OPINION | EASE OF DOING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA: THE PATHETIC EXPERIENCE INNOSON, OTHERS FACE – By Ikenna Asomba

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These are the Top 10 Indicators used in rating the Ease of Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa and Globally:

1. Starting a Business
2. Dealing with Construction Permits
3. Getting Electricity
4. Registering Property
5. Getting Credit
6. Protecting Minority Investors
7. Paying Taxes
8. Trading across Borders
9. Enforcing Contracts
10. Resolving Insolvency.

Quite unfortunately, Nigeria is no where among the top 10 in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite having the largest market.

The so-called giant of Africa is no where found in the comity of over 46 Sub-Saharan African nations in the Ease of Doing Business (2015-2016).

Smaller nations like Mauritius, Rwanda, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Seychelles, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Ghana, Uganda, Cape Verde, Tanzania, Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mali, Niger and 13 others outpace Nigeria in the Ease of Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With this, you can see what the likes of Innoson, Ibeto, many a start-ups, et al, have been facing, particularly under the last two and half years of this Rudderless and Clueless Administration at the Centre, doing business in Nigeria.

In a Commando style, yesterday (Tuesday, December 19, 2017), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested Chief Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson), over a case involving him and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

It was said that GTBank over-charged Innoson to the tune of N700m over a loan.

Irked by this development, Innoson approached the courts, sueing GTBank. He won and was awarded N4.7 billion in damages.

GTBank immediately went on Appeal Court but lost.

Following this development, GTBank had gone to Supreme Court and this contentious matter is still subsisting at the apex court of the land.

But in a dramatic u-turn, reports say GTBank decided to involve the EFCC, as the anti-graft agency clanishly swooped in on Innoson, arresting him and causing hullabaloo at his Enugu residence, yesterday.

Here is Innoson, one of the few Nigerians who believed in this country, establishing his businesses here.

Here is Innoson, the only Nigerian who overcame the barriers of education, building his company from being a spare part selling firm to a vehicle manufacturing company.

Here is Innoson, the only Nigerian who overcame the barriers of education, establishing the only indigenous Motorcycle manufacturing plant in Nigeria.

Rather than encouraging this industrious and patriotic Nigerian, the clanish State Actors and their collaborators are out to cripple his businesses, just like others before him. #SadDayForDemocracy.

It goes to show the Poor Quality of Leadership Nigeria has been gifted with, the last two and half years.

I have recently visited Innoson’s Yard along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. Sincerely, within the last two and half years of this Rudderless administration at the centre, the place looks like a Ghost Town.

This goes to show you why according to the National Bureau of Statistics, over 3 million jobs have been lost across various private sectors of our economy more recently.

When State Actors and their collaborators clanishly stifle the business operations of renowned job creators in the country, just to satisfy their own personal aggrandisement, where do we go from here? Is this not a pre-requisite to massive job loss, unpaid salary arrears, pensions and gratuities? Is this not a precursor to another round of Recession?

I weep for this country. We do not deserve this Poor Leadership and Governance. No! Not after 57 years of gaining Independence.

That our peers in 1960 such as China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia etc have outpaced us, should give us concern.

That smaller African nations as captured above have outpaced Nigeria in the Ease of Doing Business should really throw us all into sober reflections, particularly, ahead of 2019. #ShameOfANation.
#FreeInnoson.

Yours Truly, says indeed, it’s not yet UHURU for Nigeria.

Ikenna Asomba is a Social Commentator.

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