On the back of far-reaching reforms and programmes by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, Edo State has been ranked as one of the best and safest states to do business in the country.
According to a new report by business and advisory firm, Vistern Partners Nigeria Limited, Edo ranked high on registering a business, tax administration, contract enforcement and dispute resolution, land administration and registering property, getting electricity and power generation, investment promotion and facilitation and ease of doing business institutionalization.
The report accessed the legal and regulatory frameworks for business enabling environment, employment promotion and MSMEs development.
Other areas analyzed include job creation and promotion of employment, public procurement, access to finance and private sector participation in the policy process and gender mainstreaming and entrepreneurship, among others.
The report, which hailed reforms by the Obaseki-led administration aimed at creating a business-friendly environment in Edo State, noted that “governments have a crucial role in providing a conducive environment for private sector activities by ensuring the predictability and functionality of the policy and legal environment, adequate market completion, the availability of public goods and services required by businesses, a functioning finance system, the efficient and transparent regulation and taxation of private enterprises and the development of a healthy workforce through investments in education and health.”
The report further noted: “Edo State inaugurated its Small Claims Court in February 2020, which now provides an enhancement of the process for settlement of commercial disputes for small claims not exceeding the sum of N5 million. This facilitates resolving disputes involving small businesses, thus preventing otherwise lengthy ligation in the regular courts. This reform impacts positively on the store’s Ease of Doing Business status.
“The creation of the Edo State Skills Development Agency and its arms have been a huge success geared towards job creation and placement, skills acquisition, and entrepreneurship programs.
“Since inception till date, over 80 percent of jobs have been created in line with the government’s commitment to create 200,000 jobs in its first tenure. The state has witnessed a 6 percent drop in unemployment rates over the past 2 years (from 25 percent down to 19 percent).
“A major reform of this present administration is the replacement of the former Ministry of Lands and Survey with a more robust and dynamic Edo State Geographic Information System Agency (EDOGIS) to oversee land administration in the state. The state also enacted an Anti-Community Development Association Bill (eradication of community development associations from communities) and the Edo State Private Property Protection Law to also improve land administration.
“EDOGIS has established relevant land management systems; digitized and catalogued a land registry; reduced land dispute clashes; consolidated and reduced rates; automated and improved transaction processes and turnaround service delivery times regarding land administration,” it added.