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Nigeria among world’s worst business destinations — World Bank

Despite improving five steps on its ranking last year, Nigeria emerged one of the worst business destinations, the 2015 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking has showed.

Nigeria ranked 170 among 189 economies covered in the 2015 edition, released on Thursday.

The improvement, which showed a 3.61 percent improvement from 43.72 percent points in 2014 to 47.33 percent points in 2015, reflected the country’s movement from the 175th position in 2014 to its current this year.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the report showed that Nigeria ranked 36 out of 47, barely above other struggling economies like Zimbabwe, Liberia, Mauritania, Congo Republic, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Congo Democratic Republic, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Eritrea.

The thrust of the report showed that entrepreneurs in 123 economies saw improvements in their local regulatory framework in 2014. Between June 2013 and June 2014, the report documented 230 business reforms, with 145 reforms aimed at reducing the complexity and cost of complying with business regulation.

About 85 reforms aimed at strengthening legal institutions – with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for the largest number of such reforms, took place during the year.

The report identified Tajikistan, Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Azerbaijan, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates as the economies that improved the most during the year in areas tracked by Doing Business.

These 10 top improving economies, the report noted, had implemented 40 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business in their respective environments.

The case studies highlighted good practices in eight of the areas measured by Doing Business indicators. These included the growing efficiency of company registries in starting a business; zoning and urban planning in dealing with

construction permits; measuring quality of land administration in registering property, and importance of registries in getting credit.

It also included going beyond related-party transactions in protecting minority investors; trends before and after the financial crisis in paying taxes; judicial efficiency supporting freedom of contract in enforcing contracts; and measuring strength of insolvency laws in resolving insolvency.

Out of 189 economies, Nigeria improved by nine steps from 138 in 2014 to 129 in 2015 in the starting business, while dropping three places in dealing with construction permits category, declining from the 168 ranking to 171.

Read more: Nigeria among world’s worst business destinations — World Bank

Atiku’s daughter donates salary, allowances for healthcare

From Umar Dankano, Yola

Newly sworn in Commissioner of Heath in Adamawa state and daughter of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar has announced the donation of her total salaries and allowances for the development of the health sector in the state.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after taking oath of office, Dr Fatima, who was to take charge of the ministry of health, thanked the governor for the opportunity given her to serve the state as a commissioner.

She said the contribution of her salary and allowances was specifically made to enhance healthcare development in the state.

“I am very grateful to the governor for appointing me to head the health ministry. The health ministry is the most challenging out of the ministries because of the insurgency that we are having which has completely broken down the health system in the state. In this vain, I shall be donating my total salary and allowances towards healthcare development in the state.

Read more: Atiku’s daughter donates salary, allowances for healthcare

Demolition: El-Rufai warns against illegal marking of houses, buildings

From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna

Kaduna State government yesterday said there will be no marking of buildings or plots, or the delivery of stop-work or recovery notices until proper surveys and assessment of maps have established the boundaries of the affected institutions, and the extent of land encroachments in the state.

It will be recalled that the state government demolished about 93 houses in Zaria in its efforts to recover lands encroached by individuals in public schools, hospital across the state.

This led to marking of houses believed to be built on such government lands in different locations within the state metropolis.

 Governor El-Rufai’s continued plan to demolish more houses came under criticism from stakeholders in the state.

 But a statement by El-Rufai’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, said the general public has nothing to fear from the ongoing effort of land recovery as he warned agencies against blanket marking of buildings and neighborhoods.

Read more: Demolition: El-Rufai warns against illegal marking of houses, buildings

Task before NASS North-East caucus on IDPs —Rep Sidi

By Mohammed Usman

The National Assembly’s north-eastern caucus was recently inaugurated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to oversee the rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were forced to flee their homes, following the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents in the region, particularly Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States. 

The caucus is to among others see to the actualisation of the welfare of internally displaced persons, reunion with their families and also make laws that will benefit them in terms of security and socio-economic development, as they are currently being camped in various sections of the nation and in neighbouring countries.  

The caucus is chaired by a former governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjua Goje, Tahir Monguno is the Vice Chairman, while Sidi Yakubu (APC), the member representing Yusufari/Karasuna/Nguru/Machina federal constituency of Yobe State is the Financial Secretary.

This is the first time that the National Assembly will inaugurate a caucus from that region to oversee the problems being faced by IDPs. They hope to achieve this by raising funds through  goodwill among themselves, support from their colleagues outside the region and Nigerians from all works of live in order to address the  plight of  the displaced persons from the region.

Read more: Task before NASS North-East caucus on IDPs —Rep Sidi

Nigerian Army is back on track – Buratai

By Osby Isibor

The Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said on Friday that the Nigerian Army is fully prepared to tackle the challenges associated with defending the nation.

Buratai said this while leading serving army personnel in Abuja to participate in the monthly `Route March Exercise.’

According to him, troops on national duty across the country were physically sound and mentally ready to take part in any battle.

“The Nigerian Army is back, we are fully back on track; the previous impression should be erased, the Nigerian Army is professional,” he said.

“We are re-emphasising training which is very important as we strive to remain professional and this is in line with my vision to have a professionally responsive army.

“The key emphasis here is physical fitness, then mental alertness and spiritual upliftment which are at the core of our operations across the country and the world at large”.

Read more: Nigerian Army is back on track – Buratai