Nigeria ranks 138 out of 183 global economies with the worst record of tax evasion covered in the latest edition of the annual World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
Nigeria, which was ranked 133 last year on the overall scale for ease of doing business, kept the position as one of the worst business destinations in the world, though it slipped 29 steps down the hierarchy of countries whose citizens are habitual tax evaders.
The report, the 9th in a series of annual publications comparing business regulations in 183 economies around the world, focused on the theme: “Doing Business in a More Transparent World”.
The 264-page document measured regulations affecting everyday business activity in 11 areas, including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, closing a business and getting electricity.
South Africa is ranked 35th in the report, Ghana 63, Namibia 78, Zambia 84, Morocco 94, Kenya 109, Ethiopia 111, Cape Verde 119, Uganda 123 and Tanzania 127.
The report also showed woeful performance by Nigeria in starting businesses (116th from 108th position last year); protecting investors (65th from 60th last year); credits to investors (from 75th position last year to 78th); and construction permits (from 83rd position last year to 84th).
Although the country’s 176th ranking last year in the areas of provision of electricity remained unchanged, it also maintained its 180th position for property registration and 149th position for trading across borders.
The country however recorded some marginal improvement in the area of enforcement of contracts, rising one step from the former 98th position last year to 97th, while the biggest achievement was in the area of resolving insolvency, with a lift in ranking from the 105th position last year to 99th.
The report revealed that an investor would be required to complete eight different procedures within a minimum timeframe of 34 days, at a cost equivalent to 70.6 per cent of the firm’s annual income, before a new firm is registered to do business in Nigeria.
Details of the time frame and procedures include five days spent on company name search with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) after the payment of N200 for the application form; seven days for the preparation of the incorporation documents and payment of stamp duty, which attracts 0.75 per cent stamp duty charge on capital, and one day to get a notarized declaration of compliance (CAC 4) at the cost of N500.
In addition, the completion of the company registration at the CAC takes a minimum of 11 days after the payment of N59,592 for legal fees, N500 for the incorporation forms, N20,000 incorporation fees, N50,000 for same-day processing, N500 for each additional copy of Memorandum and Article of Association stamped, N300 for certified true copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association, N2,000 for certified true copy of particulars of directors, as well as N2000 for certified true copy of particulars of shareholders.
The registration of the company with the Board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Ministry of Finance for income tax and value added tax (VAT) would take a minimum of four days; registration for personal income tax PAYE at the state tax office would take two days and inspection from local government would take seven days.
The payment of the designated registration fee of N18,500 would take one day to complete.