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THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR BUSINESS ACTIVITIES

METHODS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS

All business enterprises must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Business activities may be undertaken in Nigeria as a:

  1. Private Limited Liability Company;
  2. Public Limited Liability Company (Plc);
  3. Unlimited Liability Company;
  4. Company Limited by Guarantee;
  5. Foreign Company (branch or subsidiary of foreign company);
  6. Partnership/Firm;
  7. Sole Proprietorship;
  8. Incorporated trustees (religious, charitable, philanthropic or cultural);
  9. Representative office in special cases.

THE COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT AND INCORPORATION PROCEDURES

The Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 (the Companies Act) is the principal law regulating the incorporation of businesses. The administration of the Companies Act is undertaken by the CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (CAC), which undertakes the administration of the Companies Act.

Minimum Share Capital
The minimum authorised share capital is N10, 000 (Ten Thousand Naira) in the case of private companies or N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) in the case of public companies with a minimum subscription of 25% of the authorised share capital respectively.

OPERATIONS OF FOREIGN COMPANIES IN NIGERIA

A non-Nigerian may invest and participate in the operation of any enterprise in Nigeria. However, a foreign company wishing to business-incorporation-in-nigeriaset up business operations in Nigeria should take all steps necessary to obtain local incorporation of the Nigerian branch or subsidiary as a separate entity in Nigeria for that purpose. Until so incorporated, the foreign company may not carry on business in Nigeria or exercise any of the powers of a registered company.
The foreign investor may incorporate a Nigerian branch or subsidiary by giving a power of attorney to a qualified solicitor in Nigeria for this purpose. The incorporation documents in this instance would disclose that the solicitor is merely acting as an “agent” of a “principal” whose name(s) should also appear in the document. The power of attorney should be designed to lapse and the appointed solicitor ceases to function upon the conclusion of all registration formalities.

The locally incorporated branch or subsidiary company must then register with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) before commencing formal operations. The new company may also apply to NIPC for other investment approvals (e.g. expatriate quota) and other incentives.

Exemption to the General Rule
Where exemption from local incorporation is desired, a foreign company may apply in accordance with Section 56 of the Companies Act, to the National Council of Ministers for exemption from incorporating a local subsidiary if such foreign company belongs to one of the following categories:

  1. “foreign companies invited to Nigeria by or with the approval of the Federal Government of Nigeria to execute any specified individual project;
  2. foreign companies which are in Nigeria for the execution of a specific individual loan project on behalf of a donor country or international organisation;
  3. foreign government-owned companies engaged solely in export promotion activities; and
  4. engineering consultants and technical experts engaged on any individual specialist project under contract with any of the governments in the Federation or any of their agencies or with any other body or person, where such contract has been approved by the Federal Government.”

The application for exemption from disclosing certain details about the applicant is to be made to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). If successful, the request of the applicant is granted upon such terms and conditions, as the National Council of Ministers may think fit.

Representative Offices
Foreign companies may set up representative offices in Nigeria. A representative office however, cannot engage in business or conclude contracts or open or negotiate any letters of credit. It can only serve as a promotional and liaison office, and its local operational expenses have to be floated by the foreign company. A representative office has to be registered with the CAC.

TABLOIDS

Business Day – http://www.businessdayonline.com/NG/
Vanguard – http://www.vanguardngr.com/
ThisDay – http://thisdaylive.com/
The Nation – http://thenationonlineng.net/
The SUN – http://www.sunnewsonline.com/
The Punch – http://www.punchng.com/
Daily Trust – http://dailytrust.com/
Daily Independent – http://dailyindependent.com/
Daily Champion – http://www.champion-newspapers.com/
Daily Tribune – http://http//www.tribune.com.ng/index.php

PARASTATALS

  • Federal Radio Corporation – http://www.radionigeriaonline.com/
  • National Broadcasting Commission – http://www.nbc.gov.ng/
  • National Film & Video Censors Board – http://www.nfvcb.gov.ng/
  • News Agency Of Nigeria – http://www.nannewsngr.com/
  • Nigerian Film Corporation – http://www.nfc.gov.ng/
  • Nigerian Press Council – http://www.presscouncil.gov.ng/
  • Nigeria Television Authority – http://www.ntanews24.tv/
  • Voice Of Nigeria – http://www.voiceofnigeria.org/
  • Advertising Practitioners Council Of Nigeria – http://www.apconng.com/
  • Federal Ministry of Information – http://fmi.gov.ng/

 

OTHER MDAS

Bureau Of Public Enterprises – http://www.bpeng.org/
Central Bank Of Nigeria – http://www.cenbank.org/
Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) – http://cac.gov.ng/
Department Of Petroleum Resources – http://www.dprnigeria.com/
Federal Capital Territory Administration – http://fct.gov.ng/
Federal Civil Service Commission – http://fcsc.gov.ng/

Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is a national industrial
association serving and representing nearly 2000 
companies in private and public sectors in manufacturing, construction and service sectors of the national economy.

MISSION STATEMENT
To Promote, in close cooperation with its members, other organs of the Organized Private Sector (OPS), the government and
other stakeholders in the economy, an enabling environment for industrial development, growth and prosperity of the
society at large.

OBJECTIVES includes: To provide for manufacturers throughout Nigeria, the means of formulating, making known and
influencing, general policy in regard to industrial, labour, technical, social, legal and training matters; to develop and
promote the contributions of manufacturers to the national economy through representation on all reputable bodies,
government and others whose work may affect directly or indirectly, the interest of manufacturers; to encourage a high
standard of quality of members products through the
collection and circulation of useful information and the provision of advice; to promote the export of members’ products
through constant enlightenment; to communicate and liaise with kindred and other bodies in the accomplishment of the
objectives of the Association and on subjects of common interest; to fulfil the objectives for which it was established,
it is essential that the Association is fully representative of manufacturing enterprises in Nigeria.

manufacturer-association-of-nigeria

CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS:
77, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, a Liaison office at Abuja and 14 branches nationwide.

Established in May 1971.

MEMBERSHIP STRENGTH: Well above 2000 members, the largest manufacturing industries in Nigeria.

ORGANIZATION: The Association has a National Council, made up of a President, eight Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Chairmen
of Branches, Chairmen of Sectoral Groups and elected members. The National Council is served by an Executive Committee and
four Standing Committees namely; Economic Policy Committee, Finance & Establishment Committee, Small and Medium Industry
Committee and Corporate Affairs and Strategic Planning Committee.

NATIONAL SECRETARIAT: The National Secretariat of MAN is headed by a Director General, who is the Chief Executive Officer
and is assisted by a complement of staff.

SERVICES: Services offered by the Secretariat include the following:

  • Public Policy Advocacy
  • Monitoring and analysis of government policies
  • Economic research and analysis
  • Preparation of memoranda on topical industrial and economic issues
  • Information dissemination
  • Liaison activities
  • Capacity building and manpower development
  • Promotion and organization of trade missions and exhibitions
  • Promotion of Made-in-Nigeria products
  • Reconciliation and harmonization of diverse interests of members
  • Sectoral and Sub-Sectoral
  • Specific intervention on members/Sectoral problems
  • Business Consultancy
  • Investment and financial advisory services
  • Local and international business linkages
  • Seminars and Conferences

REPRESENTATION ON BOARD OF GOVERNMENT PARASTATALS

MAN is represented on the following Government Boards:

  • Tariff Review Board.
  • Utilities Charges Commission.
  • Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
  • National Advisory Council on Cooperative Development.
  • National Science & Technology Fund (Board of Trustees).
  • Raw Materials Research & Development Council.
  • Governing Board of COREN.
  • Nigerian Export Credit Guarantee & Insurance Corporation.
  • Corporate Affairs Commission.
  • Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
  • Productivity, Prices & Incomes Board (PPIB).
  • Nigerian Standards Organization.
  • National Productivity Committee.
  • NECA Coordinating Committee.
  • Nigerian Shippers Council.
  • Industrial Development Coordinating Committee.
  • Governing Council of Federal Polytechnics.
  • Nigerian Export Promotion Zones Authority.
  • African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Committee.
  • Presidential Advisory Committee on Economic Revitalization.
  • Bank of Industry.

SECTORAL GROUPS: MAN has ten (10) Sectoral Groups, seventy-two (72) Sub-Sectoral Groups as well as an Export Group
structured as shown below. The Sectoral Groups are represented on the National Council by their respective Chairmen.

MANUFACTURING SECTORS MANUFACTURING SUB-SECTORS

FOOD, BEVERAGES & TOBACCO

Beer, Starch and other Miscellaneous Food Products, Flavourings, Soft Drinks and Carbonated Water, Flour and Grain
Milling Meat and fish, Tea, Coffee and other, Beverages, Dairy Products, Fruit Juices Tobacco Biscuits and Bakery
Products,

Animal Feeds, Poultry, Sugar Distillery and Blending of Spirit Cocoa, Chocolate and Sugar Confectionery, Vegetable &
Edible Oil.
CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICALS

Paints, Vanishes and Allied Products Industries, Medical and Special Gases Soap and Detergent, Agro-Chemicals
(Fertilizers and Pesticides), Pharmaceutical, Resin Manufacturers, Safety Matches, Domestic Insecticide and Aerosol, Dry
Cell Battery, Petroleum Refineries, Gramophone Records and Musical Tapes Manufacturers Candle Manufacturers, Printing Ink
Manufacturers Toiletries and Cosmetics, Ball Point Pen Manufacturers Basic Industrial, Chemicals Automotive Battery

DOMESTIC AND INDUSTRIAL PLASTICS AND RUBBER

Rubber products Domestic and Industrial Plastics Foam Manufacturers.

BASIC METAL, IRON AND STEEL AND FABRICATED METAL PRODUCTS

Association of Steel Pipe Manufacturers Metal Packaging Manufacturers, Foundry, Metal Manufacturers and Fabricators,
Association of primary Aluminum Producers Enamel Wares, Manufacturers Welding Electrode Manufacturers Galvanised Iron
Sheets Manufacturers, Nail and Wire Manufacturers Group Steel Manufacturers

PULP, PAPER & PAPER PRODUCTS, PRINTING & PUBLISHING

Chemical & Stationery Manufacturers Printing, Publishing & Packaging, Pulp, Paper & Paper Products Sanitary Towels &
Diapers, Manufacturers

ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONICS

Electronics Refrigerators & Air conditioning/ Domestic Appliances Electric Bulb Lamps ,Accessories & Fittings Electrical
Power Control & Distribution Equipment, Cable and Wire.

TEXTILE , WEARING APPAREL, CARPET, LEATHER/ LEATHER FOOTWEAR

Textile & Wearing Apparel Manufacturers Leather Products Manufacturers Carpet and Rug Manufacturers Footwear

Manufacturers, Cordage, Rope and Twine Manufacturers

WOOD AND WOOD PRODUCTS INCLUDING FURNITURE

Wood Products and Furniture (Excluding Metal Furniture) Plywood & particle Board Manufacturers.

NON-METALLIC MINERAL PRODUCTS

Glass Manufacturers, Ceramics Manufacturers Asbestos Manufactures School Chalks & Crayons, Cement Manufacturers.

MOTOR VEHICLE & MISCELLANEOUS ASSEMBLY

Boat/Ship Building, Automobile Components Manufacturers Electric GeneratorsAssemblers Miscellaneous Machine & Equipment
Manufacturers, Bicycle Manufacturers Motorcycle Assemblers, Horological, Motor Vehicle Assemblers.

 

MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA EXPORT PROMOTION GROUP [MANEG] SERVICES TO MEMBERS

  • Non-oil Export Development and Advocacy
  • Non-oil Export Facilitation
  • Assistance to access Export Incentives such as Export Expansion Grant (EEG), ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), etc
  • Support in the design and implementation of International Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, Missions and Contact Programmes
  • Assistance in processing Products Standards Certifications – SON MANCAP,etc
  • Referral Services
  • We’re Nigerian Focal Point for Accessing ECOWAS Commission’s ECOBIZWORLD Trade and Investment Opportunities
  • Implementing Multilateral New Export Programmes such as UNIDO Export Consortia Programme Nigeria, International Trade
  • Centre Geneva Export-led Poverty Reduction Programme, etc
  • Major Partners in NEXPORTRADE Houses Ltd – a PPP mutual trade houses company, partnering for Exports/Imports in ECOWAS and African countries
  • Interface on Regional and Multilateral Export Opportunities
  • Access to credible Importers in ECOWAS countries and globally Etc

CONTACT ADDRESS:
MAN House,
77 Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja,
P. O. Box 3835, Marina, Lagos,
Nigeria.

TELEPHONE:
(+234) 01741567074, (+234) 017390076

EMAIL:
info@manufacturersnigeria.org
man@manufacturersnigeria.org

WEBSITE:
http://www.manufacturersnigeria.org

 

Is there a limit to foreign participation in an enterprise in Nigeria?

Foreigners may own up to 100% of any Nigerian business (S17) except in the Maritime sector (Cabotage).

What is the procedure for repatriation of capital and profit?
Under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring & Miscellaneous Provision Act No. 17 of 1995) , foreign investors are free to repatriate their profits and dividends net of taxes through an authorized dealer in freely convertible currency.

What are the types of Companies Registered in Nigeria?

  • Private Companies Limited by Shares
  • Public Companies Limited by Shares
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee
  • Unlimited Companies
  • Exemptions are granted to foreign Companies undertaking special project. Companies seeking exemption are to forward their application to the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

What are the requirements for the Incorporation of a Company in Nigeria?

  •  Search for availability of name
  • Payment of appropriate stamp duty fee at the Federal Board of Internal Revenue
  • Submission of Memorandum and Articles of Association together with statutory forms for verification and assessment
  • Payment of statutory fees at Corporate Affairs Commission

For further details visit the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Website at www.cac.gov.ng or contact them at:

The Customer Service Unit,
Corporate Affairs Commission,
Plot 565 Ndola Square,
Off Micheal Okpara Street,
Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, Nigeria.

 

What are the requirements for Business Permit?

  1. Formal application letter to Executive Secretary
  2. Minimum Share Capital Requirement – N10million
  3. Duly completed NIPC Form I
  4. Certificate of Incorporation
  5. CAC’s Forms C02 and C07
  6. Memorandum and Articles of Association
  7. Tax Clearance Certificate
  8. Certificate of Capital Importation
  9. Evidence of acquisition of Business Premises (Tenancy or Lease Agreement)
  10. Feasibility Report

Fees
NIPC Form I – N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira)
Collection of Business Permit Certificate – N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira)

 What are the requirements for Expatriate Quota?
In addition to the requirements listed under Business Permit, the following are also required:

  1. Evidence of Acquisition of Operational Premises and Operational Machinery Equipment in the case of Industrial Establishment
  2. Evidence of foreign Capital Importation
  3. Management and Technical Service Agreement (for service Companies)
  4. Tax Clearance
  5. Minimum Authorized Share Capital of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000)
  6. The Company must produce its project implementation programme
  7. The Company must produce a training programme for Nigerians in addition to management success schedule

 

What approvals/licenses would an investor require to set up an enterprise?
Approvals/licenses are given by the following Agencies depending on the sector to be invested in:

 Oil & Gas Sector
1. Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) – Oil & Gas
Plot 622, Eket Close
Area 8, Garki,
P.M.B. 399
Tel: 234-9-2349982, 2349988
Website: http://www.dprnigeria.org.ng/

 Food & Drug Manufacture
2. National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) – Food and Drug Manufacturing
Moshod Abiola Road, Area 2
P.M.B. 5023 Garki, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-2346383, 2346405, 2346402
Website: http://www.nafdac.gov.ng

 

Manufacturing

3. Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) – All Manufacturing Sectors
13/14, Victoria Arobieke Street
Off Admiral Way
Northern Business District
Lekki Peninsula, Lagos
Tel: 234-9-2708231-4
Website: http://www.son.gov.ng/

Telecommunication
4. Nigerian Communication Commission – Telecommunication
Plot 423, Aguiyi Ironsi Street
Maitama, Abuja,
Federal Capital Territory.
Tel: +234-9-4617000, Fax: +234-9-4617514
Website: www.ncc.gov.ng

Agriculture
5.Federal Ministry of Agriculture – Agriculture
FCT Secretariat, Area 11
Garki, Abuja
Telephone: 234-9-2341931, 2342331, 2341458

 Environmental Impact Assessment Certification (for all Industries)
6. Ministry of Environment – Manufacturing
Federal Secretariat Complex
(7&9 Floor)
Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama
P.M.B. 468, Garki, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-523431, 5234932, 5234932

Tourism
7. National Tourism Development corporation
Old Federal Secretariat, Area 1
P.M.B 167 – Garki
Abuja.
Tel: 234- 2764,
Fax: 2342775

 Solid Minerals
8. Ministry of Solid Minerals Development
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama
P.M.B 107, Garki Abuja
Tel: 234-9-5235830, 5236517

Power & Steel
9. Ministry of Power and Steel
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama
P.M.B. 278, Garki, Abuja
Tel: 234-5237064-6

 What is the Companies Income Tax Rate in Nigeria?
30%.

 Which areas (sectors) are closed to investment in Nigeria?
Investors are prohibited from participating in the following business activities: Businesses involved in production of military or paramilitary attire and equipment; or production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (S8).

 What are the incentives available for investing in Nigeria?
There are both general sector specific and incentives. The general incentives include the following:

a. Pioneer Status:
Pioneer status takes the form of five-year tax holiday to qualifying industries anywhere in the federation.

The grant of pioneer status to an industry is aimed at enabling the industry concerned to make a reasonable level of profit within its formative years. The profit so made is expected to be plugged back to facilitate expansion and growth of the industry.

 Requirements for Pioneer Status?

Pioneer Status is conferred on a firm if it falls within the sectors that are defined by the government as priority areas. When a project is conferred with pioneer status, it becomes entitled to a tax holiday of 5 years.

  1.  Formal application letter to Executive Secretary
  2. Minimum Share Capital Requirement – N10million
  3. Duly completed NIPC Form II
  4. Certificate of Incorporation
  5. CAC’s Forms C02 and C07
  6. Memorandum and Articles of Association
  7. Tax Clearance Certificate
  8. Evidence of acquisition of machinery; (Form M)
  9. Evidence of acquisition of Business Premises (Tenancy or Lease
  10. Agreement)
  11. Feasibility Report
  12. Fees
    i.NIPC Form II – N40, 000
    ii.Processing Fees – N100, 000
    iii.Collection of Approval letter – N60, 000
    iv.Application for Extension – free
    v.Approval of Pioneer Status Extension – N50, 000

b. Capital Allowances
The amount of capital allowance to be enjoyed in any year of assessment is restricted in Nigeria to a percentage of assessable profit. The following is a schedule for the sectors:

Tax Allowance Initial % Annual %
Building Expenditure 15 Nil
Industrial Building

Expenditure

15 Nil
Mining 95 Nil
Plant

i. (Agric prod)

ii. Others

95

50

Nil

20

Furniture fittings 25 20
Motor Vehicles

i. Public Transportation

ii. Others

95

50

 

Nil

25

Housing Estate 50 25
Ranching/Plantation 30 50
R & D 95 Nil
Agro

Plants/Equipment

Leased

Addition-al

Invest.

Allowanc 10%

 

Nil
What are the Incentives in the Oil and Gas Sector?

In view of the enormous potentials in this sector, some fiscal incentives have been put in place by the government for investors as follows:

Gas Production Phase

  • Applicable tax rate under the Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) Act to be at the same rate as company tax currently at 30%.
  • Capital Allowance at the rate of 20% per annum in the first four years, 19% in the fifth year and the remaining 1% in the books.
  • Investment Tax Credit of the current rate of 5%.
  • Royalty at the rate of 7% on shore and 5% offshore.

 

Gas Transmission and Distribution

  • Capital allowance as in production phase above.
  • Tax rate as in production phase.
  • Tax holiday under pioneering status.

LNG Projects

  • Applicable tax rate under PPT is 45%.
  • Capital allowance is 33% per year on straight-line basis in the first three years with 1% remaining in the books.
  • Investment tax credit of 10%.
  • Royalty of 7% on-shore, 5% off-shore tax deductible

 

Gas Exploitation (Upstream Operations)

Fiscal Arrangements are reviewed as follows:

  • All investment necessary to separate oil from gas from the reserves into suitable products is considered part of the oil field development.
  • Capital investment facilities to deliver Associated Gas in usable form at utilization or transfer points will be treated for fiscal purposes as part of the capital investment for oil development.
  • Capital allowances, operating expenses and basis for assessment will be subjected to the provisions of the PPT Act and the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

 

Gas Utilisation (Downstream Operations)

Incentives given to investors for encouragement of exploitation and utilization of Associated Gas for commercial purposes include:

  • Companies engaged in gas utilization are to be subjected to the provisions of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA).
  • An initial tax free period of five years.
  • Accelerated Capital Allowance after the tax-free period in the form of 90% with 10% retention in the books for plant and machinery.
  • 15% investment capital allowance which shall not reduce the value of the asset.

In 1998, the government approved additional incentives to support the gas industry in the following areas:

  •  All fiscal incentives under the gas utilization downstream operations in 1997 are to be extended to industrial projects that use gas i.e. power plants, gas to liquids plants, fertilizer plants and gas distribution/transmission plants.
  • Gas is transferred at 0% PPT and 0% Royalty.
  • Interest on loans for gas projects is to be tax deductible provided that prior approval was obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance before taking the loan.
  • All dividends distributed during the tax holiday shall not be taxed.

 

What are the incentives in the Power Sector?

The Federal Government of Nigeria has set-up several incentives to attract foreign direct investment into the power sector. The incentives include:

  • Tax Holidays of up to 5 years
  • Exemption from Duty Taxes on imported equipment
  • Capital & Investment Allowance which can be carried forward and used after tax holiday period
  • Manufacture of transformers, meters, control panels, switchgears, cables and other electrical related equipment are considered as pioneer products/industries. As a result, there is tax holiday of 5 to 7 years for investors who invest in these areas.
  • Power plants using gas are assessed under the companies income tax act at a reduced rate of 30%
  • 100% foreign ownership of Electricity plants
  • · Repatriation of profit with a 5% withholding tax
  • · Instituting a politically independent, and transparent regulatory agent for the power sector that will effectively enforce the established regulatory framework
  • · Putting in place the necessary foundations e.g. reliable transmission infrastructure that would create a level playing field for efficient private sector participation in the electricity supply
  • · Implementing a transparent and predicated tariff adjustment mechanism that will cover cost of production and provide adequate returns on investment at all times.

What are the incentives in the Agriculture sector?

The government within the past few years has introduced a number of measures designed to promote investment. Some of these measures include:

  1.  Fiscal measures on taxation
  2. Effective protection of local industries with import tariff or outright ban on importation of locally available substitutes;
  3. Export promotion of Nigerian-made products; and
  4. Foreign currency facility for international trade.

Some of the specific incentives are categorized as follows:

i. Export Incentives: Retention of export proceeds in foreign currency:

Exporters of Nigerian commodities are obliged to open a foreign currency domiciliary account (D/A) with an authorized bank of its choice in which 100% of the proceeds of such exports may be credited in foreign currency.

ii. Export Development Fund (EDF)

The Export Development Fund (EDF) is a special fund set up by the government to provide financial assistance to private sector exporting companies to off-set part of their initial expenses in respect of certain export promotion activities. These are promotional activities and the conditions for eligibility are as outlined by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

 

iii. Export Adjustment Fund Scheme:

This scheme serves as supplementary export subsidy to compensate exporters for the high cost of local production arising mainly from infrastruactural deficiencies and also other natural and negative factors beyond the control of the exporter.

 

iv. Tax and Other Incentives:

  •  Export oriented industries:
    Export oriented industries that export not less than 60% of their product can enjoy 10 percent tax concession for five years.
  • Excise duty:
    In order to boost local industries, stimulate trade and reduce cost, government abolished most excise duties since 1st January 1998.
  •  Capital Assets Depreciation Allowance:
    The Law in Nigeria provides an additional annual depreciation allowance of 50% on plant and machinery to manufacturing exporters who exports at least 50% of the value of their annual turnover provided that the product has at least 40% local raw materials content or 35% value added.
  •  Pioneer Status:
    The provision of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act with respect to Pioneer Status tax holidays applied to any manufacturing exporter who exports at least 50% of his annual turnover.
  •  Companies with small or no profits in Agro allied business are exempted from paying minimum tax of 20%

 

What are the Incentives in the Telecommunications Sector?

  • Good tariff structure, which ensures that investors recover their investment over a reasonable period of time.
  • Import duty on all telecoms equipment reduced from 25% to 5%.
  • Measures on speedy clearance of goods at the ports
  • Exclusivity period for licences, e.g. 5 years for the GSM licences, 3 years for long distance international gateway operators.
  • Pioneer status for five years (under industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act 1990) is offered to interested investors who want to set plants for the manufacture of telecoms equipment in the country

 

What are the Incentives in the Solid Minerals Sector?

In order to encourage investments in the sector Government has put in place the following incentives;

  •  Three to five years tax holiday for new mining companies, and a system of deferred royalty payment that is determined by the level of the investment and the strategic nature of the project. Also possible is capitalization of expenditure on exploration and surveys;
  • Companies profits tax reduction from 30% to 20%;
  • Roll-over relief from Capital Gains Tax.
  • Capital Allowance of 95% for Mining companies replacing their Plant and Equipment and 75% for companies with Mining Lease.
  • Extension of infrastructure such as roads and electricity to mining sites;
  • Provision of 100% foreign ownership of mining companies or concerns;
  • Tax Relief on Interest Income: Interest accruing from loans granted by banks in aid of export activities enjoys favourable tax treatment.
  • Capital Assets Depreciation Allowance: The law in Nigeria provides an additional annual depreciation allowance of 5% on plants and machinery to manufacturing exporters who export at least 50% of their annual turnover provided that the product has at least 40% local raw material content or 35% value added;

 

What are the incentives in the Free Trade Zones

Locating in any Free Trade zone in Nigeria automatically confers on the investor, certain locational advantages as well as very generous incentives. These include:

  •  Relative proximity to major markets of Africa, Europe and America.
  • Large domestic market for the 25% of production that FTZ producers can sell in the Customs Territory.
  • Favourable quotas on certain products from Nigeria export to the European Union (EU) and the United States.
  • Made in Nigeria products enjoy preferential tariffs concessions in EU.
  • Abundant supply of skilled labour at very competitive rates;

In addition to the above, the Nigeria EPZ’s regulatory regime is liberal and provides a conducive environment for profitable operations. The incentives available are among the most attractive in Africa and compares favourably with those in other parts of the world. These include:

a. Exemption from all Federal, State and Local Government taxes, levies and rates

b. Approved enterprises shall be entitled to import into a Zone, free of customs duty on capital goods, consumer goods, raw materials, components and articles intended to be used for purposes of and in connection with an approved activity.

c. Freedom from legislative provision pertaining to taxes, levies. Duties and foreign exchange regulations.

d. Repatriation of foreign capital on investment in the zone at any time with capital appreciation of the investment.

e. 100% foreign or local ownership of factory allowable

f. One stop approvals, (factory management deals with only the management of the zone) which grant all licenses whether or not the business is incorporated in the Customs territory

g. Unrestricted remittance of profits earned by investors

h. Permission to sell 100% of total production in the domestic market

i. No import or export license

j. Rent free land at construction stage, thereafter rent shall be as determined by the management of the zone. Foreign manager and qualified personnel may be employed by companies operating in the Zones

k. Operations within a zone shall commence on the date when the constructions of the perimeter fence and gate have been completed and the Authority has declared it so.

 

Where else could one get information about Nigeria Nigeria’s economic data?

Nigeria has an embassy or High Commission in most countries of the world. Please visit the Nigerian Embassy or High Commission in your country. For online information on Nigeria’s economic data, please visitwww.cenbank.org, www.fmf.gov.ng or www.

 

What other Agencies are involved in the investment process in Nigeria?

The foremost investment Agency in Nigeria is the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). The Commission however collaborates with other agencies to facilitate investment in Nigeria. Among these are:

  • Corporate Affairs Commission

565 Ndola Sq off Micheal Okpara Street
Wuse, Zone 5
P. M. B. 198
Tel: 234-9-5241016, 5241046-50
Fax: 234-9-521017
Website: www.cac.gov.org

 

  • Nigerian Export Promotion Council

Block 312, Kumba Street,
P.M.B. 133
Tel: 234-9-5230980, 5230932, 5230933, 5230981
Fax: 234-9-2340931
Website: www.nigxport.org

 

  • Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority

Shehu Shagari Way
Abuja
Tel: 234-9-234060, 2343062
Fax: 234-9-2343061, 2343063

 

  • Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Maputo Street, Wuse Zone 3
P.M.B.130, Garki, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-523049, 5230185-6, 5230490

  •   Federal Ministry of Commerce

Old Federal Secretariat Complex
Area 1, P.M.B. 88
Garki, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-2341687, 2341687, 2341490, 2348454, 2341484

 

  • Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs

Old Federal Secretariat Complex,
Area 1, P.M.B. 7007,
Garki, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-2341934-5, 2342426

 

  • Federal Ministry of Finance

Federal Ministry of Finance Building,
Ahmadu Bello Way, Central Business District
P. M. B. 14, GArki, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-2346932, 2346928, 2346286, 2346289
Website: www.fmf.gov.ng

 

  • Federal Ministry of Industry
    Old Federal Secretariat, Area 1
    P.M.B. 85Garki, Abuja
    Tel: 234-9-2341690

 

  • National Tourism Development Corporation

Old Federal Secretariat, Area 1
P.M.B.167
Garki, Abuja

Which is the Agency responsible for privatization in Nigeria?

The Agency which is the secretariat for the National Council on Privatisation is located at

No.1, Osun Crescent, Off IBB Way
Maitama, Abuja
Tel: 234-9-5235256
Website: www.bpeng.org

Because of the great diversity of people and culture, Nigeria has distinguished herself over the centuries in the field of arts. Nigerian versatility in art is so great that it is generally felt that all African nations should view Nigeria as the principal trustee of the most durable fruits of black artistic genius. It is not precisely known when the first works of Nigerian art reached the outside world, but in 1897, following a British punitive expedition to Benin, over 2,000 Benin bronzes and ivories were shipped to England and later dispersed all over Europe and America.

The oldest sculptures found in Nigeria were from the Southern Zaria and Benue areas of central Nigeria. They consist of terracotta figures and figurines made by a people who achieved a high degree of cultural sophistication. These sculptures, together with other cultural elements, have been named the Nok Culture. Evidence shows the Nok people had knowledge of iron smelting and adorned themselves with tin and stone beads, earrings, noserings and bracelets. The Nok Culture is dated between 500 B.C. and 200 A.D. The next known phase of Nigerian cultural evolution was Igbo Ukwu bronze casting. Found in the small village of Igbo-Ukwu, near Awka, the casts date from the 9th Century A.D. They first came to light in 1938 and consist of staff heads, crowns, breastplates, pendants, ornaments, anklets, wristlets and chains.About the same time the Igbo-Ukwu people were casting bronze, the ancient Ife people were also producing works in bronze, copper, and terracotta. In the first quarter of this Century, Ife works caused a great stir among world art critics and historians who were unaccustomed to such naturalism in African art. The best known Nigerian artworks are the Benin Antiquities. Legend recounts how the Benin people learned the art of bronze casting from Ile-Jfe around 1400 A.D. Oba Ogunta, the sixth King of Benin, is credited with having encouraged this art in Benin.

Nigeria’s cultural heritage is woven from threads of history and diversity, legend and conquest. Tourists visiting the country will gain insights to a glorious past as well as a promising future, set amid the natural beauty of this diverse country. From rain forests in the south, broad savanna woodlands in the center to a semi-desert region in the north, Nigeria offers a remarkable range of physical beauty in her land and hospitality of her people, ready to be enjoyed by the tourist fortunate enough to choose this land of ancient empires as their travel destination.

Nigeria is a vast country with a population of about 120 people covering about 923,768 sq.km of landmass, located wholly within the tropics. The country aptly described as the ‘Giant of Africa’ is richly endowed with ecological and cultural resources, which are of universal recognition. The richness and diversity of the Nigeria culture is a manifestation of the socio-cultural differences of the over 250 ethnic groups that inhabit the land for ages.

Tourism is one of the growing sectors the Nigerian economy. The industry was accorded priority status in 1990 when the National Tourism Policy was launched. The main thrust of Government policy on tourism was to generate foreign exchange earnings, create employment opportunities, promote rural enterprises and national integration among other things.

In recognition of the immense contributions of tourism to the national economy, the country’s Vision 2010 set year 2005 as the nation’s year of tourism. The obvious implication of this development is that tourism policies and programmes will now be aimed at making Nigeria the “Ultimate Tourism Destination in Africa” by the year 2005.

Nigeria’s Appeal To Tourists

Nigeria offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such as extended and roomy river and ocean beaches ideal for swimming and other water sports, unique wildlife, vast tracts of unspoiled nature ranging from tropical forest, magnificent waterfalls, some new rapidly growing cities and climatic conditions in some parts particularly conducive to holidaying. Other attractions include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs; rich and varied handicrafts and other colourful products depicting or illustrative of native arts and lifestyle, and the authentic unsophisticated but friendly attitude of many in the Nigerian population. However, many of these attractions are still largely untapped and even at their raw states, they are still being enjoyed by few outsiders, either very rich visitors in quest of exoticism or adventurous people in search of new challenges and experiences. The lack of required modern infrastructural facilities and in some parts of the country acute conditions of underdevelopment and poverty can be seen which many potential Nigeria bound tourist may not like to be confronted with. These are impediments to tourism, which the new administration has been tackling since assumption of office. Investors, both foreign and local are therefore called upon to come and invest in the abundant tourism potentials in the country. The richness and diversity of Nigeria’s tourism resources coupled with economic liberalisation policies will provide investment opportunities in various areas as follows:

Heritage/Cultural Tourism Resources Development of slave trade relics

Establishment of museums and preservation of monuments

Wildlife Tourism Resources

Development of hiking trails and Jeep tracks in the national parks

Development of picnic and camping sites at strategic locations within the trail circuit system in the national parks

Building of tourist lodges

Building of reception centres at Natural/Physical Attractions

Provision of cable bus system to take tourist through the very rugged but scenic terrain of the mountains especially in Kanyang, Obudu and Mambilla Plateau Construction of lodge cabins for expedition tourist and rangers.

Establishment of hotels and resorts near waterfalls, springs, caves and temperate climate areas such as Obudu, jos and Mambila Plateau.

Beach Tourism potentials Establishment of boating and sport fishing facilities

Development of water transportation Provision of educational facilities for water skiing and swimming

Establishment of holiday resorts along the coasts.

Development of Amusement parks, entertainment facilities and shopping services

Development of arts and crafts which constitute symbol of the people’s cultural values and love for nature.

Some Business Opportunities

Transportation Nigeria has attained a high level of good transportation system especially Airline and Road Transportation, investment opportunities are still needed in water recreation transportation and rail services.

Hospitality The hospitality sector of the tourism industry seems to be the most competitive area with the presence of starwood Hotel Groups, owners of Sheratons, Hilton, Le Meridien, Shangra Lai the Asian Hotel giant in restaurants and many

Beach

Meanwhile, most of Nigeria’s beautiful beaches locations are still largely without accommodation facilities, which are targets for investors in most tourism destinations across the globe.

Tour Operations

Like the Europeans and Americas tour companies invaded the North, South and East Africa by having tour offices in these regions which enable them to market destinations in their home countries is lacking in the case of Nigeria.

Any Company willing to do so for Nigeria will be highly welcome.local hotel and restaurant groups battling for a better share of the market.

Investment Climate

Apart from the enormous potentials and investment opportunities in the Nigerian tourism sector, the country’s investment climate at present is one of the most favourable in Africa for a number of reasons, among which is Political Stability.

The enthronement of a viable democratic system, which guarantees political stability, improves international relation and respect for human rights would in various ways enhance investment opportunities in the country.

Tourism Incentives

The provision of incentives in the 1990 National Tourism Policy were also to enhance private sector participation. These are in the following areas:

Conclusion

Tourism investment atmosphere in Nigeria is now conducive given the abundant resources available, large market, enthronement of enduring democracy, and a package of incentive put together by government. Foreign investors and other interested individuals should take these advantages to invest in the Nigerian tourism industry for sustainability and profitable returns.

Tourism Investment Opportunities In Nigeria

A Tourism policy was produced in 1990 with the basic objective of making Nigeria the ultimate tourism destination in Africa.

The main thrust of government policy on tourism, is to generate foreign exchange, encourage even development, promote tourism based rural enterprises, generate employment and accelerate rural urban integration and cultural exchange.

Due to the importance the Nigerian government attaches to the tourism industry, the following strategies were adopted:

Infrastructure

Government would ensure that the provision of basic infrastructural facilities, namely, good roads, water, electricity, communications and hotels, to centres of attraction, in order to accelerate their development for the purpose of exploiting fully their touristic value. In furtherance of this goal, the appropriate government agency responsible for tourism promotion and development, shall establish and maintain close laison with other government agencies responsible for the provision of the infrastructure.

Concession of Land

State governments will provide land without any hindrance for tourism development at concessional rates and conditions favourable to investment and the realisation of investment thereon. This will necessarily include the abolition of annual ground rent within the period of construction and development of tourism. For orderly development of tourism and tourism product, it is mandatory for all state governments to demarcate potential Tourism Zones and their products from other usage, to avoid undue pollution. 100% equity ownership of companies in Nigeria and repatriation of profits and dividends etc.

Fiscal and Other Incentives

In order to boost the level of private sector investment in tourism, it is treated by government as a preferred sector, like agriculture. Government has also introduced such incentives as, tax holidays, tax rebate and soft loans, with long period of grace to potential investors in tourism.

Patrol and Regulation of the Industry

The government has enacted laws and regulations, which govern the activities of the categories of people involved in the industry, like hoteliers, travel agents, tour-operators, car hire services. This is to ensure that their conduct, is not detrimental to objectives of the industry and the security of the nation, as well as tourists.

Tourism Facilities

To ensure the growth and development of tourism to international standards, government has put in place these following:

Embarked on a massive and aggressive publicity campaign in the country, on the potentials and significance of tourism. Available publicity organs of the government have been utilised.

Publicised and marketed the nations tourism potentials abroad, through Nigeria’s diplomatic missions and the foreign media, international travel fairs and mails.

Simplified issuance of visas/entry permit to intending visitors, such that they can get it immediately on application. Tourists arriving our ports with return tickets, are also issued with visas on the spot.

Security agencies, including customs and immigration have been oriented to discharge their duties promptly to eliminate inconveniences by visitors at entry points.

Institutional Arrangement of Tourism

The government has put in place the following institutional frame-work.

Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism

The Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism has assumed full responsibility for policy initiation and monitoring, and maintains direct links with state governments on all tourism matters. However, the tourism industry is still fully dominated by states and local governments, where tourist attractions are situated.

State Ministries

State ministries implement policies and directories from the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism, initiate projects and control land allocation and development of tourism in their respective areas. The states also regulate the operations of hotels and catering institutions in line with the federal government policy.

Local Government Tourism Board

These local organs were established to locate and identify potential tourist attractions in their areas. They serve as information centres and provide tourist guides. They also preserve and maintain monuments, as well as museums in their areas of jurisdiction.

Summary of Investment Opportunities In Nigeria

Investment opportunities exist within the following sub-sectors of the tourism industry:

Beach and Coastal Resort development (Nigeria has over 700km of unpolluted sandy beaches). Conservation and Protection of 8 national parks and over 10 game reserves. Development of hotels and standard restaurants Transportation: water recreation, package tour services, air and rail services. Development of caves, tunnels, waterfalls and spring waters. Youth hostels, camps and centres Lake and River sport fishing. Scenic and Mountain Holiday resorts Theme/Amusement parks Conference/Congress Services Conservation and protection of endangered wildlife especially drill monkey, manatec, white throated monkey and pigmy hippo. Heritage, cultural and archaeological sites.

YANKARI GAME RESERVE

The Yankari National Park is the premier game reserve in Nigeria. Yankari Park and Wikki Warm Springs are located around the Gagi River, approximately 1 1/2 hours by road, southeast of Bauchi Town. The beauty and size of The Yankari Game Reserve make it the most pop­ular reserve in Nigeria. Set up in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962, the main game-viewing areas of the reserve are open all year round. Japanese, Western Europeans, Americans and Southeast Asian tourists visit this park in abundance. The reserve covers 2,058 sq. km. of savanna wood­land and is well-stocked with elephants, baboons, waterbucks, bushbucks, oribi, crocodile, hippopotamus, roan antelope, buffalo and various types of monkeys. Lions are occasionally spotted as well, despite their natural cam­ouflage. The best time to visit is between November and May, when tourists are likely to see more game since the dense vegetation has dried out and the animals congregate around the rivers.

The Wikki Warm Springs is one of the best features of the game reserves. Flood-lit at night, it is wonderful after a hot day’s game-viewing to relax in the warm water. The spring gushes out from under a cliff, where the water is at least 6 ft. deep, with a bathing area that extends for 600 ft. to an open area. The park is inhabited by a variety of birds, including the huge sad­dlebill stork, golliath heron, bateleur eagle, vultures, kingflshers, bee-eaters and more. It is excellent for serious bird-watchers.

Other facilities include: Tennis courts, squash courts, a small museum in the reception area plus gas stations with convenience stores at Wikki Camp and Bauchi.

Reservations: It is advisable to make reservation during the holidays and weekends with Easter a particularly busy season. Reservations can be made at Durbar Hotel in Kaduna, Bauchi State House in Lagos and at the Zaranda Hotel in Bauchi. Or call Yankari Game Reserve at (069) 43-656.

Route: You can travel by road from Lagos to Abuja, where you make an overnight stop, then on to Jos and Bauchi, as it is a 2-day journey by car over well-maintained roads.

Hotels: Basic accommodations are available in chalets or rondavels. Also available are suites, double rooms and family chalets that include small kitchens. There are many other National Parks besides Yankari, as illustrated on the map. Notable ones include Mambilla, Gumti National Park, Cross River National Park, and Kainji Lake National Park.

Mambilla Plateau

The Mambilla Plateau, in the southeast corner of Taraba State, shares a border with Cameroon. A high grassland plateau averaging about 1800 meters, it is scenic, cool and a pleasant change from the heat and humidity of Lagos. Because the roads are still under construction, a sport utility vehicle or jeep is recom­mended and visitors should pack essentials, camping equipment and food. As an option, there are a few hotels on the plateau.

The Park provides an attractive setting, well worth a visit. Mambilla has cattle ranches, tea plantations and rolling, grassy hills. It is different from the rest of Nigeria with regard to flora and fauna and is home to some rare species of birds and animals, especially at the Gashaka-Gumti National Park.

Route: There is a major road to Mambilla from Lagos, Benin City, Onitsha, Enugu, Otukpo, Yandev, Katsina Ala, Wukari, Mutum Biyu, Bali, Serti and Gembu. You can also fly into Yola Airport, then drive a few miles south to Mambilla.

Gashaka-Gumti National Park

This is a vast land of spectacular wilderness (6,000 sq. kin) in the southeast corner of Taraba State, adjoin­ing the Mambilla Plateau. Mostly mountainous, from 457 to 2407 meters, it contains Nigeria’s highest mountain, Chapal Waddi (2409m)It is the most ecologically diverse conservation area in the country and contains swaths of guinea savanna, gallery forest, moist forest, mountain forest and grassland. Many rivers flow through the park, including the Taraba, a major tributary of the River Benue. A wide variety of animal life can be found, including buffalo, roan ante­lope, chimpanzee, colobus monkey, hippopotamus, hyena, giant forest hog, lion and leopard. The park is a birdwatcher’s paradise with a wide variety of species, and there is excellent fishing in the River Kam. The reserve headquarters is in the Forest Rest Houses at Serti, on the main road between Bali and Mambilla Plateau. These rest houses provide self-catering accommodation at a small fee. The entrance to the park is about 15 km south of Serti. In the dry season, it is possible to drive to the former headquarters at Gashaka village, some 30 km from the entrance gate, where more self-catering accommodation is available. The park is best explored on foot and it is possible to hire game guards; guides and porters are available at Serti or in Gashaka village.

Cross River National Park

The Cross River National Park was created from two existing forest reserves of Bashi-Okwango and Oban Forest Resveres. It is famous for its unique rain forest vegetation which, according to conservation experts, is some of the richest in Africa. This park contains the last remaining rain forest in Nigeria, which is being preserved with the help of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation. It has a herd of forest elephants, the white-faced monkey (indigenous to Nigeria only), buffalo, leopards and lowland gorillas, besides over a thousand other animal species. The park has a tropical climate characterized by a rainy season between April and October and a dry season between November and April. The moist green vegetation cover makes the for­est an excellent place to see birds and butterflies.

The Kainji National Park

This Park, in Kwara State, was established in 1979 and incorporates the Borgu Game Reserve and Zugurma Game Reserve to the southeast in Niger State. The Bourgu sector of the park alone covers an area of about of 3,929 sq. km. of savanna woodland, and Zugurma cover an area of about 1,370 sq. km.The Kainji National Park also contains the Kainji Dam, an artificial lake which covers the town of Old Bussa. Here Mungo Park, the explorer, was said to have come to grief in 1805. Now the lake hides the scene of the accident. The lake is 136 km long and tours of the dam are available on request from the Nigeria Electric Power Authority. Boat trips on the lake can be arranged by the Borgu Game Reserve office at Wawa. To reduce the expense, it is better for several visitors to share the cost. Fishing is allowed on the lake.

Tourist Sites:

The Borgu Sector of Lake Kainji National Park was set up as a Federal Game Reserve and is one of the largest in West Africa. The area was uninhabited and the idea for the park was conceived in 1960. It is in the northern guinea vegetation zone which is charac­terized by tall grasses and savanna woodland. The park retains a robust animal population including antelope, lion, hippopotamus, buffalo, roan antelope, jackal, baboon, monkey and crocodile. The park is usually open from December to June, with the best time to visit towards the end of the dry season, when the grass has dried out and the animals move closer to the water. Tourist should expect Harmattan (dry wind) from December to mid-February. The best times for game viewing are in the early morning or evening, and trips can be arranged from 6:00 am, either in park vehicles or visitor’s own vehicle. Bird life is abundant, especially near the river. Visitors should call the Wawa Game Warden’s office (11 miles from New Bussa) for a briefing and to also reserve a game guide. The entrance to the reserve is approximately 19 miles from Wawa along a laterite road, and the oil river camp is a further 32 miles from the entrance. Many Nigerians and foreigners make day trips to

Kainji or pass by it on their way to other parts of the country. Despite the provisions at Kainji and New Bussa, hotel accommodation is insufficient to encour­age many people to stay for long periods.

DURBAR.

The Durbar festival dates back hundreds of years to the time when the Emirate (state) in the north used horses in warfare. During this period, each town, district, and nobility household was expected to contribute a regiment to the defense of the Emirate. Once or twice a year, the Emirate military chiefs invited the var­ious regiments for a Durbar (military parade) for the Emir and his chiefs. During the parade, regiments would showcase their horsemanship, their preparedness for war, and their loyalty to the Emirate. Today, Durbar has become a festival celebrated in honor of vis­iting Heads of State and at the culmination of the two great Muslim festivals, Id-el Fitri (commemorating the end of the holy month of Ramadan) and Ide-el Kabir (commemorating Prophet Ibrahim sacrificing a ram instead of his son). Of all the modern day Durbar festivals, Katsina Durbar is the most mag­nificent and spectacular. Id-el-Kabir, or Sallah Day, in Katsina begins with prayers out­side town, followed by processions of horsemen to the public square in front of the Emir’s palace, where each village group, district, and noble house take their assigned place. Last to arrive is the Emir and his splendid retinue; they take up their place in front of the palace to receive the jahi, or homage, of their subjects.

The festival begins with each group racing across the square at full gallop, swords glinting in the sun. They pass just few feet away from the Emir, then stop abruptly to salute him with raised swords.

The last and most fierce riders are the Emir’s household and reg­imental guards, the Dogari. After the celebrations, the Emir and his chiefs retire to the palace, and enjoyment of the occasion reigns. This fanfare is intensified by drumming, dancing and singing, with small bands of Fulanis performing shadi, a fasci­nating sideshow to behold.

 

Coconut Beach

Coconut Beach is a beautiful beach in the coastal town of Badagry, west of Lagos. The beach is attractively set in an area surrounded by coconut trees. About 20 miles towards the border of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, Coconut Beach is accessible through the Lagos-Badagry expressway. Visitors will find a friendly relaxed atmosphere.

Bar Beach

Bar Beach, also known as Victoria Beach, is the most popular beach among Nigerians. The main beach on Victoria Island is located along Ahmadu Bello Way opposite the Feder­al Guest House. It is usually crowded with Nigerians on public holidays.

Tarkwa Bay

Tarkwa Bay is a sheltered beach along the Lagos harbor. It is accessible by a ‘trazan’ boa from Maroko or ‘fiki’ boat from under Falo Bridge on Victoria Island. This beach provides a pleasant outing with safe swimming conditions, even for small children. Tourist may obtain deck chairs and an awning on the beach, for relaxed, casual comfort. Local yen dots sell delicious pineapples, coconuts and variety of other delightful treats.

Calabar Beach

This superb beach, at the mouth of the new Calabar River, is about 2 miles long and 500 feet wide, uninhabited save for a solitary fish­erman’s hut. The beach is virtually isolated and lends visitors the luxury of privacy in a beautiful setting off the beaten path. Since the beach is flanked by a swamp and can only be reached by boat or canoe, getting there is half the fun and enhances one’s fascination with this enchanted locale.

Lekki Beach

There are several beaches along the Lekki Peninsula, the foremost being Lekki Beach, located a few miles from the city center. Lekki Beach is another of Lagos’ attractive beaches and remains popular with foreign tourists. Beach shelters made of palm fronds and umbrellas, available for rent, keep the sun at bay, as well as provide a place to enjoy snacks or refreshments sold by local traders.

Eleko Beach

Opened in 1989, Eleko is the newest of Lagos’ Beaches, down the Lekki Peninsula about 30 miles from Lagos. There are no traders and no distractions on Eleko Beach, just peace and tranquillity, ideal for those seeking privacy.

The Obudu Ranch

The Obudu Ranch is a popular holiday destination for adventurous tourists wishing to explore the remote corners of Nigeria. Situated in the northeast corner of Cross River State, only 45 miles from the Cameroon border, a tourist can enjoy the countryside of both Nigeria and Cameroon at the same time.

The Obudu Plateau is spread over an area of 40 sq. miles. It is 5,200 feet above sea level. The climate is cool and pleasant with no mosquitoes. The landscape is spectacular, with rolling grasslands, deep-wooded valleys and waterfalls. Iris best to visit Obudu in the dry season since during the rainy season much of the ranch may be covered in mist and low clouds and there are thunderstorms. Between Dec. and Feb. the harmattan is heavy; therefore, the best times for a visit are the end of Oct. to Dec. and March to May before the rainy season.

Attractions:

Gorilla Camp, 13 km from the hotel, is accessible either by vehicle or on foot, where one can take a long, picturesque walk to the camp, and observe gorillas in their natural habitat. Guests may also ride horses or embark on hiking trips into the wild (comfortable shoes and a guide are recommend­ed). Birdwatching here is unparalleled and there is a pleasantly shaded natural swimming pool near the Ranch House. If visitors accept the challenge of a three-hour hike, they’ll be rewarded with a stop at the waterfall, nes­tled amid captivating scenery. In spite of the altitude, it can get quite hot in the day, with five sunshine hours in the dry season (Oct. – April) and roughly two during rainy season (July to Aug.). Other activities include: golf, badminton, lawn tennis, squash and horseback riding. The latest attraction at the Obudu Ranch is a cable-car (similar to Europe’s) that runs from the foot of the hill to the top, easing transportation and providing spectacular sceneries.

Accommodation:

The Ranch Hotel maintains 33 chalets and boasts a friendly staff, superb restaurant and bar, and laundry/dry cleaning services. Chalets provide exquisite comfort with a large sitting room, color TV, VCR, cocktail bar, kitchen & spacious bedroom with double bed. The Ranch Hotel operates 24-hours during peak periods, Sept.-Dec., reservations should be made at the Cross River State House in Lagos. Or, by mail to: Hotel Manager, Obudu Cattle Ranch, P.O. Box 87, Obudu, Cross River State, Nigeria.

Route:

The sights are spectacular on the drive east, through rolling mountains and the dense forest with trees so high their branches form a canopy, shading out the sun entirely. This phenomenon has led to the area being called “Nigeria’s Amazon,” and is not to be missed. However, should one prefer to fly, they can do so from any major city to Calabar then proceed by car over the five hour route via Ikom.

ARGUNGU FISHING FESTIVAL

This colorful annual festival takes place in Arugungu, a riverside town in Kebbi State, about 64 miles from Sokoto. The leading tourist attraction in the area, the festival originated in Aug. 1934, when the late Sultan Dan Mu’azu made an historic visit. In tribute, a grand fishing festival was organized. Since then, it’s become a celebrated yearly event held between Feb. and March. During the festival, hundreds of local men and boys enter the water, armed with large fishnet scoops. They are joined by canoes filled with drummers, plus men rattling huge seed-filled gourds to drive the fish to shallow waters. Vast nets are cast and a wealth of fish are harvested, from giant Nile Perch to the peculiar Balloon Fish. Furthermore there’s canoe racing, wild duck hunting, bare-handed fishing, diving competitions and naturally, swimming. Afterwards, there is drinking, singing and dancing into the night.

EYO FESTIVAL

Eyo Festival is unique to Lagos area, and it is widely believed that Eyo is the forerunner of the mod­ern day carnival in Brazil. On Eyo Day, the main highway in the heart of the city (from the end of Carter Bridge to Tinubu Square) is closed to traffic, allowing for procession from Idumota to Iga Idunganran. Here, the participants all pay homage to the Oba of Lagos. Eyo festival takes place whenever occasion and tradition demand, but it is usually held as the final burial rites for a highly regarded chief.

SHARO/SHADI FESTIVAL

The Fulani culture presents a complex system, involving age-old initiations. The most important is the Sharo or Shadi (flogging meeting), believed to have originated among the Jaful Fulani, whose ranks are still considered the finest. During the Sharo festival, bare-chested contestants, usually unmarried men, come to the center ring, escorted by beautiful girls. The crowd erupts in thunderous cheers and drumming. After some time, a challenger, also bare-chested, comes out brandishing a whip, trying to frighten his opponent. The festival proceeds with lively drumming, singing, cheers and self-praises from both competitors and challengers. When the excitement is at a fevered pitch, it is the time for flogging. The challenger raises his whip and flogs his opponent. His opponent must endure this without wincing or showing pain, lest he be branded a coward.

THE ATILOGWU DANCE

The Atilogwu dance has been elevated to a dazzling art form, particularly by the Igbos in Anambra State. Atilogwu is a vigorous dance which literally means “Is this magic?” and combines elements of gymnastics with foot-stomping rhythms and brilliant colors. It’s performed by young men and women who undergo rigorous training before presenting the dance in public. Once approved, the dance is performed during important festivals and great social occasions. In fact, Atilogwu has become a celebrated signature of Nigerian culture, performed around the world.

NATIONAL MUSEUMS

The National Museum at Onikan, Lagos provides one of the largest collection of art and artifacts in Nigeria. Of great importance to anyone seeking a deep­er understanding of African art and the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria, the artifacts in the museum date from 500 BC-200 AD, including the Nok ter­racotta heads. Its interior is majestic in scope, and retraces the development of various cultures through centuries of Nigerian history. Operated by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, the museum here, like —others in Benin, Jos, Ife, Esie, Kano and Kaduna, plus many smaller ones, consistently draws thousands of tourists and historians each year to view its rich collections.

OSUN FESTIVAL

Osun was one of the wives of Sango, the god of Thunder and former king of Oyo. She is widely worshipped in Yorubaland, particularly in the coun­tryside through which the river Osun flows. The water of Osun is said to have the power of making barren women fertile. Her most important sanc­tuaries are in Oshogbo, which is contracted from ‘Oso Igbo’, or spirit of the forest, centered around a palace shrine where the chief priest performs rites and rituals.

KANO DYE PITS

The Kano indigo-vegetable dye pits are one of the most fascinating aspects of this old city. Various designs are folded into the material before dyeing, and the fabric is often beaten to achieve the shiny, iridescent appearance. The tech­niques employed to obtain this look are unmatched around the world. And although the methods they use are ancient, these lush works of art on fabric always remain extremely popular and continue to be in great demand.

LEATHER WORK

Nigeria is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful handmade crafts. Drawing from ancient traditions, Nigerian artisans create marvelous wood carvings, metal castings, exotic jewelry, traditional clothing, intricately decorated calabashes and finely-crafted leatherwork. Visitors are amazed at the quality and value of these unique creations, each

The Nigerian Government, conscious of the over-dependence on Oil which constitutes about 95% of generated revenue, has embarked on many measures to give the Nigerian a new lease on life. To generate and stronger and stable growth rate, the Government is promoting the increased production in the non-oil sector of the economy by creating a level-playing field for private-sector led activity. Essentially, the pivots around which the framework for economic growth and development will revolve include the following:

  • agriculture and agro-business,
  • solid minerals development,
  • other manufacturing, including information and communications technology (ICT),
  • crude oil,
  • natural gas, and
  • tourism

Other expected areas of concentration that will equally engenderaccelerated economic growth and poverty reduction are:

  • diversification of the productive base of the economy,
  • emphasis on agriculture and rural development to consolidate existing initiatives in ensuring food security and export possibilities, particularly in cassowa, rice production, textiles, cash crops, livestock, and vegetable oil,
  • continued privatization of government owned companies and public utilities
  • maximum use of the opportunity available to the textile and garment industry through the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA)
  • Promotion of environmental protection and management
  • making Nigeria the hub of economic activity in West Africa
  • Sensitization of the Nigerian public about the concept of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which is the political and socio-economic program of the African Union (AU), and which is recognized as the expression of Africa’s collective determination as willingness to develop and integrate into the global economy.

Government will provide Nigerian businesses with an enabling environment that will enhance their ability to take advantage of opportunities arising from NEPAD and the African Union.

As further proof of the Government’s commitment to economic growth, in spite of the effects of the different global economy, the Nigerian Government has developed a home-grown poverty-reduction strategy known as NEEDS – National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy. The strategy has as its core, some specific structural reforms:

  1. Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability
    • Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Nigeria has enrolled in this initiative and has already started the process of hiring auditors to examine the Oil Accounts;
    • Establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has already succeeded in arresting several perpetrators of the high-level frauds and
    • Publication of monthly revenue allocations to all tiers of government,
  2. Public Sector Reforms
  3. Public Expenditure and Revenue Reforms dealing with heightening of budget with a view to reducing fiscal deficit
  4. Accelerated Privatization and Liberalization
    • deregulation and Liberalization of the petroleum sector with a complete phase-out of government subsidies,
    • deregulation of the telecom sector and increasing available telephone lines
  5. Accelerated growth and Equitable Development
    • Diversification beyond the oil sector in support of other sectors such as SMEs, agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, tourism

The members of G-8 continue to be the largest Trading-Partners of Nigeria which exports mainly oil and imports essential commodities.

Conclusively, the main focus of the Nigerian Government for embarking on vigorous economic reforms is to build a more humane, productive, and courteous society where every citizen is valued, and the plight of the disadvantaged is adequately addressed.

 

NIGERIA: AFRICA’S BIGGEST ECONOMY

Nigeria rebased its GDP from 1990 to 2010, resulting in an 89% increase in the estimated size of the economy. As a result Nigeria is adjudged Africa’s top investment haven, and as well the continent’s biggest market and economy. With a GDP of $509.9 billion (N80.2 trillion), the country has overtaken South Africa’s $372 billion. This ranks Nigeria as world’s 26 biggest economy, and the largest economy in Africa, bigger than Angola, Egypt and Vietnam put together, and 12 times the Ghanaian economy. The performance of the economy continues to be underpinned by favourable improvements in the non-oil sector, with real GDP growth of 5.4%, 8.3% and 7.8% in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. Agriculture – particularly crop production – trade and services continue to be the main drivers of non-oil sector growth. The oil sector growth performance was not as impressive with 3.4%, -2.3% and 5.3% estimated growth rates in 2011, 2012 and 2013, correspondingly. With a population of 168.8 million(2012 figure), Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa.

Sectoral contribution to GDP

  • Agriculture: N17.26trillion
  • Trade: N13.35trillion
  • Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas: N11.55trillion
  • Telecoms: 6.97trillion
  • Real Estate: N6.43trillion
  • Manufacturing: N5.47trillion
  • Food, Beverages and Tobacco: N3.70trillion
  • Finance and Insurance: N2.64trillion
  • Music Production:N1.13trillion

With the rebased figures, the Nigerian economy grew by an average of 6.38 per cent between 2010 and 2013

  • Exchange rate-$1=N199(as at September, 2015)
  • Major source of revenue: Oil (OPEC member)
  • Lingua Franca– English Language
  • Independence– From Britain (1960)
  • Major local languages spoken-Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
  • System of Government– Presidential Democracy

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, a part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south. The capital city is Abuja. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.

The people of Nigeria have an extensive history, and archaeological evidence shows that 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 CE.

The name Nigeria was created from a portmanteau of the words Niger and Area, taken from the River Niger running through Nigeria. This name was coined by the future wife of the Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, during the early 20th century.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of over 150 million, therefore making it the most populous ‘black’ country in the world. It is a regional power, is listed among the “Next Eleven” economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The economy of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

Arise, O compatriots,
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom,
Peace and unity.

Oh God of creation,
Direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youths the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign.

THE NATIONAL PLEDGE

I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful, loyal and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory
So help me God.

MOTTO

Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress
THE NIGERIAN COAT OF ARMS

The Nigerian coat of arms features an eagle mounted on a black shield, which is trisected by two silvery wavy bands. Two white chargers support the shield, and at its base is a wreath of coctus spectabilis flowers cast in the national colors of white and green.
The black shield represents the fertile soil while the silvery bands denote the Rivers Niger and Benue, which form the main inland waterways in the country.
The coctus spectabilis is a colorful flower, which grows wildly in Nigeria.
The eagle stands for strength and the chargers symbolize dignity.
The Nation’s motto, ‘Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress’ is inscribed at the base of the coat of Arms

Display/Usage of the National Coat of Arms
Government presence is depicted in offices and other public places with the placing of the Nigerian Coat-of-Arms side by side with the portrait of the President and Commander-in-Chief.
The portrait of the Commander-in-Chief is usually to the right of the Coat-of-Arms, while that of the Principal Officers/Chief Executives of any government establishment e.g. the Governor or Head of Establishment is on the left of the Coat-of-Arms. This position remains valid when the portraits are hung on the wall.
In a situation where the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, is addressing the nation the Coat-of-Arms is usually encapsulated in the seal of the nation and placed above the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief’s seat.
It should be noted that the Commander-in-Chief’s portrait as well as that of the Principal Officer of the Government establishment, in which the Coat-of-Arms is located, should always support the Coat-of-Arms or the Armorial Bearings.
Note that, improper placement/display or absence of these symbols in offices of Principal Officers/Chief Executives could amount to disrespect to constituted authority.
THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL FLAG

The flag was designed by Taiwo Akinkunmi in 1958.

Proportions: 1:2
ISO Code: NG NGA 566
FIPS 10-4 Code: NI
IOC Code: NGR

Description
The Nigerian National Flag is divided vertically into three equal parts. The central part is white and the two other parts are green. The green of the flag represents agriculture and the white Unity and Peace. The white is immaculate white and the emerald green is popularly known as the Nigerian Green.
The colours used in the National Flag are very important and are made to international colour standards as follows:

Dimension of the Flag
The dimension of the Nigerian Flag are a simple ratio of the length of the flag being double that of the Flag’s breadth. When folded into two-length-wise it takes the shape of a square.
Breadth Length
Big 1.2 metres 2.4 metres
Medium 0.9 metres 1.8 metres
Small 0.6 metres 1.2 metres

Brief History of the Flag
The Nigerian National Flag was “Chosen in 1959 from among 2870 suggestions in a competition; it was designed by a student from Ibadan, Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi. The green panels represent agriculture; the white, peace and unity. Although the flag was adopted as a national symbol in 1959, it didn’t become the official flag of the country until Nigeria became an officially independent country on October 1, 1960. Indeed, the flag was first officially hoisted by 12.00 a.m. on 1st October, 1960, being Nigeria’s day of independence.

Significance of the Flag
The Nigerian National Flag, which is governed by the Flag and Coat-of-Arms Ordinance of 1960 is also the symbol of authority and instrument of state power. Next to Mother earth, it is the only National symbol worth dying for. It tells the history of a people and their aspirations.

Hoisting of the National Flag
The National Flag is hoisted and flown ceremoniously and briskly in the morning and at sunrise and lowered slowly in the same manner in the evening at sunset (6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.). A flag does not sleep.
The National Flag should always be hung and only on very rare occasions should it be laid out flat horizontally. The National Flag is usually flown at the peak of the hoist except on memorial days or during state funerals as a mark of respect. At such times it is flown at half-mast.
When the National Flag is in a room or hung anywhere, no other flag, emblem or insignia should be place higher than it should.

Nigerian National Flag Law
The law makes it an offence for the National Flag to be improperly used or displayed. Section 5 of the Law states; “any person who flies or exhibits the National Flag in a defaced or bad condition shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance.”
Old or worn out flags must never be used or displayed. When a Flag becomes soiled, old, torn or mutilated, the cloth should be destroyed by burning or any other method with decorum and respect.

Display of the Flag
i. When the National Flag is carried in a procession, the carrier should be neatly and properly dressed, and must be in front.
ii. When there are two flags but the second Flag is not a National Flag; for example, Red Cross flag or a banner, the National Flag should be in front.
iii. When the other flags are carried along in a procession the National Flag should be in front and at the center of all other flags in the procession.
iv. For an audience in auditorium or hall, the flag should be on the right end of the first row.
v. For a speaker on the platform, the National Flag should be on the speaker’s right hand as he face the audience. Other flags can be on the left and take their position sideways both left and right.
vi. Whenever a group of flags are displayed, the Nigerian Flag should be at the centre and placed higher than the others.
vii. It is only on rare occasions that a flag can be used horizontally or laid flat. One of such occasions is over a casket. A licence must be granted by the government before this is done.
viii. On funeral occasions, Remembrance Days, or National Catastrophe the Flag is flown at half mast.
ix. Only cars of special dignitaries are allowed to use the Flag. Where permitted, the Flag should be mounted on the radiator cap or attached to the right fender of the vehicle chassis.
x. For the purpose of clarity, the only special dignitaries in the present set up, allowed to mount and fly the National Flag on official vehicles are:
a. President, Commander-in-Chief.
b. The Vice President.
c. The Senate President.
d. The Speaker of the House of Representatives.
e. The Chief Justice of the Federation.
f. State Governors.
g. Deputy Governors.
h. Others (if any) permitted by protocol.

With a population of 162 million people, Nigeria is an important market. Nigeria is currently one of the world’s major investment destinations and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A burgeoning middle class has created huge opportunities for businesses in consumer markets like financial services, food, energy and telecommunications.

Nigeria is a resource rich nation. The country is Africa’s largest crude ngoil producer and generates huge revenues from sales of oil and gas. Most of Nigeria’s land area is arable and the country has an array of non oil mineral resources many of which are yet to be exploited.

As part of the efforts to provide an enabling environment that is conducive to the growth and development of industries, inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), shield existing investments from unfair competition, and stimulate the expansion of domestic production capacity; the federal government of Nigeria has developed a package of incentives for various sectors of the economy. These incentives, it is hoped, will help revive the economy, accelerate growth and development and reduce poverty.

WHY INVEST IN NIGERIA?

  • Abundant Resources: Nigeria has enormous resources, most of which are yet to be fully exploited. They include mineral, agricultural and human resources.
  • Large Market: Nigeria offers the market in sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of about 120 million people. 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 programmes 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 cost, 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.

Nigerian government accepts the private sector as the engine of growth and the creator of wealth, while the government’s major responsibility is to provide the enabling environment for the private investors to operate. In this regard, laws which had hitherto hindered private sector investments have been either amended or repealed and a national council on privatization has been established to oversee orderly divestment to private operators in vital areas of the economy such as mining, transportation, electricity, telecommunications, petroleum and gas.

Nigerian government’s policy of economic deregulation and liberalisation has opened up new windows of opportunity to all investors wishing to invest in the country’s economy. In this connection, an interest rate regime Supportive of the real sector of the economy as well as an exchange rate that is market determined are the object of government policy. The security of life and property of the citizens are being vigorously pursued with the reorganization and strengthening of the Nigerian police force.

In addition, the Nigerian investment promotion council (NIPC) has been strengthened to enable it serve as a one-stop office for clearing all the requirements for investment in the country. The tariff structure is being reformed with a view to boosting local production.

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, groundnuts, cotton, timber and rubber.

Nigeria’s imports are in the region of $14.54billion USD. Import commodities include machinery, chemicals, transport, equipment, manufactured goods and live animals.

Although the Nigerian economy is heavily dependent on revenues from oil and gas, the Nigeria Government is committed to diversifying the nation’s economy and reducing dependence on crude oil exports. Focus in recent times has been on increasing non oil exports and reviving the agricultural sector  which presently accounts for 30% of the GDP, to diversify the economic base. Opportunities exist for the exploitation and export of natural gas, bitumen, limestone, coal, tin, columbite, gold, silver, lead-zinc, gypsum, glass sands, clays, asbestos, graphite, and iron ore, among others.

Action is being taken to improve Nigeria’s notoriously poor infrastructure. The ongoing power sector reforms for instance should lead to significant improvements in power supply in the coming years.

The Government has been pursuing economic reforms marked by the privatization and deregulation which seek to transfer state ownership of institutions to the private sector and so engender efficiency n the productive sectors of the economy .These are well articulated in The NEEDS programme. The reforms have led to an explosive growth in the telecoms sector after years of stagnation. The GSM 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. It also boasts 12 Television stations and 25 National newspapers. Its internet country code is .ng

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa and the most populous country on the African continent. Nigeria 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; previously, the Nigerian government was 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. However, the Nigerian state came into being on October 1, 1960 when Nigeria declared its independence from the British and at present consists of 36 states and the federal capital territory. Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 after a sixteen year interruption by a series of military rulers. From 1966 until 1999, Nigeria had been ruled (except the short lived second republic, 1979 1983) by military rulers who seized power in coup de tats and counter coups. Today Nigeria is a democratic country with tremendous market and investment opportunities.

Geography: Nigeria Lies within three climatic and geographic types equatorial in the southern reaches, tropical in the central area and arid in the north fringe giving rise to rainforest, savannah and desert vegetations respectively. Nigeria is bisected by rivers Niger and Benue which merge at Lokoja, then cascade southwards to form the tributaries and creeks of the Niger Delta.

For those considering investing in Nigeria, the message is that the opportunities far outweigh the risks.