By Josephine Agbonkhese
An expert in property law, Prince O. Williams-Joel, Managing Partner, Prince Joel & Associates, has said the rising prominence of credit bureaux and the increased sophistication of the identity authentication system—SIM card, Bank Verification Number, BVN, and National Identity Number, NIN, among others contributed to Nigeria’s 24 spots jump in the Ease of Doing Business Index. The goals laid out in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP, the replacement of traditional means of registering a company with online processes, introduction of the visa-on-arrival option, airport infrastructure development and the removal of baggage check post in the checking-in process, were also listed.
These were the revelations made at a discourse section on Real Estate Investments and Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria: Challenges & Realities, in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, with spotlight on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report entitled Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs, which indicated that Nigeria had moved up by 24 points from 169th position on the 2017 ranking, and also 170th position on the 2016 ranking, to 145 in the World Bank’s 2018 report.
According to Prince O. Williams-Joel, Managing Partner, Prince Joel & Associates, “the focal point of the evaluation by the global apex bank is premised on the policies government put in place to guarantee business start-ups, a seamless process in getting permits or licences, depending on the sector of investment; taking care of power, loan, land permit, payment of multiple taxes, bureaucratic bottlenecks, among others.” The President of AAS, Collins Ikhide; Vice-President, Abayomi Odubanjo; Secretary, Daniel Omoraro; and Public Relations Officer, Nosa Odoko all agreed that the discourse became necessary to encourage the international community, especially Nigerians in the diaspora, to invest in the country.
The discourse culminated in an interactive session, where Prince Joel proffered solutions to the challenges associated with the real estate sector and provided information on available cross-border transaction partnerships necessary for effective mobilisation of foreign direct investment into Nigeria.