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Business and Bureaucracy: Snipping off the Shackles

Nigeria’s large population and oil reserves see it well placed for international business. However, instead of being inundated with international business interest, misgovernment, rampant corruption and dismal infrastructure have been found to kill off any appeal the country had. In 2003, the World Bank has begun publishing a “Doing Business” survey, comparing countries in terms of the most important factors with regard to opening, running and closing a firm. This report has spawned a whole industry of academic studies on how its indicators correlate with countries’ social and economic progress. Unsurprisingly, making it easier and cheaper to start businesses has been found to reduce the informal sector, create jobs, improve productivity and reduce corruption. The bank’s report has succeeded in putting the issue of business red tape on the international political agenda. The result? It appears that business people globally are experiencing a modest trimming of red tape with regard to where they are able to do business…

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