General Information

Capital(s): Abuja
Population: 132,800,000 (2002)
Area: 923,768 Km²
Currency: 1 naira = 100 kobo
Language(s): English, Hausa, Ibo, Fulani and Yoruba .
Time Zone: GMT+1h00
ISO Code: NG
Dialing Code: +234
Continent: Africa


This profile of Nigeria and doing business in Nigeria is an overview. From the drop-down menus at the top of this page, you can access a wide range of additional business information on Nigeria provided both by MBendi and by our clients and partners.

The first drop-down menu provides access to more detailed pages on the Nigerian economy, as well as to profiles of Nigeria’s major industry sectors, particularly oil and mining.

The second drop-down menu allows you to access profiles similar to this one for other countries of the world.

The third drop-down menu allows you to search our various databases of Nigerian business information. This includes companies, organisations (including government departments), personalities, projects and facilities such as mines and oil fields.

Finally, the fourth drop-down menu allows you to access a range of Internet applications aimed at assisting you to conduct business more effectively.

The news headlines on this page are updated on a daily basis. You can click on Other News at the end of the headlines in order to get Nigerian business news stretching back over several years. Because this overview is only updated once or twice a year, you should use recent news items to build an up to date picture of the Nigerian business environment.


Nigeria is situated in West Africa. It borders the Gulf of Guinea and lies between Benin and Cameroon. Nigeria is also bordered by Chad and Niger


Nigeria has been under civilian rule since 1999 after a succession of military leaders. President Olusegun Obasanjo assumed power on 29 May 1999. He is both the chief of state and the head of government. The next presidential election is scheduled for 2003. The government is democratic organized in a federal manner.

Religious divisions that exist within the population rule the political situation in the country. There have been various incidents of violence between Muslim and Christian members of the population.

Nigeria’s relations with its neighbours can be somewhat strained although the situation does not often deteriorate into violent incidents. The main areas of dispute surround the issue of border demarcations.

Details of government offices can be found via our organisation search and of government officers via our personality search. These details are difficult to maintain and we welcome feedback on changes and missing information.


The present government has initiated many economic reforms in order to curb the instability that resulted from years of military rule. Too much dependence on the oil sector, which accounts for 85% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, has left the country with an urgent need to diversify its economy. On January 1, 2002, authorities adjusted the maximum retail price of gasoline above import parity and began charging the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation US$18 per barrel for crude oil used for domestic consumption compared with the US$9.5 charged in 2001. The hike in the retail price of petroleum is a step forward in the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.

The trade and tariff policies adopted in 2002 suggest an increase in overall tariff and non-tariff protection of domestic producers of finished goods, and, therefore, a setback to the government’s liberalization efforts. While the privatization of enterprises in the early phases of the program is all but complete, there have been setbacks in recent privatization efforts, especially with regard to privatizing public utilities, such as the Nigeria Telecommunications Company (NITEL), and the rehabilitation and privatization of the electricity company, NEPA.

A Dutch auction system for foreign currency was introduced in June 2002: In any event, the new auction system for foreign exchange has helped slow reserve loss while allowing the exchange rate to be more market determined. GDP in 2002 amounted to US$43.5 billion and the country experienced negative growth (-0.9) percent in 2002. Agriculture accounted for 37.4% of GDP, industry 28.8% and services 33.8%.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and as such is seen as one of the most promising markets for international companies. FDI in 2001 totaled US$ 1.1 billion. About 66% of the population now falls below the poverty line, however and the country has a literacy rate of 66.8%.

Industry Sectors

Nigeria is a country rich in natural resources; consequently most industry activity revolves around these. Agriculture is an important industry involving a large percentage of the country’s workforce. Oil is the country’s most important natural resource and generates up to 95% of Nigeria’s revenues. The country is a member of OPEC and is the largest oil-producer in Africa. The continued increase in crude oil means continued growth in this sector.

Because the MBendi site is regarded as the most comprehensive global mining website, our Nigerian mining profile pages are also quite extensive, even though this is not one of Nigeria’s major industry sectors


Nigeria offers the interested investor Africa’s largest domestic market as well as the additional attractions of a low-cost labour pool and abundant natural resources.

The Foreign Exchange Decree of 1995 re-established the foreign exchange market. Foreign companies can source foreign exchange at the parallel market rate. Companies are allowed to hold domiciliary accounts in private banks. Foreign investors are allowed to bring capital into the country without requiring prior government approval.

The degree of foreign investment in the country is relatively small considering the abundant natural resources. The legislation passed by the government has helped to improve this situation slightly. Economic liberalisation is also a government priority


Nigeria’s main export products are petroleum and related products as well as cocoa and rubber, The country’s main trading partners include the US, India, Spain, Brazil and France.

Nigeria’s main imports include machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals. The UK, France, Germany, China and the US are the country’s most significant import partners.

Nigeria has signed various trade agreements with various countries

Business Travel

International carriers service Nigeria and the national carrier is able to offer the visitor flights to European destinations. Most flights land at Lagos because of its commercial significance. Taxis are the most reliable form of transport within city centres and offer services to neighbouring countries.

Sea services to Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar are available from European ports are available although not advisable as a preferred choice of travel.

Visitors to Nigeria will require a visa. This requirement does not apply to those who are citizens of member states of ECOWAS.

The health risks in the country are minimal although a yellow fever vaccination is required. Precautions with regard to cerebral malaria need to be taken in Lagos and the southern coast. It is worthwhile to contact a reputable tour guide to confirm these details.

Communications and Infrastructure

The state of the country’s rail services is not good because of years of neglect. There are however, projects underway in order to rectify the situation. A large amount of the road network is also unpaved and has suffered due to extraordinary use as a result of railroad neglect.

Nigeria’s telephone system is below international standards although there are efforts to improve it. The privatisation process as well as efforts to encourage competition continue is crucial to the development of the sector. The main problem is the need for expansion


One of the main areas for concern in Nigeria is the country’s banking sector. A large degree of fraudulent activities have occurred in this sector. The government has made efforts to stem the rise in crime. These measures have involved the appointment of ministerial commissions as well as the formation of specialized task forces. The problem remains however and it is best to avoid dealings with anyone whose credentials are not fully investigated until such time as the matter is properly resolved. is a website that provides full information regarding these banking scams.

A large dependence on oil continues to pose a problem for the Nigerian economy and the country is especially vulnerable to fluctuations in the international oil price.

Business Assistance

Nigeria has a number of chambers of commerce and industry and details of these can be found via our Organisation Search, as can details of relevant government departments. MBendi’s Company Search allows interested parties to find details of many Nigerian companies

Shaun Bakamoso

Greetings. I'm Shaun Bakamoso, and I'm thrilled to be your guide through the dynamic world of business news in South Africa here at With a passion for staying informed and a keen interest in the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've dedicated myself to providing you with timely, insightful, and comprehensive coverage of the latest developments impacting the South African economy. / Instagram