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— Nigeria: Africa’s Foremost Economic Powerhouse — 

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Nigeria: Africa’s Foremost Economic Powerhouse

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 to the northeast, and Cameroon in the east, Niger in the north, and borders the Gulf of Guinea/Atlantic Ocean in the south. Since 1991, Nigeria’s capital has been located in the city of Abuja; previously, the Nigerian government was headquartered in Lagos.

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, deltas and creeks of the Niger Delta.

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 BCE and the 2nd millennium CE.

However, the Nigerian state came into being on October 1, 1960 when Nigeria declared its independence from the British. Nigeria presently consists of 36 states and the federal capital territory.

Nigeria regained democracy in 1999, and today Nigeria continues to be a democratic country with tremendous market and investment opportunities for twenty continuous years.

Nigeria’s Economy: Nigeria has Africa’s largest economy with Nominal GDP in excess of US$411 billion, and Per Capita GDP at US$5,400. Nigeria is Africa’s foremost business destination. Its currency, the Naira, exchanged $1.00 with N365 unofficially, and N 306 officially. The country operates a market economy dominated by crude oil exports with the revenue earnings from the sector accounting for about 90% of foreign exchange earnings and 65% of budgetary revenues. Other exports are agricultural crops, including rice, cocoa, palm oil, groundnuts, cotton, timber and rubber. Nigeria’s imports are in excess of US$36.5 billion to US$62.5 billion of exports.

Nigeria’s Economic Advantages
Nigeria has the following values and advantages that make it an international investment of choice in Africa and global emerging markets.

  1. Abundant Resources: Nigeria has enormous resources, most of which are yet to be fully exploited. They include mineral, agricultural and human resources.
  2. Large Market: Nigeria offers the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of over 201 million people (UN 2019), with a huge youth population. The Nigerian market potential also stretches into the growing West and East African sub-regions.
  3. Political Stability: Nigeria continues to offer a stable political environment for twenty uninterrupted years, since 1999.
  4. 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 programs that guarantee a free market economy.
  5. Robust Private Sector: The country has a huge, dynamic and internationally relevant private sector, which has assured greater responsibilities under the new economic environment.
  6. 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.
  7. Fast Growing Financial Sector: There is well-developed, globally renowned banking and financial sector. The investor has easy access to working capital and other credit facilities. Some Nigerian banks have branches in South Africa, several West and East African countries, China, United Kingdom and United States, among others.
  8. Skilled and Low-Cost Labor: There is an abundance of skilled labor at an economic cost, resulting in production costs, which are among the lowest in Africa.
  9. Infrastructure: There is rapid development of physical and industrial infrastructure, in terms of transportation, communications, electricity and water supply.

Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector
The Nigeria’s real estate sector is the fifth largest contributor to the Nigerian economy and a potential goldmine for investors. Nigerian real estate has grown since the emergence of online real estate sites in the late 2000s.

The sector has grown more in states experiencing a high rate of urbanization. With the country’s 4.3% increase in yearly urbanization concentrated in only a few states of the country.

The most performing areas of the Nigerian real estate sector include Lagos and Abuja, certain areas in Ogun state, Port-Harcourt (Rivers state) and Ibadan (Oyo state). Lagos is the most active state in the Nigerian real estate sector, and maintains the most listings and leads across all major real estate platforms. This was largely due to the high level of urbanization in the state.

Ikoyi has the most expensive properties in Lagos for both sales and rent. For sales, the average cost of a three- to five-bedroom house is as high as N308,000,000 or close to US$1.0m, while the lowest priced properties in Lagos are situated in the Alimosho axis with three- to five-bedroom houses going for N28,000,000 or about US$92,000 on average.

Nigeria Housing Deficit
According to the Federal Mortgage Bank, Nigeria housing deficit is estimated at between 17 million to 20 million units. There is an annual increase of about 900,000 units across the country. It is further estimated that N6.0 trillion or US$16 billion as potential cost of bridging this huge housing deficit.