International business in Nigeria

International business in Nigeria

International business in Nigeria

Nigeria borders the prominent Gulf Of Guinea in West Africa and is the continent’s most populated country. 177 million people inhabit its 36 states which span over 923,770 square metres. Nigeria’s capital city is Abuja.

Nigeria was freed from British colonial rule in 1960. But that independence was not enough for soon after, the country witnessed a civil war, followed by many years of an alleged corrupt governance. Over 62% of Nigerians still live in extreme poverty proving that efforts to diversify the economy or boost it, have not effectively helped Nigeria or its people to overcome financial hurdles. The government however continues to working towards developing stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and power, areas that require much attention.

What are Nigeria’s vital data points?

Population (million) 185.9
GDP (billion USD) 405
GDP per capita (USD) 2,178
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 5,867
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 185%
Surface area (sq km) 923,770
% of population living in urban areas 47%
% of GDP added by agriculture - industry - services 20% - 21% - 59%
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 170

What is Nigeria’s Business Index?

The ease of doing business, Nigeria ranks ‘170’ with ‘1’ representing the most favourable business environment and ‘180’ representing the least.

What are the top business opportunities in Nigeria?

Nigeria’s top industries include:

  • Crude oil
  • Coal
  • Tin
  • Columbite
  • Rubber products
  • Wood
  • Hides and skins
  • Textiles

Which are Nigeria’s top export commodities?

  • Petroleum and petroleum products
  • Cocoa
  • Rubber

Which are Nigeria’s most favourite export partners? (percentage of total exports)

  • India (15.4%)
  • Brazil (10.2%)
  • Netherlands (8.5%)
  • Spain (8.5%)
  • South Africa (5.5%)
  • France (5.4%)
  • Germany (5.1)
  • Japan (4.4%)

Nigerian politics and voting

The Federal Republic of Nigeria was under coup and military rule for many years. It’s only since 1999 that the country began experiencing a freer democratic set up under a new constitution.

Presidential elections in Nigeria have been associated with violence and irregularities over the years but have progressively been getting safer and more reliable. The 2015 elections were the best so far while the next are due in 2019.

What are Nigeria’s important events?

Important events in Nigeria are:

  • Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
  • Eid-el-fitri Sallah
  • Democracy day
  • Independence day

Sports is also a crucial element of Nigeria’s culture. Popular sports are the traditional Dambe boxing and football.

Public holidays in Nigeria

January 1 New Year's Day
moveable Good Friday
moveable Easter Monday
May 1 Worker's Day
May 29 Democracy Day
October 1 Independence Day
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day

In addition, these are Muslim public holidays but which can occur anytime of the year:

* Mawlid

* Eid al-Fitr

* Eid al-Adha

Nigeria stands as the world’s 41st most active export economy while also being the 119th most complex. Added to which, it has one of the most unfavourable business environments in the world with much red tape and alleged corruption. As the nation limps back to recovery, post its highly traumatic past, investing in a business in Nigeria or opening up operations could be a gamble. We advise detailed marketing plan, in depth product assessment and a complete understanding of the Nigerian business environment and negotiation tactics for a successful business alliance with this country.

This entry in Africa & ME was updated on March 14, 2018 by specialist.