Doing Business in Nigeria: Know Before You Go!

Nigeria is a republic in western Africa, with a coast along the Atlantic Ocean on the Gulf of Guinea. Most of Nigeria consists of a low plateau cut by rivers, especially the Niger and its largest tributary, the Benue. The country takes its name from its chief river. Until 1991, the capital was the largest city, Lagos, on the southwestern coast; at that time, the city of Abuja, in the country’s interior, became capital.

Rich in human and natural resources, including oil and gas, Nigeria is by far the most populated of Africa’s countries, with more than one-seventh of the continent’s people. The people belong to many different ethnic groups. These groups give the country a rich culture.

Nigeria has a federal form of government and is divided into 36 states and a federal capital territory. The country’s official name is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Lagos, along the coast, is the largest city and the country’s economic and cultural center, but Abuja, a city in the interior planned and built during the 1970s and 1980s, is the capital. The government moved from Lagos to Abuja in 1991 in the hope of creating a national capital where none of the country’s ethnic groups would be dominant.

Gross domestic product (GDP in U.S.$): $72 billion (2004)
GDP per capita (U.S.$): $560 (2004)

Monetary unit
1 naira (N), consisting of 100 kobo

Number of workers
46,716,497 (2004)
Unemployment rate

3.2 percent (1997) Source: Microsoft Encarta 2007

Before embarking on a business trip to Nigeria like any other country, it is advisable to get your acts together.

Firstly, it is better for you to understand your business plans as it pertains to Nigerian laws. If it is going to be a JV, get your attorneys or lawyers to agree on clauses that may interface each other in the papework intended for the venture, especially business plans and JV agreements.

There are genuine ways of getting information on the requirements of doing business in Africa’s largest market. Please note here that we are not talking about Advance fee business. That is for the greedy foreign investor who falls for his own greed in disguise: These frauds take the form of an offer, via letter, e-mail or fax, to share a huge sum of money in return for using the recipient’s bank account to transfer of the money out of the country. The perpetrators will often then use the bank account details to empty their victim’s bank account. Alternatively, they can convince the victim that money is needed up front. They will often say this money is necessary to bribe officials.

The Nigerian Authorities have available legal frameworks set up to assist prospective investors on doing business stresslessly in the country. There is no need to get in through the window when the door is wide open.

SERVICES FEES * (see Note at end of Table)

REGISTRATION OF COMPANIES UNDER PART A OF CAMA

PRIVATE COMPANIES
Registration of Private Company with share capital not exceeding =N=1 million
=N=10,000.00

Registration of Private Company with share capital exceeding =N=1 million but less than =N=2 million =N=20,000.00

Registration of Private Company with share capital above =N=2 million
Add =N=10,000.00for every =N=1 million or part thereof.

PUBLIC COMPANIES
Registration of Public Company with share capital not exceeding =N=1 million
=N=20,000.00

Registration of Public Company with share capital exceeding =N=1 million but less than =N=2 million =N=30,000.00

Registration of Private Company with share capital above =N=2 million Add =N=20,000.00
for every =N=1 million or part thereof.

COMPANY HAVING NO SHARE CAPITAL
Registration of Company with no share capital
=N=20,000.00

SAME DAY INCORPORATION
Same Day Incorporation (excluding filing fees)
=N=50,000.00

FORMS
A set of Company Incorporation Forms
=N=500.00

Availability of Name Form
=N=200.00

Single Form (e.g. CO2, CO6, CO7, etc)
=N=100.00
POST INCORPORATION FEES ***************** Business Names Fees ************* Incorporated Trustees

*Note: In all cases of registration there is an additional =N=7,000 charge for Certified True Copies of some relevant documents.

For more information: http://www.cac.gov.ng/

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