Nigeria is ripe for investment! This is the general report from a variety of credible sources including the World Bank, the Nigerian Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo), The U.S. Department of State, and the Nigeria Embassy, Berlin. Whether it’s a ‘brick and motor’ or an online business, Nigeria is a favorable market for investors.
According to the latest ‘Doing Business’report by the World Bank, Nigeria is making remarkable strides to create a lucrative business climate. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo believes that there are limitless opportunities, especially due to supportive government initiatives such as the Focus Labs initiatives and Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC).
The Nigerian Embassy in Germany notes that there are numerous incentives by the Nigerian government including the Privatisation and Commercialisation Decree, Protection of Industrial Investment and International Trade Business, Nigerian Investment Promotion Decree, Foreign Exchange Decree, Securities and Exchange Commission Act, and The Nigerian Financial System.
“The acceleration in the pace of business reforms to reduce the time, cost and complexity of bureaucratic processes is a welcome step in the right direction…”
–Rita Ramalho, World Bank
The World Bank attributes the improvement to government initiatives relating to Enforcing Contracts, Registering Property, Dealing with Construction Permits, and Starting a Business. In particular, starting a business in Nigeria reduced from 34 days to 26 days (some Nigerian states such as Adamawa even take 10days). This drastic improvement is the result of an electronic platform to enhance transparency and speed of the process. Some states such as Kaduna, Jigawa, and Bauchi recorded an impressive rating on their ability and time to enforce contracts and solve commercial disputes.
The World Bank report asks potential investors to be wary of a few bottlenecks relating to registering property (i.e. cost, time, and the number of procedures). But it is easy to navigate this hindrance by investing in an online business.
The Consumer’s Take on the Business Climate of Nigeria
Nigeria boasts of having the largest economy and population in Africa. Additionally, 1 in every 3 Nigerians is under the age of 25. What does this mean? A large consumer market for online investors!
An academic study published in the Online Journal of Arts, Management & Social Sciences showed that social media is highly utilized by small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as an e-marketing technology. Similarly, another study showed that 78.9% of Nigerian consumers were satisfied with their online shopping experience. These statistics point to one thing, a goldmine for online investors thanks to the increasingly favorable online business climate.
However, security remains a concern to online investors in Nigeria. It’s likely that you’ve encountered/heard of the online catfishing scams involving a ‘Nigerian prince.’
What is the Takeaway?
Nigeria is a land of opportunity for any aspiring investors – this sentiment is supported by numerous International bodies and studies. Although there are a few hindrances, the government continues to enforce various initiatives aimed at improving the business climate of Nigeria. Based on the country’s demographics, the greatest opportunity for investment lies in the online market.