A large number of international organisations and business people have been wary of doing business in Nigeria for many years.

This may seem strange given that Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in Africa as well as being one of the most oil-rich places in the world. Couple this with the fact that the country is abundant in many other natural resources and has good port facilities and you might think that international business would be fighting for a piece of the action in Nigeria.
The fact that Nigeria is not a magnet for international investment could be seen as a tragedy of immense proportions. Years of political instability, regional strife and the weakening influence of massive corruption have resulted in the country failing to capitalise on its many advantages; leaving the mass of the population in relative poverty and the country enormously infra-structure poor.

Huge strides have been made in the last few years to try to tackle the many endemic problems which assail the country — with political and economic stability being seen as the key weapons in attacking the corrosive influence of corruption. Whether the actions being taken on the ground have led to dramatic improvements in levels of transparency and levels of corporate governance remain to be seen – in the meantime, the country struggles along and those doing business in Nigeria need to be aware of the issues that await them.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Nigeria

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Nigeria. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Nigeria and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips