Top 6 states in Nigeria to do Business in 2018

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Top 6 states in Nigeria to do Business in 2018

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with about 200 million populations; as a country blessed with milk and honey, but there are places that business may not thrive well in. This is because of the fact that there may be factors working against the success of the particular business in question.

There are also places in Nigeria where business thrives more and that is the purpose of this article. The top six states in Nigeria to do business are listed below:

  • Kano state
  • Lagos State
  • Rivers state
  • Oyo State
  • Abia State
  • Anambra state

When looking to start a business in Nigeria, a whole lot has to be looked at from the economic point of view. Some of the factors in consideration include the following; Human Capacity Building and Job creation, Social policies and corporate social responsibility initiative.

We considered the following in coming up with the above list:

  • The target market
  • Complex Tax system
  • Legal complexities of international business
  • Foreign exchange Barriers
  • Difference in Marketing Styles
  • Starting a Business in Nigeria without Capital – Legal Aspect

Now let us consider each of the five states to see why they are most viable to do business in Nigeria.

Kano state

The demography, accessibility, availability of raw materials for industrial production and historical relevance of Kano State makes it one of the best places to do business in Nigeria.

The state has the second largest population of 13,076,892 as estimated by the National Population Commission  with a young, agile and sustainable work force with 50 per cent  of the population between 15 years and 64 years, and 47 per cent under 15 years.

According to the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, the state hosts about 400 to 500 manufacturing enterprises. It says the leading sub-sectors are leather tanning, seed processing, rice milling and animal feed production.

Moreover, the NIPC notes that Kano is the financial centre of the northern Nigeria with all 22 banks operating in Nigeria having offices in the state, including the first Islamic bank, Jaiz bank.

Accessibility to other states and other countries is made possible with the presence of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in the state. This airport also has a Free Trade Zone located behind it, making exportation of Nigerian products possible.

Historically known to generate most of its revenue from groundnut, Kano State is still a major producer of hide and skin, sesame, soybean, cotton, garlic, gum Arabic and chilli pepper.

Lagos state

Known as the fifth largest economy in Africa, 90 per cent of corporations have their headquarters in Lagos State; 60 per cent of Nigeria’s industrial investments come into Lagos; and three out of every five people are knowledgeable in the use of the Internet in the state.

According to the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment, the Gross Domestic Product Lagos is estimated to be $136.6bn, contributing 25 per cent to the GDP of Nigeria as of August 2015.

Over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s industrial capacity is located in Lagos, with a variety of manufactured goods being produced in the city, including electronic equipment, machinery, foodstuffs, beverages and chemicals.

It states that some of the strong points of the states are availability of cheap and highly skilled labour; stable political environment; safe and efficient banking network; high population of high and middle income earners; access to local and international market; and changing consumer patterns.

Lagos Global says the state generates the largest amount of waste in the country, which is about 11,000 metric tonnes daily, adding that 60 per cent of the waste Lagos remains uncollected and is estimated to provide 500,000 jobs.

It adds, “Lagos is the premium destination to experience entertainment in Nigeria with ample opportunities for investment. The Nigerian music industry is the most dominant in Africa with most of the key performers based in Lagos. The e-commerce industry is the next frontier for the emerging markets; it is an unstoppable evolution.

“Consumer online expenditure is projected to be $297m by 2018; which would be twice its current size. Wholesale and retail is one out of the seven sectors that emerged as a major driver of Lagos economy, contributing over eight per cent to its GDP. Consumer spending is projected to exceed $45.6bn by 2030.”

Rivers state

Rivers  State, with an estimated population of 7,303,924, is second to Lagos in respect of industrial development.

This is because of the natural resource endowment in the state which includes different agricultural and industrial mineral products, from which raw materials can be sourced for the establishment of low, medium and large scale industries.

Available raw materials for agro-allied industries are rubber, oil palm, palm kernel, cassava, vegetables, rubber, timber, rope, etc. Raw materials for medium to large-scale industries include petrochemicals – carbon black and polypropylene, and petroleum n gas, natural gas, bitumen, and a host of others.

Oyo State

The high population, rich agricultural and mineral resources, presence of many first monument in the whole country and Africa, make Oyo State a preferred business destination.

The state boasts of the first skyscraper in Africa; the first university in the country; first industrial estate in Nigeria; the first stadium in Africa; the first television station in Africa; first university colleges in Africa; among others, making it a tourist site.

According to information on Oyo State’s website, there are opportunities for food and beverage factories, garment manufacturing, and leather products due to the abundance of agricultural raw materials in the state.

Due to abundance of rain forests in the state, establishment of forest -based manufacturing businesses; furniture and wood products; business paper, carton and allied products; personal and homecare products thrives there.

It adds that local assembly manufacturing of cars and buses, as part of the new automotive policy, is another business opportunity.

Abia State

Abia state occupies approximately 5,834 square kilometers and is bounded on the north and northeast by states Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi. They are also surrounded by cross river state and Akwa Ibom. Abia since its inception as a state has been known to be a peace loving enclave. Its people are known as peace ambassadors and it is no wonder that Abia state has been nicknames ‘God’s own state’.

The land is blessed with different mineral resources, amongst which is the crude oil. It is also known that the people of Abia are very hardworking people, hence they engage is several businesses. This is no wonder that the commercial nerve centre of the state is known as Aba. In addition to all these, it can be said that those who reside in it are industrious people.

Anambra state

The people of Anambra state are predominantly Igbos of about ninety eight percent, and then a minute two percent of people who are the Igalas. It happens to be the eight most populated state in Nigeria and is blessed with natural resources as Ceramic, natural gas, bauxite, crude oil, and a hundred percent arable soil.

It has other resources through which revenue is generated. They include; fishery, animal husbandry, farming, pasteurizing, and a host of others.


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