Investment Opportunities in Nigeria
25 Small Scale Business ideas and Investment Opportunities in Nigeria
1. Livestock Farming
Do you know that one of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria is catfish farming? The primary reason I listed catfish farming as one of the fastest business opportunities in Nigeria is because it’s an emerging industry that hasn’t reached its peak or full potential. The major players in this business are usually regional players. What this means in essence is that each major player in the catfish farming industry is focused only on a particular business terrain within the geographical location of the farm.
Now for those who don’t know, there is a bill being proposed now by the federal government of Nigeria to ban the importation of frozen fish. One this bill is passed into law by the national assembly, the local fish farmers will smile and you will be left behind. So why not position yourself now?
With respect to poultry farming, the ban imposed by the federal government of Nigeria with respect to the importation of live or frozen poultry birds has only helped explode the demand. To be honest with you, livestock farming in general is a booming business in Nigeria and the trend is not dying anytime soon.
You can even start this business from your backyard. With 150+million mouths to feed daily, there will always be demand for livestock products. However, lack of technical know-how and the use of crude equipment are the major factors hampering the growth of this industry.
If you can come in with adequate knowledge and the patience to nurture this business, you will reap immensely. Now you can choose to either venture into livestock breeding of animals or better still, you can stick to livestock feed production or equipment retailing.
2. Agro-products exportation
Nigeria is blessed with a lot of food and natural resources; and most of these natural resources are raw materials needed for the production of some finished products. Every day, tons of raw materials and food products leave the shores of Nigeria to countries such as India, Vietnam, China, USA, UK, Brazil, etc; yet, the demand is never met.
You can become an exporter by simply registering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and decide on the specific product you wish to export. Examples of products highly in demand both within and outside Nigeria are Chili pepper, Mango, Kola nuts, Bitter Kola, Cassava flakes (Garri), Cocoa, Groundnut, Yam flour, Cashew nuts, etc.
However, if you think you don’t have the capital or time to engage in agro-products exportation, then you can stay local by buying and selling them within the country. A good example of a product you can buy and sell for huge profits is Palm Oil.
Nigeria is blessed with a lot of mineral resources like Limestone, Coal, Iron ore, Bitumen, etc. Aside this, the mining industry in Nigeria is set to take off because the federal government in June 2013 implemented a policy to drive forward the mining industry by declaring the importation of mining equipment duty free. The government is also going after many dormant investors who were granted mining licenses but are not utilizing it. This act I believe, will spur the growth in the mining sector. If you have the financial capacity and a team, you can position yourself in this sector.
4. Setting up a private mini refinery
There are lots of business opportunities in the oil and gas sector. Building a private refinery and refining crude oil is another business you should look into because there is a lot of potential in it. In January 2012, the federal government announced the partial removal of subsidy and with a long term plan to totally remove fuel subsidy. What this means in essence is that petroleum product importers will now sell as they buy; thus bringing in competition and it is a known fact that 80% of petroleum products consumed in Nigeria are imported.
Now with the total removal of fuel subsidy, investors will now have the opportunity to set up their own refinery and produce fuel. Are you among those that think the total fuel subsidy removal is a pipe dream? Then think again because in May 2013, Aliko Dangote raised $9billion for the setting up of a refinery; which will be sited in Ondo state.
Honestly, i understand that not everyone have the financial capacity and technical know-how to invest in a private refinery. Well, you can still tap into the oil and gas sector by setting up a filling station, starting a mini kerosene retailing depot or establishing a cooking gas retailing outlet. Which ever one you choose, you will surely make money. Enough said.
Fast Growing Small Scale Business ideas in Nigeria
5. Inland waterway Transport
There are lots of opportunities in the transport industry and inland waterway is one of them. Nigeria has a broad network of inland waterways comprising rivers, creeks, lakes and seas; yet, transportation still remains a challenge because investors are yet to tap into water transportation.
A lot of countries such as Italy, Thailand, etc have effectively been utilizing their waterways as a means of transport; thus reducing the traffic congestion on the road. All you need to do is to incorporate a company, obtain license from the state and federal government, import or purchase some locally fabricated boats; and you are in business.
6. Establishing a Television and Radio Station
Now it is a known fact that the mass media industry is saturated in Nigeria. However, this is only true for some cities in Nigeria such as Lagos and Abuja. I have travel through several parts of the countries and discovered that most states have no private TV station, and only rely on the government own TV stations; which are very incompetent, uncreative and unreliable. I see an opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors with interest and competence in broadcasting or mass media. You can either choose to setup a radio station or TV Station.
7. Setting up a security company
There is a huge demand for excellent security services in Nigeria. As the government battle to improve the security situation in the country, individuals and corporate entities are now becoming aware of the fact that security is not the responsibility of the government alone; it is a collective responsibility. Hence, the current increase in demand for security guards, bodyguards, executive protection professionals and security gadgets or devices.
As an entrepreneur or investor, you can setup a security guard recruitment or training company, or you can setup an executive protection or bodyguard agency. Also, you can import and retail security products and safety devices.
8. Sewing of specialized uniforms
There are over 500 schools (both Crèche, primary and secondary) in Lagos state alone; and each of these schools have a specific uniform or attire for their students. Okay, let’s look beyond educational institutions. Do you know that other individuals and corporate organizations are in need of uniforms for their security personnel, staff, etc?
There are also a lot or military (Army, Air Force, Navy), paramilitary (Civil Defense Corps, Police Force) and non-paramilitary (Road Safety, Traffic Warden, Kick against Indiscipline, Vigilante groups, etc) organizations in Nigeria that make use of uniforms. You can position yourself as a uniform supplier and make money from it.
9. Construction company
Nigeria is still a developing country especially in the area of infrastructure but this is set to change in the nearest future. Massive constructions are currently on-going in Nigeria ranging from bridges, roads, towers and skyscrapers, etc. If you run a construction company oversee, or you have the financial capacity to assemble the needed team and machinery for a construction company; then this is a business you should invest in.
10. Real Estate development
I have met a lot of individuals with money piling up in the bank, but they don’t seem to know what to do with that money. Yet, on every business trip I make, I hear stories of people facing accommodation problems; not because they can’t afford it but because there is none within their choice of location.
Also, I hear woeful stories from students in various universities and other high institutions who live under harsh conditions; not because they want to or can’t afford a comfortable place to live; but because they is no conducive apartment in close proximity to the institutions.
I also know the stress, effort and resources it took me before I got an office space both within and outside Lagos. What these facts or complaints are pointing to is that there is a massive need for buildings, both residential and commercial. It is a known fact that shelter is one of the basic needs of man.
Now for those who wouldn’t want to go through the ups and downs of running a business, you can choose to invest in development of hotels, school hostels for students, shopping malls, residential apartments, events and conference halls, etc.
11. Set up a writing company
If you are current with trend, you would have observed that most jobs in the United States are now being outsourced to countries like Philippines, India, China, etc. And as things stand now, a trickle of such outsourcing jobs are coming to Nigeria and one of such jobs is Article Writing or Ghostwriting.
Do you have passion and skill for writing? If yes, then you can either choose to write from home as a self employed freelance writer or you can setup a company, employ competent writers and source for jobs online. This business is easy to get into and it is very profitable.
12. Call center agency
Have you called the customer care service of a telecom network before? Or have you tried sending a message or complaint to a corporate organization before? Do you know that those who take your calls, complaints and respond accordingly are not employees of the companies you patronize; neither do they operate in the premises of the company? If you are hearing this for the first time, then welcome to the world of “Call center outsourcing.”
You can setup a call center agency and work for big companies on a contract basis. One sweet fact about this business is that you can always start small by becoming a call center agent from home, as it doesn’t require much startup capital unless you want to scale up by employing more helping hands.
13. Recruitment Agency
The labour market is becoming tougher and there are over five million unemployed youths in Nigeria. Another hard fact is that companies are no longer employing full time in-house staff; they are now using the services of recruitment agencies to employ people based on contract basis.
This strategy is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business by avoiding the cost of conducting a recruitment exercise and also avoiding employee claims and benefits. This is the sole reason why banks and other companies are sacking their workers on daily basis.
So rather than fight the trend, why not profit from it by setting up a recruitment agency and connect jobseekers to their dream jobs. You can also be a corporate executive headhunter and make money poaching competent staff from one company to another. If this is too capital intensive for you, then you can setup a resume writing service from home and profit from the trend.
14. Importation of wears
Clothing is another basic need of man. Regardless of the economy, people must wear clothes and this includes shoes, bags, underwear, perfumes, etc. Now there is a fast growing trend now and that is “Used clothes” or “Recycled clothes,” otherwise called “Okirika.”
Since the economy is getting tougher and there’s need to be clothed, the masses have resolved to buying used clothes rather than new ones. Still yet, there is a market for new clothes; for men, women, and kids. You can source your materials from China, Hong Kong, Italy, France, Dubai, India, etc.
15. Haulage and logistics
Haulage and logistics is another booming business in Nigeria because regardless of the weather, people must haul their goods from one location to another. In fact, haulage or trucking business is one of the most profitable businesses so far; though it is management intensive. However, you can start with just a truck and see how it goes.
You can choose to focus on hauling containers for clients from the seaports to their various destinations or better still, you can choose to haul products of specific companies such as breweries, production companies, etc. You can also haul perishable goods from farms and villages to the marketplace or you can haul specialty products such as frozen foods, petroleum products, gas, etc.
Now there is also an opportunity for those who want to venture into haulage business but do not want to be bugged down by management requirements. All you need to do is to buy a truck and contract it to a Haulage and logistics company; which will in turn pay you a specified amount weekly or monthly based on agreement.
16. Outsourced bus service
This is another form of haulage business, but this time you will be lifting humans. This is a business that requires providing transportation services to organizations that cannot afford to buy a vehicle in-house. Your clients in this case can be schools, religious organizations, NGOs, corporate bodies, etc. Some corporate organizations can’t afford an in-house transport system for its executives and staff, so this is where you come in. You provide the cars or buses, provide the drivers and you are paid on a monthly bases or contract bases for the use of your transport services.
Another area of target is schools. Most schools would like to provide transport facilities for their students but they can’t afford it and this is where you come in. You provide a bus service system and send out a proposal to schools to use your bus services. Just imagine 20 or more young schools jointly using your student bus service system and you will catch the vision of this idea.
Small Scale Business Investment Opportunities in Nigeria
Nigeria is catching on with the rest of the world with respect to technology. If you are technologically inclined, you can setup shop in Nigeria and start offering e-services to clients. Example of such e-services include Web designing and development, Web hosting, App development, Digital marketing services, Search Engine Optimization services, Banner design services, Bulk SMS services, Online registration of exams such as JAMB, WAEC, professional courses, etc
18. Daycare centre
The demand for quality childcare service is increasing daily. Parents are now working harder just to generate enough income to keep the family going, thus leaving them with less time for the children.
Now to be honest with you, there are a lot of daycare centers existing but only a few are providing exceptional services; and parents that cherish their kids are never comfortable leaving their kids in a child care centre whose environment is dirty. If you can come in with exceptional service and creativity, you will make money from this business. Another thing you must know is that you can start this business from home.
Now for those who lack the capital and experience to setup a full-scale childcare center, you can still make profit of this niche by starting a small scale babysitting service or Nanny agency.
19. Training centers
Every year, millions of people sit for examinations and tests in Nigeria and most of these people usually need some kind of trainings or tutorials. You can position yourself as a provider of such training and make money off this niche. Examples of trainings you can offer include skill & vocational acquisition training, corporate management skill training, etc. You can also conduct tutorial for individuals writing professional exams like ICAN, WAEC, JAMB, A. LEVEL, etc.
20. Waste Management
Waste management is another business with a future potential because Nigerians are yet to imbibe the habit of proper waste disposal. However, states like Lagos have been doing a lot to encourage proper waste disposal and management. Now there are several businesses you can start within the waste management niche and these include waste recycling, waste disposal, junk hauling, organic fertilizer production, etc.
21. Food processing
Another profitable industry to consider is the food processing industry. The concept of this industry is simply to take raw food materials and turn them into finished products. In fact, there are a lot of businesses you can do in this niche and examples of such businesses include Tomato puree production, Frozen food production, yogurt production, Vegetable oil production, Garri Processing, oil palm processing, groundnut processing, Fruit juice production, Rice milling, etc.
22. Alternative Power Installation
As the world goes green, and Nigeria battles her power supply challenges; there is an already established opening in Nigeria’s power sector. Even though the government has taken steps to deregulate the power sector by granting licenses for Independent Power Plants, granting a free import duty for the importation of power generation equipment and commissioning several power projects, this will never hamper the growing demand for alternative power generators such as solar energy, wind mills, Inverters, etc. You can either make money by importing and retailing these materials or you can choose to focus on installations.
23. Plantation Farming
Do you have a fertile vacant land and you know that you won’t be developing any structure on it in the nearest future? Then why not start a livestock farming, crop cultivation or plantation farming. There are a lot of cash crops you can plant, nurture and forget; and they will keep providing you with steady returns annually. Examples of crops you can start a plantation around are Orange, Plantain, Kola nut, Oil palm, Cocoa, Cassava, Yam, etc.
You can also venture into small scale manufacturing of products that are in daily need. You don’t need to build a factory or industrial plant; you can start on a small scale from your room or a rented store or apartment. Products you can start manufacturing include Toothpicks, Tissue paper & Serviette, chalk production, candle, Match sticks, nylons and polythene bags, cartons, paper bags, etc.
25. Bottled water production
I get calls from individuals almost on daily basis who are interested in setting up a “sachet water” (Pure water) production plant. Now let me tell you the honest truth, the sachet water or pure water business is saturated and the business may die off very soon. Why did I say this? Well, I got information from a reliable source that there is a long term plan to ban the production of sachet or nylon water; so as to stem environmental degradation and checkmate blocked drainages.
So once this bill is passed into law, the sachet water production industry is toast. The only solution I foresee that can keep this business afloat is the establishment of a nylon recycling plant. However, to avoid being a victim of this yet-to-be proposed policy, it is advisable you venture into bottled water products and establish yourself as a brand.
27. Bars and Clubs
If not a hotel, you can consider investing on a bar or a night club. Again, it attracts tourists who are looking for an active night life in countries like Nigeria. Plus, many local young adults in Nigeria seek a fun night life. If you are interested in investing in the entertainment industry, then you should consider starting a night club or bar.
28. Cold Room (Frozen Food)
Despite the high number of livestock farmers in Nigeria, frozen fish and chicken are still being smuggled into the country through the border because there is a market for it. Some people don’t want to go through the stress of killing and preparing fowls for eating, so they prefer to buy ready-made frozen birds. With the right plan and a strategic location, you can make millions by investing in building and operating a cold room.
In conclusion, the investment opportunities in Nigeria are not limited to the list above. With a little digging and research, you will surely uncover more of these opportunities. However, the point I want to stress is that having the capital to invest in these opportunities does not mean you will succeed at it.
More important than your capital and the business opportunity is to make sure you have adequate understanding about the industry you intend investing in. Knowledge and experience are the prerequisites for low risk investing.