Nigeria is home to over 200 million people, and is the most populous nation in Africa and third in the world. It has also been discovered that almost 70% of the total Nigerian population are youths below the age of 40, which has made the Nigerian economy the most versatile and robust economy in Africa.
This article will guide you on specific money-making and lucrative business ideas to start now in Nigeria.
Why You Should Start a Business In Nigeria.
Most people are afraid to start a business in Nigeria for fear of the unknown; an important question that they often ask is, Who will buy my products? I don’t have money to start a business and so on.
This is a normal thing to say, but let me say that any business you decide to start is yours yourself, and nothing can ever take it from you; it is better to own a business than to mind someone’s business. Therefore, here are very few reasons you should start a business here in Nigeria.
1. Nigeria is a huge market.
Nigeria has the largest market in Africa with a population of over 200 million. It is one of Africa’s key oil producers, producing high-value crude oil which consists of its export.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest ICT market, accounting for 29% of internet usage in Africa. In May 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission reported that Nigeria had more than 160 million active mobile telecom subscribers of GSM.
Fibre optic expansion is currently taking place in Lagos and Abuja, this has made Nigeria the largest service sector in Africa.
2. Nigeria has an untapped agricultural sector.
Nigeria’s agricultural sector employs nearly 70% of the population and comprises nearly 22% of GDP. Nigeria possesses an abundance of arable land and a favourable climate for the production of nuts, fruits, tubers, and grains.
With over 1 million SQ KM of land, most farming in Nigeria is subsistence-based, utilizing manual labour and relatively little agricultural machinery.
Nigeria continues to maintain import restrictions on several agricultural products, including poultry, beef, pork, and rice, this is to enable its production in the downstream economy.
3. Nigeria has a youthful Population
Nigeria, is the most populous black nation, with an annual population growth of 2.61 per cent. Currently, over 33.6 million (16.8 per cent) Nigerians are regarded as youths (aged between 15 and 35).
However, according to statistics, about 43.69 per cent of Nigeria’s total population were aged 0 to 14 in 2019. This means that in the nearest future, the youth will increasingly form the bulk of the country’s population as children grow older into young adults.
4. You have enough time for yourself.
One thing about working in Nigeria is that everything that makes you is taken from you, including your time.
Time is very precious, and it can never be recovered when it is taken from you; even if you enter fry fasting and prayers, it is gone forever.
You have to be very smart to plan your time carefully and not be carried away. Lead nations like the United States pay people wages based on their time, but here in Nigeria, labour is abused; a black man wants to take everything from you to run their business.
5. Nigeria offers attractive incentives.
The Nigerian government has put in place a comprehensive package of investment incentives to stimulate private sector investment from within and outside the country, unlike any African country.
There are a lot of these incentives, but one among them is the Companies Income Tax Act which has been amended to encourage potential and existing investors and entrepreneurs.
Pioneer status gives industries a five-year tax holiday, and tax relief is provided for research and development.
6. The state of Nigerian infrastructure is improving drastically.
Nigeria become the only country in West Africa with the longest standard rail gauge, behind the likes of South Africa and Egypt to do so.
Nigeria is rapidly developing its physical and industrial infrastructure, in terms of transportation, communications, electricity and water supply.
Extensive road repairs and new construction activities are gradually being implemented as state governments, in particular, spend their portions of enhanced government revenue allocations.
7. Nigeria is a future economic power.
Nigeria with a huge populous, huge and young labour force has made it one of the most futuristic economic power when it comes to the African economy.
In 2005, Goldman Sachs identified Nigeria as one of its N11 countries, states with a high potential of becoming, along with the BRICS, the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.
8. Nigeria has a strong Banking and Financial sector.
When you hear of fintech in Africa, one thing country in Africa comes to your mind and that is Nigeria.
In 2009, Nigeria took significant steps to strengthen the banking sector. These reforms came on top of a major banking overhaul in 2006 that reduced the number of banks and increased a bank’s minimal capital requirement.
Since 1999, the Nigerian Stock Exchange has enjoyed a strong performance because of its major banking reforms.
9. Nigeria has huge resources.
Nigeria has one of the highest gas reserves in the world, most of which are yet to be fully exploited.
Mineral resources include coal, tin, iron ore and others. Agricultural products include, among others, groundnuts, palm oil, cocoa and coconut.
Nigeria also has a booming leather and textile industry and is one of the largest oil producers on the continent creating huge inflows of foreign investment.
Some of it is used in producing high-quality brands such as Versace and many others.
Most Lucrative Business In Nigeria
Nigeria as a country has a GDP of over $540 Billion with a population of more than 250 million, with a GDP per capita of more than $2,600.
If you ask me, this is quite low, but something can be done within this range, even though it’s not going to be western standard priced goods and services.
Here are some business ideas that can be kickstarted in the Nigerian economy and will bring your profit, let’s go.
1. Start a co-working space.
Coworking is a term used to describe a working arrangement in which people from different teams and companies come together to work in a single shared space.
Nigeria is a huge economy with more than 250 million people seeking to live in it, with a limited amount of central business districts its normal for young and emerging entrepreneurs to need working spaces
Moreover, the huge tech boom is making the service industry huge in Nigeria, hence the demand for clean and serene working space.
Co-working spaces can be anywhere across the country, most prefer Lagos or Abuja, because they are the major commercial capital in the state, and they are largely populated, however, you can decide to move this business to emerge cities outside of this location to cut down costs of starting such business.
2. Start a Barbing Saloon.
A barber cuts, shaves, grooms, and styles hair. This job is not just limited to males as women have become interested in this line of work.
In Nigeria, a barbing salon is a place people, especially men visit to get a haircut; other services may include hair treatment, dying of hair, dreading and other beauty-related services.
Nigeria with more than 100 Million of its population who are men requires the service of a barber more than any African country.
Among the most popular and profitable business ideas in Nigeria, today is a barbing salon.
It is one of the answers to our looking smart and sharp each time we leave our home to engage in our various daily activities.
It is important to note that barbing salon business can be very lucrative, especially when it is properly managed. And interestingly, it cost very little to keep the business running.
If a barber charges $5 per haircut and gets 10 customers daily, that will be more than $1.5K in monthly revenue, if he works daily, which is not bad for someone starting a business online
3. Nanny Business.
Nigeria as a country has one of the highest birth rates in the world, with more than 11,000 newborns in its population every day! Assuming their parents will be able to afford daycare services; this large population of newborns creates an amazing demand for this service.
Most Nigerian women are now working at paid jobs or running their small businesses which require them to be out of their homes for a specific period unlike before.
Because of this, there is a growing opportunity for convenience services like daycare centre businesses or as otherwise known in the modern age Crèche.
More middle-class families can now afford these services and appreciate the value it brings to their children’s early mental, and emotional development and their comfort. These help to reduce the burden on the busy and complex lives of growing families in the cities.
4. Start a Fast Food Business.
Nigeria is largely populated with a huge middle class who hardly have enough time to prepare quality meals for themselves.
Get as much information about the industry and food culture of the area you wish to start the business in as possible. Knowing only may not be enough but coupled with great use it becomes an arsenal.
In the case of Nigeria which has a multiplicity of ethnic groups, you need to first familiarize yourself with the popular dishes in the whole country then zero in on the area you want to start the business.
You can start a fast food business to address this and make quality food accessible to people in this category.
However, A hard reality is that many restaurants fail during their first year, frequently due to a lack of planning.
But that doesn’t mean your food-service business has to be an extremely complex operation. The more streamlined you can make it, the better your chances for success.
To make things more interesting, you can introduce online platforms to help customers place and manage orders easily.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can develop a functional website on your own without any hassle. Check out the link to the article to learn more.
You also need an effective marketing strategy to take this business to the next level, this is why I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to scale your business using social media. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.
Note: Ths kind of business is likely to flourish in busy parts the Nigeria where we have lots of central business districts, and if you are familiar with Nigeria, only two places fit this description Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
5 Start a Tech hub.
Nigeria has a huge startup scene, preferably the biggest on the continent. There are people with more computers in Nigeria than in any country in Africa.
Entrepreneurs who want to enter a given tech space should search for cities with momentum in that field.
When it comes to Nigeria, there is no other place than Lagos. Every hour, 77 people move to Lagos from other parts of Nigeria.
Everything happens in Lagos. It’s the cultural and commercial centre of Nigeria, home to the country’s oldest bank and its largest independent film studio. And it’s the hub for the country’s fastest-growing sector: technology.
Lagos is home to Jumia, the continent’s largest e-commerce company and most of Africa’s prominent startups.
Tech startups in Lagos are international in scope, with access to local funding through a growing venture capital network and a much larger pot of funds available through foreign VCs.
The growth of the tech sector in Lagos almost feels inevitable, a natural extension of just how much the city draws everything into its orbit.
The centralized nature of the city has spurred innovation, even as entrepreneurs now bemoan just how concentrated Lagos is.
6. Start an Event Center.
With over 250 million people living in Nigeria, one thing you should expect is a business city filled with thousands of events from entertainment, political, cultural and many other events.
A venue rental business, like all businesses, requires determination. It’s not enough to simply own a building — you’ll have to keep up with accounting and permits, do your marketing, and stay on top of customer service.
This business remains one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria. According to Oxford Economics, the event planning industry generates $325 billion in direct spending and $845 billion in business sales globally.
The next tip is to know what kind of venue you want to create. It sounds obvious, but many proprietors of mixed-use venues don’t have a realistic picture of where their monthly income will come from.
This can be problematic from the start, as it can make designing, upgrading, and even marketing your venue more complex than necessary.
To home in on the type of venue you want to create, consider what type of crowd you want to cater to and the type of events you wish to host.
Finally, you need to seek out a location that is viable enough to start up an event centre, and if you ask me, the capital of any city is more than enough for you. Just choose any state in Nigeria and aim for their respective capitals, and you would be just fine.
7. Become an Uber/Bolt Driver.
According to Uber, some 3.9 million people work as drivers in 63 different countries, completing roughly 14 million trips every day.
Those figures date from 2018, though; by some estimates, the number of drivers hit 5 million in 2020, with 18.7 million trips completed each day.
If you ask me, I think this is a huge investment opportunity and looking at the Nigerian market with a huge population and fewer people being able to afford cars, it’s okay to say that transportation remains a challenge.
Do you have a car lying in the garage doing nothing? it can be converted into a reliable means of income.
Many people become drivers to make a few extra dollars, while others drive on a full-time basis.
Perhaps you have thought of signing up. Here’s what you need to know about what is required to become a successful driver.
To start with, you’ll need a car and access to a smartphone, which allows you to connect with paying passengers.
Also, All Uber drivers must meet requirements regarding age, driver’s license status, and driving experience.
You need to pass a driver screening, which includes a review of your driving history and criminal record and provide proof of residency, along with proof of auto insurance and car registration.
Your car will need to meet certain requirements relating to age, size, and condition.
Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, which means that you have to set aside money for income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare.
8. Start an Alibaba Business
Yes, Africa is a significant market for furnished products and tech gadgets; you can pick up products you are yet to see in Nigeria, Buy them for lower prices and sell them here. You can get a list of them: Men’s Shoes, Wristwatches, Kitchen Utensils, Phone Accessories, and Tech Gadgets.
Foreign tech companies always find it very easy to manoeuvre the African market for sales. Tech gadgets like phones, ear pads, and the power bank can be bought directly from the manufacturer at low prices and sold here at custom retail prices.
Starting this business is not very stressful; you need to get in touch with major suppliers in your location or country.
You can as well shop directly from the country of the manufacturer. You should think of no other country than China if you are talking tech. All American tech and gadgets are designed in China, even for the famous Apple inc. All tech packaging and refurbishing take place in China.
If you intend to buy from a confidential manufacturer, China is the best option. There are a whole lot of ways and opportunities to get around this. Shopping from E-commerce platforms like
Tech gadgets can be bought at low prices and sold for huge profits in your local market. Double profits can be generated as well. Visit these websites mentioned above. Delivery takes about a month or two, depending on the type of order.
Payment is usually made through an online processor provided by the platform, so don’t think you can make the payment on delivery. Instead, do your product sourcing, add them to your wish list and prepare a credit card to purchase whatever you might have carted for purchase.
Here is an article on Mini importation; it’s intense and explanatory.
9. Become a Social Media Influencer.
Building a massive community around your favourite social media platform is social media influencing.
Having huge followers on Instagram, Twitter and youtube subscribers gives you the leverage to showcase anything. Becoming a social media influencer does not necessarily mean you are a celebrity. You can come up with your own thing to attract followers.
The more attention and growth achieved over time can make your social media bundle a target advert slot for companies and brands.
Social media influencer gets paid from as low as 200k to 1m per sponsored post depending on the number of followers and relevance of content generated over time via a specific social media platform.
Next on the To-do list after meeting the above requirements is to decide the niche and what kind of content to be published from time to time. This can be in the form of Images, Short Videos or a full Video.
Recently a platform was launched in Nigeria to connect social media influencers with advertisers, and it is called Hype. Buzz. Hype. Buzz allows advertisers to create a campaign and connect with influencers. You can sign up by clicking the link below.
To get more insights on becoming a social media influencer, you can check out my article below.
10. Become a Freelancer.
Freelancing is another great business to start in Nigeria. This business is not limited to the economy of any nation because jobs are being outsourced from the border of other countries to you, and this is made possible by freelancing websites like Fiverr.
There are many other freelancing websites, such as Upwork and Freelancing, but Fiverr is the best of all.
All you need to get started on Fiverr is a talent, laptop and Internet connection. Then the next thing would be to sign up on the official websites of Fiverr and get started.
Fiverr is a very competitive platform if you are joining for the first time, and this is why I recommend you read this article below.
11. Become a Personal Trainer.
A personal trainer helps their clients achieve specific fitness goals, including but not limited to weight loss, strength training, toning, or overall health management.
Each client’s fitness level can be significantly different, so a trainer may be introducing one client to basic exercises, helping a second one with a weight loss program, and assisting a third in advanced training goals.
A personal trainer will work with clients, either in a small group setting or one-on-one, on their fitness goals, including improving a client’s muscular endurance, strengthening a client’s cardiovascular capabilities, and increasing a client’s physical flexibility.
A personal trainer may also be asked to create or revise specific workout routines for their clients to achieve extra weight loss, speed, or muscle toning. In some cases, personal trainers will also help clients with health and nutrition plans, such as recommending a food diary or working with a nutritionist.
Becoming a personal trainer is one business that makes money here in Nigeria; the majority want to look fit and live healthily; this is where the role of a personal trainer comes to play.
To meet up with high-paying clients as a personal trainer in Nigeria requires you to be well-positioned. Urban cities like Lagos, Rivers and Abuja remains the top destination for high-income earners in the country; you even have a massive diaspora of Nigerians residing in that location, making demand for personal trainers as high as possible.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you become a personal trainer; click the link below to get started.
12. Start a real estate business.
Over 30 per cent of Nigerians, translating to nearly 62 million people are now facing serious housing challenges, while 80 per cent of the country’s 206 million people live in informal housing, plagued by problems related to poor quality and inadequate infrastructure
These days, real estate is considered to be one of the most profitable and growing businesses. In Nigeria today, you can make a lot of money by starting a real estate business, whether as a real estate agent or as an investor.
Nigerians are always in need of residential apartments, office buildings, and commercial outlets. They look to either buy or rent buildings and structures of their choice, and they sometimes need to consult a real estate agent or expert before making their choices.
To start a real estate business in Nigeria, you need to have a strategic business plan which can be done by choosing the specific niche of real estate you want to operate in.
The rapid population growth rate in Nigeria made the real estate sector remain very lucrative as people are looking for commercial outlets daily, office buildings and houses to rent or build a home of their own, and they sometimes need to consult real estate agents or experts before making their choices.
One thing you should know is that, though not all parts of Nigeria are lucrative when it comes to real estate, you should do your research on rapidly developing cities to help you invest and not make any loss.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can start a real estate business and make money, check out the link to the article below to learn more.
Starting a new business is not usually an easy task. This is more reason I decided to write this article, and I strongly recommend you take out time to read it.
As mentioned in the introduction, Nigeria is a country with huge potential, and I believe anyone can make it here; all you need is perseverance and creativity.
I must also tell you that owning your own business is far better than working for anyone. However, it’s not wrong to work for anybody because such an experience is needed to be able even to run your business; make sure that you have an underground plan for your life.