Why you should be doing business in Nigeria

With the largest population in Africa and a wealth of natural resources to its name, Nigeria is an important market that must not be ignored. Already recognised as one of the world’s major investment destinations and one of the fastest growing economies in the world (Nigeria is one of the MINT countries, along with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey) – 2016 is the perfect time for you to consider doing business in Nigeria.

A Rapidly Expanding and Young Population

Already Africa’s most populous country by a long, long way with approximately 186 million inhabitants, the number of Nigerians is set to rise rapidly for the foreseeable future, with experts predicting that it will be the world’s third most populous country by 2050.

A huge 62% of Nigeria’s population is currently under 25, meaning the demand for education services is increasing faster than the government can supply it.

Nigeria’s middle class is also growing – Standard Bank, a South African chain which operates across the continent, estimates that it grew by over 600 percent between 2000 and 2014. Today 4.1 million Nigerian households, or 11% of the total population, are considered middle class and a further 7.6 million households will join them by 2030, according to Standard Bank’s predictions. For businesses looking to expand into Nigeria, this of course means a large (and growing) consumer base with increased spending power.

A Booming Economy

Nigeria also tops the list for Africa’s largest economy, largely thanks to its production levels of oil and gas, which are also the highest in the continent. Over the last ten years the country has enjoyed an average GDP growth of 6.9% and is now the biggest beneficiary of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa.

Aside from the oil and gas industries, which continue to dominate, Nigeria’s fastest growing sectors are wholesale and retail, telecommunications and paper mail, and construction.

A Surge in the Use of Technology

What’s more, Africa as a whole is experiencing a major surge in eCommerce. A recent report by Internet World has shown a huge increase in ‘Googling’ throughout the country, with Nigeria coming out top.

With IT and Software companies experiencing major growth, and Media and Professional services closely behind – it seems every sector is being well represented across this diverse country as it continues to develop at a very fast pace.

Nigeria is already the largest mobile market in Africa – Already ranked The World’s Highest Facebook Mobile Penetration country.

Strong Links to the UK

Part of the British Empire until 1960, Nigeria and the UK still maintain strong ties and share a common language. Today Britain is one of the largest investors in Nigeria, and enjoys investment incentives such as free trade zones and tax holidays. A large number of well-known British companies, including British Gas, HSBC, Barclays, PZ Cussons, Cadbury and Unilever, have already taken advantage of these.

Easily over-looked, another point in Nigeria’s favour is the fact that the time zone is GMT+1 (GMT during UK summertime), making communication between the two countries very convenient.

Finally, don’t forget – Nigeria’s official language might be English but it is worth taking into consideration that over 500 other tongues are spoken within its borders – Read “The Need for Translation in Africa” by the CSA for more information.

graph of africa top 10 internet countries

World Cup Business Infographic - Nigeria

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