Smooth transition from one civilian president to another, first in the history of the country, a population of about 150 million people, an educated (and sophisticated) middle class and abundant natural resources with oil and gas on top of the chart, Nigeria is gradually emerging as the preferred business destination in sub Saharan Africa, and would overtake South Africa shortly.
The Chinese National Oil Company, Petrobras, Korean and Singapore Oil companies have in recent times joined the likes of Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, Totalelfina, Amoco, and Halliburton etc in upstream and downstream oil and gas activities. The Russians are asking themselves why it took them this long to enter the booming Nigerian oil industry. Well, with the Asian Tigers here, the Russians may have to work a bit harder.
MTN, a South African mobile phones company, Celtel, UAE owned, Glo, an indigenous company amongst others are slugging it out in the competitive world of mobile telephony. Visafone, the latest in the industry is already wooing Nigerians with juicy offers. We have not seen anything yet; with Blackberry handsets, 3G technology and internet ready, the best is yet to come. The companies are not complaining.
Oracle, IBM, SAP and People soft etc are well represented in the country. For example, Oracle counts among its clients, the government, major corporations and banks using its e-business suite. There is also the Oracle Treasury, a software aimed at modernising accounting and related processes; a necessary tool in this era of greater transparency and corporate governance. Very much in use in Nigeria! Microsoft is here. Bill Gates, once the World’s richest man was here to have a personal experience. Indigenous companies including Zinox and Omatek have become the toast of overseas companies as they sign on technical and strategic alliances.
Internet service providers, MWEB and digital television channel, DSTV are some of the many providers of related services with local presence, and include Dimension Data International (Didata), South Africa’s largest technology firm. More Nigerians are picking up subscriptions with Cable Television companies…they have to watch the premier leagues!
The country has also witnessed the arrival of the Brewery Giant, Heineken, Becks etc (to join the likes of Guinness, Star), and enlarged activities by the British American Tobacco Company even as students union officials in universities protest the increase in teenage smoking. The Japanese Tobacco Company is taking a foothold despite the ban placed on smoking in public places and advertising constraints.
JP Morgan, Citibank, State Bank of India, Standard Chartered Bank have shops in the country, with numerous regional and global financial institutions such as Ecobank, HSBC, Barclays, Stanbic having shareholding in consolidated banks. By the consolidation, the banks now tow paths they feared to thread. The Nigerian Stock Market has gained attention of top Exchanges such as the London and New York Exchanges. With a trillion Naira traded on the floor of the Lagos Stock Exchange, you know why.
British Airways, Virgin Airlines, Lufthansa and all European Airlines, South African Airlines, Emirate, Qatar etc have daily flights to Lagos, (increasingly becoming a hub to W. African sub region) with many including BA, Air France and Lufthansa also landing in Abuja, the Federal capital and Port Harcourt. Delta Airlines fly non stop from Nigeria to the United States of America.
Marriot, Radisson, Meridien, Sheraton, Protea, Sofitel, Novotel, Hilton, Moorhouse etc are here in Nigeria. They have positioned themselves to benefit from the dividends of the arrival of business tourists and corporate travellers to the country. The hospitality industry is booming. Professional Managers have taken over the running of hotels. Steers, Chicken Republic have not only setup shops but have a wide branch network and in competition with indigenous franchises such as Mr. Biggs, Tantalisers and Tastee Fried Chicken. Countless number of Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Japanese, Indian and Continental Restaurants dot the Nigerian cityscape. Shoprite, South African superstores is a Mecca of some sort, thanks to the sprawling Palm Mall in which it is situated alongside Game, yet another South African company, putting city favourites including Megaplaza, Silverbird Galleria and City Mall on the defence.
Activities in property development are beehive as Developers accompany the penetration of the Nigerian market by investors in the key sectors of the economy to provide decent housing facilities for the arriving expatriates and their families. The growing trend is the construction of residential houses with the trappings of comfort in secured environments, an artful balance between captivating designs and everyday practicality.
The offerings include a combination of home types, landscaped gardens, nicely paved roads, clinics, schools, shops, theatres, recreation grounds, back-up electricity generating plants, 24 hour manned security and a courtesy shuttle bus service. Finally, home financing and mortgage facilities are available as financial houses such as Abbey Building Society Plc dangle carrots. Pace of investment in residential lettings have picked up, encouraged by the liberalized investment climate which offer tax breaks for foreign direct investment and facilitate payments in stable major currencies.
Nigeria is surely a country whose time has come. Investors are guaranteed tax holidays, incentives and concessions. Check out the website of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC): www.nipc-nigeria.org
Are you interested in making big bucks? Ask MTN and Shoprite…a lot of them. Get in touch with us for more information. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a shout on
+234 80 2353 0007. You may visit our website: www.ibgnigeria.com.