The recent report by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council(PEBEC) on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria has confirmed the Akwa Ibom State Government’s preparedness to host the world and also create more employment avenues for its people.
Akwa Ibom is in the South South region of Nigeria with a population of about 7.3m people. A major player in the oil and gas sector, it is regarded as the largest producer of petroleum in the country.
With the approval for the implementation of the Ibom Deep Sea Port by the Federal Government, to allow shippers import and export products, offer container handling and bulk trade services, the huge investments by the State Government in the aviation industry to allow for air haulage services and aircraft maintenance services, and with enhanced road infrastructures that allow easy transportation services, the State is definitely positioning itself to become a very strong economic hub that will host numerous businesses in the Country.
Here is a breakdown of why Akwa Ibom is ranked 4th in Ease of doing business in the country.
Infrastructure & Security:
Electricity – Scores: 7.85/10
• It takes an average of 7 days to connect a business premises to National grid as against the national average of 35days.
• Average time taken in installing and setting up of prepaid meter in Akwa Ibom is 10 days as against national average of 49 days.
• Businesses in most parts of Akwa Ibom enjoy an average of 18hrs public power supply which reduces the burden of power cost on businesses.
• It takes an average of 2 days to resolve power complaints as against national average of 10 days.
Transportation – Scores: 7.85/10
• Improved road networks, construction of bridges, expansion and dualization of roads in the State
• Averagely, businesses spend 2% of their revenues on transportation costs, these cost however is as high as 40% to 70% in other States
Primary Healthcare – Scores: 6.89/10
• Easy access to health facilities and medical staff in the State
• Improved state of medical infrastructure in the State
Security -Scores: 6.01/10
• It takes 20 days to resolve complaints by public security agency in the State against the National average of 49 days
•There is trust between businesses and security agencies evidence by number of reported cases by business owners.
Transparency & Accessibility to information:
Investment Promotion Agency – Scores: 4.66/10
• The State Government is leveraging the network of agencies within the State, such as the Committee on Foreign Direct Investment(FDI), AKIPOC, Directorate of Agricultural Investment to disseminate information on its existence, activities and initiatives, and also increase awareness and availability of digital options.
State Information Structures – Scores: 5.57/10
• The Existence of Akwa Ibom State website that collates government information, ensures that business and investors can find relevant information easily and quickly.
Starting a Business – Scores: 6.79/10
• It takes about 7 days to complete Business name registration in Akwa Ibom as against National Average of 21 days
Paying Taxes – Scores: 8.24/10
• It takes an average of 4days to receive Tax Clearance Certificates against the National Average of 20days
• Adoption of technology and harmonization of taxes into a centralized tax schedule that publicizes the legal taxes, rates, tariffs and levies payable to the State and Local Government.
Enforcing Contracts – Scores: 94/10
• Availability of small claims courts and the speed and ease of judicial process.
Land, Property Acquisition & Development – Scores: 4.86/10
• Average costs of registering properties
• Simple and clear process in property registration and clarity of requirements for obtaining a construction permit
• It takes an average of 13 days to receive property registration document against National average of 26 days
Skills and Labour
Technical and Professional Skills- Scores: 7.69/10
• The State Government’s continuous roll out of initiatives to harness the state’s talent pool and manage the threat posed by human capital flight to other states. Such initiatives include the Akwa Ibom Youth Entrepreneurial Development Programme tagged My Entrepreneurship Goals Programme(MEGP), the Ibom3000 initiative, the interest free loan to over 10,000 traders, and numerous other programmes.