Population (2017): 190.6 million
GDP (2017): US$376.3 billion (S$508 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 145
Bilateral Trade with Singapore (2017): S$390.3 million
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is often called the Giant of Africa, due to its sizeable population and economy1.
The country overtook South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy in 2014, after rebasing its GDP calculation to more than S$688 billion.2 Nigeria saw real GDP growth of 0.8% in 2017, and bilateral trade with Singapore stands at S$390.3 million in the same year.
1: Nigeria: Giant of Africa, by Peter Holmes 1987
2: “Nigeria becomes Africa’s largest economy”, Aljazeera, 7 April 2014
Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, estimated at 190.6 million in 2017. This also makes it the seventh most populated country in the world. At the current average growth rate of 6.5% per year, Nigeria is likely to become the third most populous nation by 2050.3
Nigeria’s population is attractive to many businesses not just because of its size, but also due to its youth. Around 90 million Nigerians are under the age of 18, giving it the third-largest youth population after India and China.4 Singapore companies should take note of the country’s sizeable population and hence available labour force, in addition to its large consumer market.
3: “Nigeria ranks seventh most populous country in the world - NPC”, Punch, 11 April 2018
4: The CIA World Fact Book 2014. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. 2013.
Nigeria has 159 oil fields and 1,481 oil wells in operation. It is the largest producer of low-sulphur “sweet crude” in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), producing around 1.9 million barrels per day (with an estimated maximum capacity of 2.5 million barrels). It is the tenth most petroleum-rich nation by size of reserves, and 70% of Nigeria’s government revenue is derived from oil.5
Besides its significant oil resources, Nigeria’s other natural resources include coal, iron ore, lead, limestone, natural gas, niobium, tin, and zinc.6 Local availability makes these cheaper in Nigeria, and an attractive prospect for relevant manufacturers.
Nonetheless, agriculture rather than oil is the base of Nigeria’s economy. 60% of its workforce is employed in this sector, and the country has 84 million hectares of arable land, of which only 40% is utilised.7
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world, accounting for around 20% of global production8. The country has significant agricultural resources, many of which remain untapped. These include cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa beans, cotton, palm oil, rubber, and soybeans.9 Singapore companies in the agricultural or logistics industry can find opportunities for business here.
6: “Nigeria Facts and figures”, OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin 2018
7: “Opportunity for Agriculture in Nigeria”, Agriculture Nigeria
8: “Nigeria at a glance”, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
9: “Nigeria’s untapped vast agricultural resources”, Agronews, 17 March 2016
When Nigeria ranked 145th in ease of doing business in 2017, it was a jump of 24 places, up from 169th in 2016. Nigeria has reduced the role of government bureaucracy in business, and starting a company is now faster due to digitalisation. Nigeria has also increased the transparency of construction permits, by publishing regulations, fee schedules, and pre-application requirements online.10
The government is also taking steps to remove bottlenecks for businesses as it aims to be among the top 100 business-friendly countries by 2019.11 Singapore businesses and investors will find Nigeria to be increasingly accessible, as the government cultivates its pro-business and investment position.
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10: “Improving Nigeria’s Business environment to enhance economic growth”, Proshare Business, 2 March 2018
11: “Nigeria’ll be among top business-friendly countries in 2019 - Buhari”, Punch, 28 August 2016