Nigeria is Africa’s foremost business destination second to South Africa. Her currency is the Naira. N1.00 is approximately N127 USD. The country operates a market economy dominated by crude oil exports with the revenue earnings from the sector accounting for 90% of Forex earnings and 65% of budgetary revenues. Other exports are cocoa, palm oil, groundnut, cotton, timber and rubber.
Nigeria’s imports are in the region of $14.54 billion USD. Import commodities include machinery, chemicals, transport, equipment, manufactured goods and live animals.
The country has directed her focus to exportation of renewable resources which currently accounts for 30% of the GDP. This is to enable diversification of the economic base. However, opportunities exist for the exploitation and export of products such as natural gas, bitumen, limestone, coal, tin, columbite, gold, silver, lead-zinc, gypsum, glass sands, clays, asbestos, graphite and iron ore.
The Government has been pursuing economic reforms marked by privatization and deregulation which seek to transfer state ownership of institutions to the private sector and so engender efficiency in the production sectors of the economy. These are well articulated in The NEEDS program. These reforms have led to an explosive growth in the telecoms sector after years of stagnancy.
The introduction of the Global System of Mobile communication (GSM) in the Telecommunications industry in 2001 has transformed the economic terrain, creating employment and oiling the operations of businesses in Nigeria. The country is traversed by a network of primary and secondary roads, and has 4 international airports, and 6 seaports. She also boasts of 12 Television stations and 25 National newspapers. The country’s internet code is “.ng”.
Nigeria, officially addressed as the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is the most populous country on the African continent. She shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, Niger in the north, and borders the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Since 1991, its capital has been the centrally located city of Abuja, although the Nigerian government was previously headquartered in Lagos.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history, and based on archaeological evidence, human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC. The Benue Cross River area is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium AD. The Nigerian state came into being in October 1, 1960 when Nigeria declared her independence from the British and at present consists of 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory. Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 after sixteen years of interruption by series of military rulers. From 1966 to 1999, Nigeria had been ruled (except the short lived second republic, 1979 to 1983) by military rulers who seized power in coup d’états and counter coups. Today Nigeria is a democratic country with tremendous market and investment opportunities.
- Abundant Resources: Nigeria has numerous resources including mineral, agricultural and human resources, many of which are yet to be fully exploited.
- Large Market: Nigeria is the United States’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. The Nigerian market potential also stretches into the growing West African sub-region.
- Political Stability: Nigeria offers stable political environment.
- Free Market Economy: The Government has created a favorable climate for business and industrial ventures. Administrative and bureaucratic procedures have been greatly streamlined. The Government has put in place policies and programs that guarantee a free market economy.
- Robust Private Sector: The country has a dynamic private sector, which has assured greater responsibilities under the new economic environment.
- Free Flow of Investment: Exchange control regulations have been liberalized to ensure free flow of international finance. There is now unrestricted movement of investment capital.
- Attractive Incentives: A comprehensive package of incentives has been put in place to attract investment.
- Fast Growing Financial Sector: There is well-developed banking and financial sector. The investor has easy access to working capital and other credit facilities.
- Skilled and Low Cost Labour: There is an abundance of skilled labour at an economic costs resulting in production costs, which are among the lowest in Africa.
- Infrastructure: Rapid development of physical and industrial infrastructure in terms of transportation, communications, electricity and water supply.
Potential Investors wanting to do business in Nigeria or with Nigerians should clarify from the embassy about the veracity of such deal in order to prevent further occurrences of the incidence of fraud.