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Lagos

Overview

Lagos is the largest city in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and is situated in the south west of the country, on the Atlantic coast of the Gulf of Guinea.

According to official statistics Lagos covers a total area of 99.6 square kilometres and with a population of 7,937,932 (census data 2006), making it the most populous city in Nigeria and the second most populous city in Africa after Cairo. The city has a population density of 7,941/km2 and is widely regarded as the fastest growing cities in the world.

Formally a British colony and the capital of Nigeria, Lagos lost its status to Abuja in 1991 when the Federal Capital Territory was established. Having developed into a sprawling and cosmopolitan metropolis the city still retains its place as the economic and financial powerhouse of Nigeria, with much of the nation’s wealth concentrated here. The city also enjoys one of the highest standards of living versus other Nigerian cities, with residents having greater access to fresh water, food and modern technology.

Lagos is no longer a municipality and thus has no separate city administration. The city is located in the boundaries of Lagos State, Nigeria’s smallest state and the Lagos State government is responsible for managing various utilities such as roads, transportation, power, water, education and health.

The official currency of Nigeria is the Naira (NGN)

Economy

Nigeria’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. The country is best known as a major exporter of crude oil, producing around 3.3% of the world’s supply.

According to government statistics, Lagos’s GDP reached N3.68 trillion in 2007, making it the largest contributer to Nigeria’s national GDP and ranking it sixth in terms of GDP among African cities.

Originally a small fishing port, the thriving metropolis is estimated to be home to some 2000 industries including the majority of Nigerian financial institutions and headquarters of international businesses. More than half of Nigeria’s manufacturing industry is estimated to be located in the city’s mainland suburbs, producing a range of goods such as electronic equipment, motor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, beverages, processed food and textiles.

Lagos enjoys a flourishing agricultural sector which has been subject to significant government investment over recent years. The sector produces a range of goods such tapioca, corn, millet, palm oil, peanuts, rice, rubber, poultry and livestock.

Lagos is also home to the Nigerian Stock Exchange which was established in 1960 and today has around 283 listed companies and a total market capitalisation of around $125 billion (2007 estimate).

Another notable industry based in the city is the Nigerian film industry (known as “Nollywood’) which has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s largest alongside that of the US and India.

Infrastructure

Nigeria has a fairly extensive infrastructure, which consists of roads, railways, airports, ports and communications network. Lagos has one of the largest and most extensive road networks in West Africa. The city is linked to other major conurbations in the country by a number of motorways including the Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Abeokuta and Lagos-Badagry expressways. As an important commercial centre, Lagos also connects to the Trans African Highway that link the city to destinations as far a field as Dakar and Algiers.

Railways are operated by Nigerian railways Corporation and a major line that runs from Lagos to Benin. The government has implemented plans (developed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority) to build two further rail lines in the city to help ease travel and congestion. The two lines are projected to carry more than 1.6 million passengers daily.

The city has also implemented a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System), the first phase of which was completed in February 2008.

Lagos’s largest and busiest airport is Murtala Muhammad International which is located in Ikeja. The airport is the main airport for not only the city, but also the entire nation serving as a hub for international airlines and transporting an estimated 5,644,572 passengers in 2009.

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.

Workforce

CIA Statistics in 2009 estimated Nigeria’s labour force at 48.33 million and as the country’s largest and most populated city Lagos enjoys the largest concentration of skilled workers. Employment is spread across a number of service industries (including banking and finance, real estate, transport, construction, retail and communications), manufacturing industries and agriculture.

The labour force is comprised of numerous ethnic groups, primarily Hausa and Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo and Ijaw. The official language is English although Huasa, Yoruba, Igbo and Fulani are also widely spoken.

Lagos is home to a number of state owned and private elementary and secondary schools. 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 attend one of the city’s many universities and polytechnic colleges.

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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