nigeria. Inadequate power supply, poor road networks, and limited access to financing inhibit productivity and increase operating costs. Addressing these infrastructure gaps needs significant investments in energy, transportation, and telecommunications infrastructure to support business operations and promote trade.

“Corruption remains a widespread problem in Nigeria, eroding investor trust, distorting markets, and impeding economic growth. Enhancing transparency, accountability, and the rule of law is crucial to eradicating corruption along with improving governance in Nigeria. The regulatory environment and tax structure are complex, with unclear regulations, multiple taxes (Double taxation), and levies imposed by the federal, state, and local governments,” she said.

Deputy President, NBCC, Bimbo Olashore, stated that the market has grown in recent years, with the personal care industry outperforming other sectors despite economic challenges.

He added that the cosmetics/beauty business is known for its embrace of innovation, with some successful firms championing inclusivity and sustainability.

“According to the British Beauty Council, Nigeria’s fashion and beauty sector is currently worth £20bn and is set to further expand with expected growth of eight per cent by 2027 and according to McKinsey’s research of fashion forecasts the global industry will have top-line growth of two to four per cent in 2024, with regional and country differences. Once again, the luxury market is likely to provide most of the economic profit. The segment is expected to expand by three to five per cent globally,” he noted.

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