Nigeria, the toast of Nations.
Smooth transition from one civilian president to another, first in the history of the
country, a population of about 150 million people, an educated (and sophisticated) middle
class and abundant natural resources with oil and gas on top of the chart, Nigeria is
gradually emerging as the preferred business destination in sub Saharan Africa, and
would overtake South Africa shortly.
The Chinese National Oil Company, Petrobras, Korean and Singapore Oil companies
have in recent times joined the likes of Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, Totalelfina,
Amoco, and Halliburton etc in upstream and downstream oil and gas activities. The
Russians are asking themselves why it took them this long to enter the booming Nigerian
oil industry. Well, with the Asian Tigers here, the Russians may have to work a bit
MTN, a South African mobile phones company, Celtel, UAE owned, Glo, an indigenous
company amongst others are slugging it out in the competitive world of mobile
telephony. Visafone, the latest in the industry is already wooing Nigerians with juicy
offers. We have not seen anything yet; with Blackberry handsets, 3G technology and
internet ready, the best is yet to come. The companies are not complaining.
Oracle, IBM, SAP and People soft etc are well represented in the country. For example,
Oracle counts among its clients, the government, major corporations and banks using its
e-business suite. There is also the Oracle Treasury, a software aimed at modernising
accounting and related processes; a necessary tool in this era of greater transparency and
corporate governance. Very much in use in Nigeria! Microsoft is here. Bill Gates, once
the World’s richest man was here to have a personal experience. Indigenous companies
including Zinox and Omatek have become the toast of overseas companies as they sign
on technical and strategic alliances.
Internet service providers, MWEB and digital television channel, DSTV are some of the
many providers of related services with local presence, and include Dimension Data
International (Didata), South Africa’s largest technology firm. More Nigerians are
picking up subscriptions with Cable Television companies…they have to watch the
The country has also witnessed the arrival of the Brewery Giant, Heineken, Becks etc (to
join the likes of Guinness, Star), and enlarged activities by the British American Tobacco
Company even as students union officials in universities protest the increase in teenage
smoking. The Japanese Tobacco Company is taking a foothold despite the ban placed on
smoking in public places and advertising constraints.
JP Morgan, Citibank, State Bank of India, Standard Chartered Bank have shops in the
country, with numerous regional and global financial institutions such as Ecobank,
HSBC, Barclays, Stanbic having shareholding in consolidated banks. By the
consolidation, the banks now tow paths they feared to thread. The Nigerian Stock Market
has gained attention of top Exchanges such as the London and New York Exchanges.
With a trillion Naira traded on the floor of the Lagos Stock Exchange, you know why.
British Airways, Virgin Airlines, Lufthansa and all European Airlines, South African
Airlines, Emirate, Qatar etc have daily flights to Lagos, (increasingly becoming a hub to
W. African sub region) with many including BA, Air France and Lufthansa also
landing in Abuja, the Federal capital and Port Harcourt. Delta Airlines fly non stop from
Nigeria to the United States of America.
Marriot, Radisson, Meridien, Sheraton, Protea, Sofitel, Novotel, Hilton, Moorhouse etc
are here in Nigeria. They have positioned themselves to benefit from the dividends of the
arrival of business tourists and corporate travellers to the country. The hospitality
industry is booming. Professional Managers have taken over the running of hotels.
Steers, Chicken Republic have not only setup shops but have a wide branch network and
in competition with indigenous franchises such as Mr. Biggs, Tantalisers and Tastee
Fried Chicken. Countless number of Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Japanese, Indian and
Continental Restaurants dot the Nigerian cityscape. Shoprite, South African superstores is
a Mecca of some sort, thanks to the sprawling Palm Mall in which it is situated alongside
Game, yet another South African company, putting city favourites including Megaplaza,
Silverbird Galleria and City Mall on the defence.
Activities in property development are beehive as Developers accompany the penetration
of the Nigerian market by investors in the key sectors of the economy to provide decent
housing facilities for the arriving expatriates and their families.
The growing trend is the construction of residential houses with the trappings of comfort
in secured environments, an artful balance between captivating designs and everyday
practicality. The offerings include a combination of home types, landscaped gardens,
nicely paved roads, clinics, schools, shops, theatres, recreation grounds, back-up
electricity generating plants, 24 hour manned security and a courtesy shuttle bus service.
Finally, home financing and mortgage facilities are available as financial houses such as
Abbey Building Society Plc dangle carrots.
Pace of investment in residential lettings have picked up, encouraged by the liberalized
investment climate which offer tax breaks for foreign direct investment and facilitate
payments in stable major currencies.
Nigeria is surely a country whose time has come. Investors are guaranteed tax holidays,
incentives and concessions. Check out the website of the Nigerian Investment Promotion
Council (NIPC): www.nipc-nigeria.org
Are you interested in making big bucks? Ask MTN and Shoprite…a lot of them.
Get in touch with us for more information. Send email to email@example.com or
give him a shout on +234 80 2353 0007.