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Nigeria (officially known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria) is situated in West Africa. The country lies on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, bordered by Niger in the north, Chad and Cameroon in the east and Benin in the west. The federal capital city of Nigeria is Abuja, although its largest city is Lagos.

According to the CIA Factbook, Nigeria covers a total area of 923,768 km2 and with a population of 152,217,341 (July 2010 CIA Factbook) is the most populous country in Africa. The country has a population density of 164.8/km2, ranking it 71st versus other countries across the globe.

Nigeria gained it’s independence from the United Kingdom on October 1st 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, the country adopted a new constitution in 1999 and the transition to a civilian government was completed.

Nigeria today is a Federal Republic with thirty six states or administrative divisions. Executive power is exercised by the president who presides as both Head of State and head of the national executive and is elected by popular vote every four years. The current president is Goodluck Jonathan who was elected to office in 2010.

The official currency of Nigeria is the Naira (NGN)

Nigeria participates in a number of international organisations including the United Nations, UNESCO, IMF, WHO and WTO.


The CIA estimated Nigeria’s GDP in 2010 at $206.7 billion and a GDP (PPP) $369.8 billion. GDP per capita stood at $2,400 in the same year.

Although an oil rich nation (oil provides around 20% of national GDP), Nigeria’s economic growth has in the past been hampered by political instability, weak infrastructure and mismanagement. In the past decade the country has pursued a number of reforms such as modernizing its banking system and curbing inflation, which have enabled it to begin to fulfil its economic potential.

According to CIA statistics in 2009, the country’s economy is driven by it’s services, industry and services sector that generate 35.2%, 32.9% and 31.9% (respectively) of national GDP. Nigeria is best known as a major exporter of crude oil, producing around 3.3% of the world’s supply. Other main industries include, coal, tin, columbite, rubber products, wood, hide and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics and steel.

The country’s thriving agricultural sector (which is the largest in Africa in terms of farm output) produces tapioca, corn, millet, palm oil, peanuts, rice, rubber, poultry and livestock.

Nigeria’s commodities (primarily petroleum, cocoa and rubber) are exported primarily to the USA 35%, India 10%, Brazil 9% Spain 7% and France 5%.

Nigeria also imports a number of products, primarily machinery and equipment, chemicals, manufactured goods, food and live animals with 15% coming from China, 8% Netherlands, 5% South Korea, 5% UK and 4% France.


Nigeria has a fairly extensive infrastructure, which consists of roads, railways, airports, ports and communications network. The country is connected by a large road system that stretches 193,200 kilometres, 28,980 kilometres of which are paved. Work carried out by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency to rehabilitate and upgrade the vast network is still underway.

The CIA Factbook estimates that the railways throughout the country consist of 3,505 kilometres of primarily standard gauge track. Railways are operated by Nigerian railways Corporation and consist of two major lines that run from Lagos to Benin and Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. The railway network, like the road system is undergoing a series of upgrades and in 2010 plans were approved for a metro system to be constructed in Lagos.

The CIA Factbook estimated that in 2010 Nigeria had 54 operational airports, 38 of them with paved runways. The two principle airports are Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos and Mallam Aminu International in the northern state of Kano. Murtala Muhammad Airport is the busiest, operating flights to and from major cities across the globe. Official statistics estimated that in 2009 that the airport moved 5,644,572 passengers.

The Nigerian Ports Authority is responsible for managing the country’s ports, the largest of which is the Port of Lagos which handles around 5.75 million tons of cargo each year.


CIA Statistics in 2009 estimated Nigeria’s labour force at 48.33 million. 70% of the labour force work in agricultural sector producing tapioca, corn, millet, palm oil, peanuts, rice, rubber, poultry and livestock. Latest data released in 1999 estimated that 20% work in the services sector, whilst only 10% are employed by the industrial sector.

The population of Nigeria is comprised of over 250 ethnic groups, primarily Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5% and Tiv 2.5%. The official language is English although Huasa, Yoruba, Igbo and Fulani are also widely spoken.

Latest data available (from 1991) estimated that Nigeria dedicated 1% of public expenditure to its education system. According to law, school attendance is compulsory for nine years and commences in primary school when children are 6 years old. Secondary schools are divided into two levels, junior and secondary and upon completion students can opt to enter higher education that consists of universities and polytechnic colleges. Overall the literacy rate is 68%, higher for males (75.7%) than females (60.6%).

Nigeria’s Finance Minister in 2010 announced that unemployment in the country stood at 19.7%.

Business Costs

Nigeria’s individual income tax follows a progressive system from 0%-25%.
Social Security due by employee is levied at a rate of at least 15%, 7.5% of which is paid by the employer and 7.5% is paid by the employee.

Nigerian companies are taxed on worldwide income, while companies registered in a foreign jurisdiction with a fixed base of PE are taxed only on Nigerian source income. Corporate tax (for non oil and gas companies) is set at a flat rate of 30%. Capital gains and dividends tax stands at 10%.

The standard VAT rate in Nigeria is 5% and is payable on taxable supplies of goods and services, including imports. Exempt goods and services include basic foodstuffs, medicines, medical devices and services and exported goods and services.

In 2010 Nigeria set a minimum wage of N18,000 per month for adults engaged in full time work.
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