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About Nigeria

History of Nigeria


The evolution of Nigeria from about 1849 until it attained independence in 1960 is largely the story of the transformational impact of the British on the peoples and cultures of the Niger-Benue area.

The colonial authorities sought to define, protect and realize their imperial interest in this portion of West Africa in the hundred or so years between 1862 and 1960, The British were in the Niger- Benue area to pursue their interests, which were largely economic and strategic. In the process of seeking to realize those interests, there were many unplanned-for by-products.

The first critical step in this uncertain path was taken in 1849 when, as part of an effort to ‘sanitize’ the Bights of Benin and Biafra, which were notorious for the slave trade, the British created a consulate for the two Bights. From here, one thing led to another for the British, especially to deepen involvement in the political and economic life of the city states of the Bights and to rivalry with the French who also began showing imperial ambitions in the area. The result, in time, was that the British converted the coastal consulate and its immediate hinterland into the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1885, which, in 1893, transformed into the Niger Coast Protectorate.

The apparently irreversible logic of this Development led to deeper and closer involvement in the administration of the peoples and societies of this segment of Nigeria which, by the middle of the twentieth century, came to be  known as Eastern Nigeria.

The second step, along the same path, was taken about 1862 when the British annexed the Lagos Lagoon area and its immediate environs and converted same into a crown colony. According to the British, they did this in order to be better able to abolish the slave trade which used that area as export point. According to Nigerian historians, on the other hand, they did so to be better able to protect their interest in the vital trade route that ran from Lagos, through Ikorodu, Ibadan and similar communities, to the Niger waterway in the north and beyond into Hausaland. Be that as it may, by 1897, British influence and power had overflowed the frontiers of Lagos and affected all of Yorubaland which was subsequently attached to Lagos as a Protectorate. The political and administrative unit which came to be known as Western Nigeria in the 1950s came as the end of this second step.

The third and final step in this uncharted path came in 1888. The British administered political ‘baptism’ on Greyne Goldie’s National African Company which had successfully squeezed out rivals, British and non-British, from the trade in the lower Niger, following a trade war of almost unprecedented ferocity. As a result of the ‘baptism’, Goldie’s company became the Royal Niger Company, chartered and limited. It also acquired political and administrative powers over a narrow belt of territory on both sides of the river from the sea to Lokoja, as well as over the vast area which, in the 20th century, came to be known as Northern Nigeria.

Thus, by about 1897, the three blocks of territory had emerged, as British colonial possessions, from moves made during the period of the These three blocks of territories One change, perhaps the major one, was that the charter of the Royal Niger Company was withdrawn and the territory under its shadowy control was declared the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and brought under the Colonial Secretary. Similarly, the Niger Coast Protectorate, which had been under the Foreign Secretary, was renamed the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and brought under the Colonial Secretary. In addition, the narrow “strip of Royal Niger Company from Lokoja to the sea”, which had divided the Niger Coast Protectorate into two, was united with it, thus bringing the western and eastern halves of that administration together territorially. The Lagos Colony and Protectorate underwent no change while continuing under the controlling authority of the Colonial Office. With these three units then brought under the Colonial Office, the situation was created in which the management of their affairs came to be informed by the same theory and practice of administration.

The amalgamation of 1914 offered an opportunity for making changes in the unsatisfactory arrangement, but not much was achieved this area. All that was created was a body known as the Nigerian Council which met once a year to listen to what may be called the Governor’s address on the state of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. The body had no legislative powers whatsoever. The same ambivalence based on imperial self-interest that characterized the Lugardian approach to seeing and treating Nigeria as one political entity and Nigerians as members of one political family was also evidenced in the constitutional development efforts of his successors. For example, while the Sir Hugh Clifford Constitution of 1922 introduced the elective principle for legislative houses for the first time, the Legislative Council which replaced Lugard’s Nigerian Council legislated only for the Colony and Southern Provinces while the Governor continued to legislate for the Northern Provinces through proclamations. The forty-six-member Council, presided over by the Governor, was dominated by ex-official and nominated members.

The Legislative Council system thus implied a division of responsibility to govern Nigeria between the United Kingdom-based British Government and the government established in the Colony. Besides, Nigerians were excluded from membership of the Executive Council.

The Richards Constitution of 1946, though it had among its objectives the promotion of the unity of Nigeria and securing greater participation by Nigerians in discussing their affairs, deliberately set out to cater for the diverse elements within The country, Significant provisions of this new constitution included the establishment of a re-constituted Legislative Council whose competence covered the whole country; the abolition of the official majority in the Council; the creation of Regional Councils consisting of a House of Assembly in each of the Northern, Eastern and Western Provinces, and creation of House of Chiefs in the North, whose roles were purely advisory rather than legislative. Significantly, however, the Richards Constitution was designed without full consultation with Nigerians which explains the hostility with which it was greeted, especially in the South.

Although the Richards Constitution was expected to last for nine years, opposition to it, especially from the political leaders, was so strong that a new constitution, the Macpherson Constitution, was promulgated in 1951. Unlike its predecessors, there was significant participation of Nigerians in its making from the village level up to the Ibadan General Conference of 195, The major provisions of the Constitution were as follows: the establishment of a 145-member House of Representatives, 136 of them elected, to replace the Legislative Council; a bicameral legislature for both the North and West, one being the House of Chiefs while the East retained the unicameral House of Assembly; the establishment of a Public Service Commission to advise the Governor on the appointment and control of public officers; the competence of the Regional Legislatures to legislate on a range of prescribed subjects while the central legislature was empowered to legislate on all matters including those on the Regional Legislative lists. Substantially, therefore, the 1951 Constitution was more or less a half-way house between regionalization and federation. Between 1951 and 1954, two important constitutional conferences were held in London and Lagos between Nigerian political leaders and the British government. These resulted in a new 1954 Federal Constitution whose main features were: the separation of Lagos, the nation’s capital, from the Western Region; the establishment of a Federal Government for Nigeria comprising three regions, namely, North, West and East with a Governor-General at the centre and three Regional Governors; the introduction of an exclusive Federal Legislative List as well as a Concurrent List of responsibilities for both the Federal and Regional Governments, thus resulting in a strong central government and weak regions; regionalization of the Judiciary and of the public service through the establishment of Regional Public Service Commissions, in addition to the Federal one.

From the point of view of the evolution of the Nigerian state, the most significant thing about the 1954 Constitution, which remained in force until Independence in 1960, was that the Lugardian principle of entralization was replaced by the formula of decentralization as a matter of policy in the administration of the Nigerian state.

Peoples and Cultures

Nigerian Peoples and Their Cultures

Nigeria’s social boundaries are often described as artificial. This characterization is generally acceptable in the sense that certain ethnic groups and governmental societies were split and located within the colonial state  territories of different European powers, following the 1884 Berlin Conference and the subsequent legal instruments.

Thus, although Nigeria formally became one entity in 1914 after the amalgamation of the then northern and southern protectorates along with Lagos, many members of different social groups found their kinsmen and friendly neighbors just outside Nigeria’s political boundaries. Yet, peoples in the pre-colonial geographical region now occupied by Nigeria and her neighbors such as the Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Benin Republics, were not only linked by blood or descent but also by trade and commerce, as well as by relations of friendship and conflict.

  • Igbo traditional attire

  • Igbo traditional attire

  • Yoruba traditional attire

  • Aso traditional attire

  • Hausa traditional attire

  • Edo traditional attire

Contemporary Diversity: Distinguishing Criteria

Each of the culturally distinct groups in Nigeria today is an ethnic group. Ethnic groups are categories of people characterized by cultural criteria of symbols including language, value systems and normative behavior, and whose members are anchored in a particular part of the new state territory.

Two other features need to be noted about the people of Nigeria. First, there are marginal people who are sandwiched between two larger ethnic groups. Such marginal societies, usually found in shatter belts, adopt cultural elements from both ethnic groups, for example in the mixture of concepts and language. They exist at the periphery of either of the ethnic groups and their culture, especially language, differs somewhat from those of the two centre or core cultures. Examples of these societies are the Obiaruku and Orogun peoples whose cultures and languages integrate both Urhobo and Ukwani socio-cultural symbols in the Delta State with their linguistic continuities and discontinuities.

The second feature relates to the apparent extinction of some of the Nigerian peoples and their languages. Examples include the Ashaganna in Plateau State and Bolewa of Bauchi State. They have been reported to be nearly, if not totally, extinct, having been culturally absorbed by neighbouring larger groups. Thus, Nigeria has been characterized by a dynamic ethnic pluralism, involving the extinction of some groups and the evolution of new ones over the centuries.

Currently, scholars have identified over 350 ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Similarly, the culture of reverence for kings and chiefs, which features strongly among the Yoruba, Kanuri, Hausa and Bini, among other ethnic groups, is generally absent among the village group arrangement of the Igbo and others.

Among the Igbo, few exceptions to the general rule is found for example, Onitsha, Osamari, Oguta, Aboh and the ancient Nri kingdoms.

However, the feature of a common pool of cultural traits, which we referred to earlier, is gradually reemerging, at least in principle. There is a surviving practice of respect for parents and elders in all the cultures found in Nigeria. There is also the trait of communalism and altruism commonly demonstrated by most Nigerians. This is particularly in the rural areas and in places where traditional culture is maintained. Good examples of these are indigenous enclaves in the urban areas, such as the Oje of Ibadan where the Yoruba culture is kept strongly, and the Sabo of Ibadan and many urban centres in southern Nigeria where Hausa or Hausanised cultural practices are maintained. Kindness to others, especially strangers, and the attributes of hospitality, as well as sharing with and helping The needy, are also extant in many parts of Nigeria.

Apart from the foregoing cultural practices, which help to smoothen the hardships of life especially during economic recessions and inflationary crises, many Nigerians now share one another’s ethnic cultural practices. This is one result of a combination of factors brought about by the inextricable encapsulation of groups in one modern new state. Such factors include enhanced communication system, increased frequency of social and cultural interactions, and common political participation and socialization within one country.

Nigerians from different ethnic groups appreciate the diversity of cultural dances, dress forms, food, handicrafts, drumming, songs, farm implements and practices, and other traits for example, many Nigerians eat ‘eba’, pounded yam, ‘amala’ and even ‘usi’ (starch) and ‘akpu’ that do not traditionally belong to their cultures. They enjoy the Efik ‘Edikang-Ikong’, the Hausa and Fulani ‘tuwo’, the Urhobo ‘ukodo’ and the Igbo ‘pepper soup’. Just as many Nigerian men wear the Hausa ‘babbarriga’ and Yoruba full traditional dress (agbada), so do many Nigerian women now put On the Urhobo and Itshekiri george wrapper and blouse. Many Nigerians now speak languages other than their own and also marry from ethnic groups outside their own. In addition, there is an evolution of neutral traits adopted from cultures outside Nigeria, and to which local traits adapted.  For example, many musicians and drummers from different ethnic groups have adapted themselves and their styles to pop and disco music and, Lately, rap music Thus, the emerging national culture in Nigeria is little more than a rag tag of sorts. Yet, it is still obvious when you see or meet a Nigerian in the midst of other Africans and, of course, non-Africans.

Nigeria, with a land mass of over 356,000 square miles is a country with spectacular sights, a wide range of fauna and exciting places for vacationing, exploration and sightseeing. The country is blessed with tropical rain forests, savannah grasslands, mangrove swamps and the sahel savannah near the Sahara.

Visitors to Nigeria will be thrilled by the marvels of nature that abound in the land, rare, amazing plants and animals seen only on special television program or magazines. These plants and animals live in their natural habitats undisturbed by man. Nature has also endowed Nigeria with many natural resources and with some of the wonders of the natural world, which can be viewed by visitors to those locations.

Geography of Nigeria:

total: 923,768 sq km
land: 910,768 sq km
water: 13,000 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 4,047 km
border countries: Benin 773 km, Cameroon 1,690 km, Chad 87 km, Niger 1,497 km

Coastline: 853 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: varies; equatorial in south, tropical in centre, arid in north

Terrain: southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chappal Waddi 2,419 m

Natural resources: petroleumtincolumbiteiron orecoallimestoneleadzincnatural gashydropowerarable land

Land use:
arable land: 33%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 44%
forests and woodland: 12%
other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 9,570 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts

Environment – current issues: soil degradation; rapid deforestation; desertification; recent droughts in north severely affecting marginal agricultural activities

Environment – international agreements:
party to: BiodiversityClimate ChangeDesertificationEndangered SpeciesHazardous WastesLaw of the SeaMarine DumpingMarine Life ConservationNuclear Test BanOzone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Investment Opportunities in Nigeria.

Nigeria is a country richly endowed with human and natural resources. Though classified as a developing country, it is a country of countless opportunities for investment and enterprise.

On May 29, 2007, President Umaru Musa Yar’adua was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the only civilian to civilian hand-over in the history of the nation. In his maiden address, President Yar’adua made reference to seven areas to which he would commit all his energy, because of his belief that rehabilitating them will redirect Nigeria back to the path of sustainable growth and development.

These include’  Sustainable Growth  in the Real sectors of the Economy; which include manufacturing, small and medium enterprises, solid minerals, housing, oil and gas and macro-economic policy.

Physical Infrastructural Development which include power, energy and transportation; c.Human Capital Development especially in the Health and Education sectors; d.Security, Law and Order, in terms of Law enforcement, justice and respect for the rule of law; e. Combating Corruption, promoting transparency and accountability as well as fiscal responsibility; f.Marshall Plan for Niger Delta Development; g. Agricultural Development.

The president is aware that development in these sectors is sure to harness the full potentialof Nigeria, and has the capability to launch Nigeria as one of the 20 greatest nations in the world. He therefore came up with a program to achieve these agenda by the year 2020 and named it Vision 20-2020. Already, within a year of this  administrations tenure, the Seven-Point Agenda has left the drawing board and is being implemented by Government establishments responsible for them.

As a result of the favorable environment created by government policies, there abound great business and investment opportunities in Nigeria today. Some of them are highlighted in this chapter.


Before oil, Nigeria had oil. With oil were the crops groundnut (peanut), cocoa and rubber. These crops were cultivated in large quantities and exported to Europe and America in the pre-1960s and early ’60s.

With military incursions into Nigerian government  and the dependence of petroleum products as the foremost foreign exchange earner, attention to the agricultural sector dwindled. Nigeria’s groundnut pyramids disappeared, the oil palm plantations vanished and farming went back to a subsistent level. With a burgeoning population, it became increasingly difficult to feed the teeming masses and the country resorted to importing food to supplement the one grown at home.

With the military gone and a new democratic structure in place, the country is poised to regain her position in agriculture. Government has watered the ground in empowering Nigerian farmers and agro-allied investors to harness the country’s rich resources in producing food and raw materials for industries and export. Funding for agro allied investments have been made easier to get, with extension services provided to farmers at highly subsidized rates to ensure heavy yields at harvest time. Agric banks make loans available to farmers while fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and planting technologies are made available at subsidized rates by the government.

Working hand in hand with the farmers is the Nigerian Export Promotion Council which helps to find buyers for the food and cash crops from Nigeria. Land is being provided at reasonable terms for use for large scale farming. Government has encouraged foreign agric investors with remarkable results. For instance farmers from Southern African countries have found home in Nigeria where they have started operations to produce. Government has restricted the importation of some types of food and cash crops to encourage local farmers to compete.

The highly fertile Nigerian soil makes it easy to cultivate the following:

Cassava, Yams, Melon, Maize, Millet, Sorghum, Cowpeas, Bananas (plana href=”,120,812td∓ x.php?option=co ∓trm_contenttains included) Palm oil, Groundnuts.

Nigeria’s cash crops include:

Tobacco, Groundnuts, Cocoa beans, Rubber, Gum Arabic, Kola nuts, Beniseed, Cotton, Soyabean, Palm kernel, Cashew nuts Nigerian manufacturers find it convenient to grow their raw materials here. Hence there are cotton farms, orange plantations, tea plantations (on Mambilla Plateau) and coconut groves all sources of raw materials for Nigerian industries.

Opportunities also abound in the cultivation of various species of fish. Fish farming is on the rise in Nigeria with several hundred thousands of tons of fish harvested annually in the country.

The grasslands of the Northern part of the country are ideal for ranching and the rearing of cattle and other livestock.

Solid Minerals Nigeria is richly endowed with a variety of solid minerals ranging from precious metals, various stones to industrial minerals such as barites, gypsum, kaolin and marble. Most of these are yet to be exploited. Statistically, the level of exploitation of these minerals is very low in relation to the extent of deposits found in the country. One of the objectives of the new National Policy on Solid Minerals is to ensure the orderly development of the mineral resources of the country There are tremendous opportunities for investments in the solid mineral sector of the Nigerian economy. Prospecting licenses for investors (both local and foreign) to participate in the exploitation of the vast mineral resources in Nigeria is granted by the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.

Profile of Solid Mineral Deposits in Nigeria


Over 40 million tonnes deposits of talc have been identified in Niger, Osun, Kogi, Ogun and Kaduna states. The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC)’s 3,000 tonnes per annum catalytic Talc plant in Niger state is the only talc plant in the country. The talc industry represents one of the most versatile sectors of the industrial minerals of the world. The exploitation of the vast deposits would therefore satisfy local demand and that for export.


Gypsum is an important input for the production of cement. It is also used for the production of Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) and classroom chalks. A strategy for large-scale mining of gypsum is urgently required to sustain the existing plants and meet the future expansion. Currently, cement production is put at 8 million tonnes per annum while the national requirement is 9.6 million tonnes. About one billion tonnes of gypsum deposits are spread over many states in Nigeria.

Iron ore

There are over 3 billion metric tonnes of iron ore in deposits found in Kogi, Enugu and Niger States as well as the Federal Capital Territory. Iron are is being mined at Itakpe in Kogi State and is already being beneficiated, up to 67 per cent of iron. The Aladja and Ajaokuta Steel complexes are ready for consumer of billets and other iron products for down-stream industries.


An estimated 10 million tonnes of lead/zinc veins are spread over eight states of Nigeria. Proven reserves in three prospects in the east-central area are 5 million tonnes. Joint venture partners 44 are encouraged to develop and exploit the various lead/zinc deposits all over the country.

Bentonite and Barite

These are the main constituents of the mud used in the drilling of all types of oil wells. The Nigerian barite has specific gravity of about 4.3. Over 7.5 million tonnes of barite have been identified in Taraba and Bauchi States. Large bentonite reserves of 700 million tonnes are available in many states of the Federation ready for massive development and exploitation.


There are proven reserves of both alluvial and primary gold in the schist belt of Nigeria located in the south-western part of the country. The deposits are mainly alluvial and are currently being exploited on a small scale. Private investors are invited to stake concessions on these primary deposits.


The occurrence of bitumen deposits in Nigeria is indicated at about 42 billion tonnes; almost twice the amount of existing reserves of crude petroleum. Analytical results suggest that this potential resource can be used directly as an asphalt binder. Most bitumen used for road construction in Nigeria is currently imported.


Nigerian coal is one of the most bituminous in the world owing to its low sulphur and ash content and therefore the most environment-friendly.

There are nearly 3 billion tonnes of indicated reserves in 17 identified coal fields and over 600 million tonnes of proven reserves.

Rock Salt

The national annual demand for table salt, caustic soda, chlorine, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide exceeds one million tonnes. A colossal amount of money is expended annually to import these chemicals by  chemical and processing companies including tanneries and those in food and beverages, paper and pulp, bottling and oil sector. There are salt springs at Awe (Plateau State), Abakaliki and Uburu ( Ebonyi State ), while rock salt is available in Benue State. A total reserve of 1.5 million tonnes has been indicated, and further investigations are now being carried out by Government.


Gemstone .mining has boomed in various parts of Plateau, Kaduna and Bauchi states for years. Some of these gemstones include sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, emerald, tourmaline, topaz, garnet, amethyst; zircon, and flourspar which are among the world’s best. Good prospects exist in this area for viable investments.


An estimated reserve of 3 billion tonnes of good kaolinitic clay has been identified in many localities in Nigeria.

Petroleum and Gas Reserves

The proven Nigerian oil reserves are 23 Billion barrels; the gas reserves are 160 Trillion cubic meters.

Petroleum and Gas Policy Objectives

1.The country has put in place Petroleum and Gas policy with the following objectives:

2. Increasing oil reserve base and productivity through vigorous exploration and ensuring judicious exploitation of the resource.

3. Allowing for private sector participation in all the facets of the industry through attractive fiscal measures. Government is giving serious consideration to selling its equity shares in joint venture operation.

4.Acquiring reasonable market shares for the crude oil and its derivatives and

5. Achievement of domestic refining self-sufficiency. Expanding the utilization of natural gas. Virtually every sector is open to investors in the Oil and Gas Industry. They include: Up-stream Sector -Down-stream Sector; Gas Development and Conversion; and Marketing of Nigeria crude oil.

The Upstream Sector Activities under the upstream sector include:

Surveying: Geodetic control establishment; Mapping, tropical and plan metric; and Sea Bottom Survey/Investigation.

Civil Works: Site Surveys; Preparation of drilling locations; Construction of mud pits and slabbing or concreting jobs at rig sites. Supplies of cement, chemicals, sands, gravel, iron rods, labour, road mat, timber, etc.

Seismic Data Acquisition and Interpretation:

Analysis and interpretation of data acquired from seismic and geodetic surveys – such data on soil and rock samples.

Geological Activities: Wire line, logging, core analysis, geological and geochemical studies.

Drilling Operations: Drilling and work-over rigs; field transportation and equipment for haulage and rig movements; general and specialized service such as casing running, cementation, welding, diving and catering; and provision of
mud and other chemicals.

Crude Oil Transportation & Storage: Construction and maintenance of crude oil storage tanks and pipelines.

Exploration and Production: Investors wishing to participate in this venture are welcome. This involves applying for block(s) for exploration through the oil prospecting license (OPL) and the oil-mining lease (OML). Currently, emphasis is shifting from production sharing contract (PSC) to Service Contract.

Pursuant to the above, the Oil Exploration License (OEL) confers on the licensee, renewable on expiration.

The Down-Stream Sector Refining Investors can set up and wholly own a refinery; Companies with the technological know-how can undertake turn-around maintenance of refineries;

  • There is tremendous scope for small-scale joint venture manufacture of spare parts,
    chemicals with technical foreign partners;
  • Also opportunities exist in the manufacture of other special products such as:
  1. industrial and food grade solvents;
  2. insecticides
  3.  cosmetics
  4.  mineral oil, petroleum jelly greases;
  5.  bituminous-based water/damp proof building materials such as floor tiles, exports of refined products surplus;


A three-phased petrochemical development plan is in place. The first phase is already in place producing:

Linear alkyl – benzene, carbon black and polypropylene;

Carbon black, used for manufacture of tyres, rubber products, pigments, printing inks, polish, etc;

Linear alkyl – benzene, used as an active agent in the production of detergents and shampoos;

Polypropylene, used as a raw material in the manufacture of injection moulding, fibres extrusion, shipping sacks, prayer mats, carpet underlay and cloth wrap;

The second phase, an olefin based complex has been commissioned; and Investors can engage in products fabrication.

Gas Development and Conversion Government has opened the sector to foreign investment and is willing to consider appropriate tailor – made incentives for projects in this sector.

Opportunities which abound in this sector for investors include:-

Natural Gas Pipeline Network Plans are afoot to build and extend gas pipeline in view of the importance of gas. Investors wishing to set up energy intensive industries such as cement factories, iron smelting and foundries will
have a significant cost saving if gas is used as fuel.

In furtherance of the spirit of the treaty of ECOWAS (the Economic community of West African States) which seeks to encourage co – operation between member states for the overall improvement of their economies, Nigeria embraced the West African Gas pipeline concept conceived by the World Bank as a means of meeting the energy requirement of Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic by supplying them with natural gas from Nigeria on purely commercial terms.

The Liquefied Natural Gas Project (LNG).

The Nigerian LNG project is being implemented in phases with an initial production from two trains.

The plant is situated at Bonny Island. NLNG has successfully secured market for its moderate production volume from its base project and train three.

New Gas Systems

There is more Gas than Oil, in Nigeria. While the country’s oil reserve could last for about 31 years that of gas could be depleted in about 72 years, according to recent authoritative report.

In spite of this abundance, local gas utilization is constrained by limited transmission systems and even lack of same in some parts of the country. This hinders greatly, the transmission, distribution and marketing of the product in many parts of the nation.

Currently, there is a proposal by the Nigerian government to construct additional four transmissions systems including Ajaokuta – Abuja – Kaduna, and Aba – Enugu – Gboko at the  estimated cost of $2 billion.

Investment Opportunities in Telecommunications

Nigeria was among the early countries to initiate a reform program in the telecommunications sector. The first such action was the establishment of NITEL following the merger of Nigeria External Telecommunications Company and the telecommunications component within the Department of Posts and Telecommunications in 1985. The government intended to rationalize all national telecommunications planning under one organization.

In November 1992, the government established an independent regulator – Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

The government mandated NCC to establish and foster an environment that will facilitate the participation of the private sector to increase and expand the extremely poor existing infrastructure.

This has not been successful, as telecommunications operates within the economic parameters that were affected by existing socio-economic climate. The government had issued a new policy framework and set the following sector targets:

Increase telecommunication, growth rate to an annual minimum of 13.5% such that 10% of the rural communities are served in the short term, 30% in the medium term and 60% in the long term; Achieve a tele-density of 1. 5 by 2001 by installing 1.5 million lines and 1.2 million mobile telephone lines. Install 8 million fixed lines by 2005; and Ensure that in the medium term, telephones are within 5 kilometres walking distance instead of the current 50 kilometres.

Implementation of these programs presents huge investment opportunities in supply of infrastructure as well as provision of services.

Other opportunities include the local manufacture of equipment that the government will support in a bid to create jobs and enhance skill transfer.

In 2008, the telecom industry is a garden of opportunity in Nigeria, and indeed Africa. Our telecommunications markets are the fastest growing in the world, having attained a tele-density of 31.67 and a subscriber base of 44.3 million. These are yet low levels of penetration-considering a population on the threshold of 150 million, thus making it the most attractive investment arena in the world today.

In almost half of all countries on the continent either new fixed or mobile operating licenses will be issued or an existing player will be privatized, opening up a plethora of opportunities for strategic as well as financial investors. Liberalization and deregulation are finally happening on the continent and corruption and bureaucracy are being addressed, providing an operating environment suitable for international investment. Nigeria as one of the largest and fastest growing markets offers 55  particularly attractive opportunities. Existing players in all market sectors require additional funding for expanding their networks and services at record pace in order to keep up with demand, and a new unified licensing regime, introduced in 2006 has opened up huge new opportunities to existing and new players alike for the provision of next-generation converged mobile, fixed and Internet services. Having launched the Nigerian Communications Satellite, things can only get better.

Privatization of Government-owned Enterprises

For decades, Nigeria’s economy had been dominated by the petroleum sector, oil being Nigeria’s single biggest source of income. An economy that swung on the fulcrum of a single commodity was bound to run into trouble. Owing
to the erratic price of oil in the international energy market, Nigeria’s economy needed to be straightened out. Oil was responsible for generating over 20% of Nigeria’s GDP and clearly 95% of foreign earnings.

Years of military rule also took its toll on the economy as no bold measure was put in place to diversify the economy and take the heat off the oil sector.

With the return to democracy in 1999, Government began to take bold steps in restructuring the economy. The first thrust was to address the epileptic energy problem, especially the supply of electricity which itself had made production costs very high in industries. The government went ahead to staunch areas of financial wastage, cutting costs and trimming down bloated budgets.

Government concerns and properties that constituted areas of waste were sold off or privatized, including airlines, government properties, telecom companies etc. Others were restructured to perform better and commercialized to become independent of the government in sourcing revenues. Restrictive policies and laws on enterprises were reviewed and the economy was opened to more foreign participation. Empowerment programs came into place to give the Nigerian business better edge in competing on the international scene. One of these is the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) designed to help in poverty eradication The banking sector, which hitherto did not do much in supporting growing concerns got new rules on recapitalization; thus making it possible for the bank to support industrial growth and stem the rate of bank failure in the country.

Mergers, acquisitions and downright sale of banks have been taking place with stronger, more focused banks emerging from the whole exercise.

In the boldest move of all, the government opened an all round campaign against corruption in the country.

Corruption and its debilitating adjuncts have been largely responsible for the poor economic growth of the nation in the past.

The new campaign focused on reducing the negative impact of corruption on the nation’s economy.

Today, a new light of hope has been lit on the economic landscape of Nigeria. Manufacturers are getting a bolder deal with the restriction on the importation of certain goods. The agricultural sector is being fired up to move it from its subsistence position to that of being able to provide export materiaIs as it once did.

Other areas of expansion include technology, especially the development and design of software, a sector that is growing very fast in the country.

Encouraged by the reforms and the stability of the polity, foreign investors are coming to Nigeria, a country with the population and the resources that are a typical investor’s market and delight.

The Federal and State governments had in the past endeavoured to play an active catalytic role in the economy by initiating and acting as sizeable stakeholders in a number of core industries.

The Public Enterprises Privatizations and Commercialization Act, authorizes the partial privatization of government enterprises in the following sectors:

Telecommunications; Electricity (generation and distribution):

Petroleum refining; Coal and bitumen production (mining, processing and export);Tourism generation (tour and travels and hospitality).

Within the context of the liberalization policy, both foreigners and nationals are free to participate and invest in the privatization of the public enterprises.

In this regard, the Federal Government constituted the National Council on Privatization to oversee the privatization program being implemented by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

The existence and functioning of a nation and its government, is predicated on the need for orderly human interaction, and the provision of a systematic mode of delivery for a wide array of services, ranging from purely governance services to the provision of a variety of social services.

Laws, regulations and practices evolve to provide definite guides for human and governmental conduct. The state provides a social framework that aims at satisfying the social wants, claims, demands and expectations involved in the existence of a civilized society, by giving effect to, as much as possible, with the least sacrifice, a generally acceptable ordering of human conduct.

Democratic societies create a number of rights for citizens, and in return, certain basic duties and responsibilities are expected from the citizen to the state. A symbiotic relationship is thus created where there are legitimate expectations, and citizens expect their government to deliver a minimum basket of goods and services effectively and efficiently. In such societies, government is mainly funded by citizens’ taxes, and in return,
they demand accountability and a transparent administration of state resources. This background provides the rationale of high quality service expectation by the citizens, and the rendering of same, and continuous attempts to improve service delivery on the part of government.

Investment Guidelines

Procedure for Incorporating a Business Enterprise by a Foreign Investor legal framework for business activities

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

(i)                 Private or Public limited liability company;

(ii)               Unlimited liability company;

(iii)             Company limited by guarantee;

(iv)             Foreign Company (branch or subsidiary of foreign company) Partnership/Firm;

(v)               Sole Proprietorship;

(vi)             Incorporated trustees (religious, charitable, philanthropic or cultural);

(vii)           Representative office in special cases;

2. 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.

2.1. Minimum Share Capital and Disclosures in Memorandum of Association The minimum authorised share capital is N10, 000 in the case of private companies or N500, 000 in the case of public companies. The Memorandum of Association must state inter-alia that the subscribers “shall take amongst them a total number of shares of a value not less than 25 per cent of the authorized ca pita land that each subscriber shall write opposite his name the number of shares he takes.” The law permits and acknowledges the roles of attorneys and other relevant professionals in facilitating business transactions provided, of course, that this “agency arrangement is disclosed”.

2.3. Membership of the Company – Prohibition of Trusts

The Companies Act prohibits “notice of any trust, express, implied or constructive” and such shall not be entered on the register of members or be receivable by the CAC.


All categories of company shares should carry one vote. Shares with “weighted” voting right are prohibited. All shares (i.e. whether ordinary or preferential) issued by a company must carry one vote in respect of each share. Consequently, preference shareholders are entitled to receive notices and attend all general meetings of the company and may speak and vote on any resolution before the meeting.

2.4. Disclosures To Be published In Company’s Correspondence and Business Premises

Every company is obliged to disclose on its letterhead pa per used in correspondence, following particulars:

(i)                 Name of company/ enterprise;

(ii)               Address;

(iii)             Registration/Incorporation Number;

(iv)             Names of Directors and Alternate Directors (If any).

In addition, the law requires companies/enterprises to ensure that the Certificate of Registration be displayed in
conspicuous positions at their principal and branch offices.

3. 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 set 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 carryon 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.

3.1. 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:

(a)    “Foreign companies invited to Nigeria by or with the approval of the Federal Government of Nigeria to execute any specified individual project;

(b)   Foreign companies which are in Nigeria for the execution of a specific individual loan project on behalf of a donor country or international organization;

(c)    Foreign government-owned companies engaged solely in export promotion activities; and

(d)   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.

3.2. 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 in flowed from the foreign company. A representative office has to be registered with the CAC.




West Africa

Federal States

Nigeria is divided into 36 administrative division  (states) and one Federal Capital Territory.




923,768.64 Sq.Km


Over 140 million (National Census,2006)

Ethnic Groups

Over 250

Religious Groups

Islam, Christianity and Traditional Religion

National Day

October 1st

Official Language


Other major languages

Hausa, Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba

International Memberships

Including,amongst others, ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific states), AU (African Union), Commonwealth, ECOWAS.


Economic Community of West-African States (ECOWAS); International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD); International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); World Trade Organization (WTO)

Commercial Cities

Lagos,Kano,Port Harcourt, Warri,Kaduna,Onitcha,Ibadan,Aba,Maiduguri





Main Airports

Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano

Road Network

Over 194,200km

Inland Waterways


Rail Network


Principal Rivers

Niger and Benue


Naira(NGN) and Kobo(k): NGN1.00 = 100k


Mainly Forest and Savannah


Humid sub-tropical: with wet season from April to October and dry season from November to March.

Legal System

Based on English Common Law and Customary Law.

Measuring system

Metric System

Natural Resources

Petroleum, Tin, Columbite, Iron Ore, Coal, Limestone Lead Zinc, Natural Gas.

Cash Crops

Cocoa, Cassava, Ground nut, Kolanut, Palm Produce, Cashew Nut.

Major Industries

Crude Oil, Coal, Tin, Columbite, food processing, palm oil, peanut, textiles, cotton, rubber, wood, hide and skin, building materials, footwear, chemicals, printing, ceramic steel

Main Trading Partners

UK, US, China, Brazil and the Europen Union.