Nigeria ranks low in new World Bank’s trade logistics performance index

World Bank

World Bank

Nigeria has been categorised among the lowest ranking countries with 2.63 score in the latest trade logistic performance index ranking released by the World Bank.

The nation was ranked the 90th position among the 160 countries watched while Germany is the top performer for the third time and Syria ranked lowest.

World Bank noted that progress in logistics performance has slowed for the first time since 2007 for the world’s least developed economies, while emerging economies that implement comprehensive initiatives continue to improve their performance.

Senior Director for the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, Anabel Gonzalez, said: “Logistics performance both in international trade and domestically is central to countries’ economic growth and competitiveness.

“Efficient logistics connects people and firms to markets and opportunities, and helps achieve higher levels of productivity and welfare. Unfortunately, the logistics performance gap between rich and poor countries continues and the convergence trend experienced between 2007 and 2014 has reversed for the least performing countries,” he said.

However, countries like Kenya, India and China, all improved their previous performance according to the report, which is based on survey data from more than 1,200 logistics professionals.

The report ranks countries on a number of dimensions of supply chain performance, including infrastructure, quality of service, shipment reliability, and border clearance efficiency.

The World Bank emphasized the need for the logistics industry and the public sector to address major challenges such as raising skills and competency levels, and adapting to slower trade growth.

Besides, it noted that managing the footprint and the sustainability of supply chain should also be a high priority now.

According to the report, “Western and Central Africa shows lower performance than Southern Africa or than East Africa, which has engaged in significant improvement in trade corridor efficiency. North African and Middle Eastern developing countries are doing comparatively worse than their income level would indicate, due to lack of integration, political unrest, and security challenges,”

Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group and co-author of the report, Jean-Francois Arvis, said: “Logistics performance is about achieving reliability of supply chains linking economies to markets. In the most constrained countries the needs focus on infrastructure, or critical improvements in customs and border management.

“More logistically performing countries have to address complex sets of issues centered on the development and quality of services. And all top performers show strong cooperation between the public and private sectors in developing a comprehensive approach to efficient logistics.”

On the border management side, customs agencies got better ratings than all other agencies involved in the process, with those responsible for sanitary and phytosanitary regulations lagging behind.

The logistics agenda has shifted in priorities over the last 10 years, especially as slower trade growth puts pressure on the logistics industry to re-organize its networks and innovate.

Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group and co-author of the report, Daniel Saslavsky, said: “This year’s LPI continues to show the complexity of the reforms and the different priorities depending on a country’s logistics performance,”

“Logistics policies are now not only limited to transportation or trade facilitation. They are part of a broader agenda that also includes services, development of facilities, infrastructure and spatial planning.”

According to the report, some causes of underperformance are endogenous to a country’s supply chain: the quality of service and the costs and speed of clearance processes are examples.

The apex bank also noted that other causes, such as dependence on indirect maritime routes, lie outside the domestic supply chain and are not under a country’s control.

The LPI details possible causes of delay that are not directly related to how domestic services and agencies perform, adding that there was a striking contrast between the top and bottom LPI quintile countries. This contrast is especially large in three areas: informal (corrupt) payments, compulsory warehousing, and pre-shipment inspection.

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