Top 10 Lucrative Business Ideas in Nigeria

Having a business idea in Nigeria is the main thing one needs to start a profitable business in Nigeria. Though having a business idea is not the only thing needed as having the will to start and the hunger to take action matters very well but a business idea is the overall structure of starting and running a profitable business in Nigeria.

There are many profitable business ideas in Nigeria one can invest on and turn it into a big brand. Nigeria being the highest economy in Africa has an advantage of large market with a population of above 170 million. This is an advantage that benefits many businesses in Nigeria as you can always take some share of the market from other competitors even if you just started.

I have previously published some list of lucrative of business one can start in Nigeria with less money and I am going to share with you some of these profitable business ideas one can start in Nigeria and turn it into a big merchandise.

Nigeria presents a huge opportunity for business

With 174 million people and a rapidly expanding middle class. Bill Thomas a Canadian Tomatoes Magnate says:

“If you can succeed in Nigeria,” Mr. Dido says, “there is a good chance you can do it elsewhere in Africa.”

The government is now trying to improve the country’s infrastructure, integrate agriculture and industry, become less reliant on the oil industry, privatize and modernize. These measures are crucial steps needed in order to increase foreign investment. Today, Nigeria can boast its longest period of civilian rule since its independence, which is a confirmation of its slow but growing progress.

Benefits of Doing Business in Nigeria

  • -Little or no price regulation except on things like fuel and fuel products
  • – Little start-up capital required
  • – Less restrictive business laws
  • – Less taxation
  • – Cheap labor costs: minimum wage for the organized labor sector is at N18, 000.
  • – Economy is still growing even in global recession.

Growth in trade

The strong agriculture sector (42% of GDP) on-going reforms in the economy.

The fastest growing sectors in Nigeria are below:

  • – Oil and gas
  • – Wholesale and retail
  • – Manufacturing
  • – Telecommunications and paper mail
  • – Construction
  • – Agriculture
  • -Technology
  • -Services

 Trade agreement

 Nigeria has trade agreement with many countries which makes doing Business in Nigeria a good advantage.

Current Signatories : Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Republic of, Iraq, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of, Korea, Republic of, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.

The main business opportunities in Nigeria are

  • Oil & Gas
  • Agriculture
  • Power
  • Mining
  • Telecoms
  • Healthcare
  • Financial Services
  • Creative industries
  • Real Estate

Any Foreigner wishing to do business in Nigeria may also refer to their embassies in Nigeria.

Nigeria is fertile ground for any person to invest and run and grow a successful business because of its vast business and investment opportunities. It has the available large markets and the human resources needed for any business to survive with a clear advantage of the large population.

Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as the continent’s largest economy after it overhauled its gross domestic product data for the first time in more than two decades and has the highest production of oil and gas in Africa. More than 62% of Nigeria’s population are under 25 and its growing middle class makes up 23% of the population. Official figures for 2013, released by Nigeria’s statistics bureau, put the country’s GDP at $503bn (£307bn) – nearly double previous estimates and well ahead of South Africa at around $350bn. The announcement follows a protracted process to “rebase” Nigeria’s economic data and include information from sectors such as telecommunications and the film industry. The rebasing exercise has pushed the country’s GDP from 42.3tn naira in 2013 to 80.3tn naira ($509.9bn) – a jump of 89%..

  • Imports and Exports

Nigeria exports to some countries consist of primary and intermediate a commodity which varies from unprocessed raw materials, Crude oil, cocoa, rubber, cashew nuts, raw timber and Palm oil. It is also has the world’s largest film production industry after the United States and India, becoming a major exporter of movies and its movie company is popularly known as Nollywood. An importation in Nigeria varies from different perspective. China, United States and India are the main import partners for Nigeria market and it is mainly on machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals.

  •  Agriculture

Nigeria is one of the main agricultural productions in Africa with over 80 million hectares of fertile land for Agriculture. Nigeria ranks 6th worldwide and first in Africa in farm output. The sector alone accounts for over 26.8% of GDP and two-third of employments. Nigeria has over 19 million head of cattle and the highest in Africa. Though the Agricultural sector has suffered a set back because of lack on consolidation, the government of Nigeria now is investing more in Agriculture and assist small scale farmers from distribution of fertilizer and availability of loan to them.

  • Banking and Finance

The Banking system in Nigeria is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to protect the interest of investors and depositors. The Central bank also known as the apex bank has made a lot of reforms in reducing the number of commercial banks from 89 to 23. The banking system is categorized as Commercial banks, investments banks, mortgage houses and micro-finance banks.

  • Stock Exchange

The Nigerian Stock Exchange services the largest economy in Africa and is championing the development of Africa’s financial markets.  The NSE, a registered company limited by guarantee, was founded in 1960 and it is licensed under the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria. The Exchange offers listing and trading services, licensing services, market data solutions, ancillary technology services and more.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange is committed to adopting the highest levels of international standards. To support this commitment, The NSE belongs to a number of international and regional organizations that promote the development and integration of global best practices across its operations. It is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the SIIA’s Financial Information Services Division (FISD) and the Inter market Surveillance Group (ISG). The Exchange is a founding member and executive committee member of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA).

  • Manufacturing

The Manufacturing sector in Nigeria is currently growing faster than the telecommunications, oil and gas and agricultural sectors. Nigeria’s large population of upwardly mobile consumers, coupled with investments in power, implies that the strong growth of manufacturers, including food producers and breweries, is sustainable. Manufacturers in Nigeria had attributed the remarkable increase recorded in capacity utilization within the last year to favorable government policies, especially with respect to industry, trade and investment. Manufacturing in Nigeria also potentially provides you more leverage from your investment of money than many other categories of business. Since you are adding value to raw materials, equipment, and capital costs, you can often be quite profitable.

  •  Transportation

Nigeria’s publicly owned transportation infrastructure is a major constraint to economic development. Principal ports are at Lagos (Apapa and Tin Can Island), Port Harcourt, and Calabar. Five of Nigeria’s airports—Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Abuja—currently receive international flights. There are several domestic private Nigerian carriers and the rail system is working with an investment plan from china to construct more rail networks in the country.

  •  Media

Nigeria’s media scene is one of the most vibrant in Africa. State-run radio and TV services reach virtually all parts of the country and operate at a federal and regional level. All 36 states run their own radio stations, and most of them operate TV services. Despite high levels of violence, the private press still occasionally criticizes the Government.

  • SMEs in Nigeria

Small and Medium Enterprises are a very important part of the Nigerian economy. In countries at the same level of developments with Nigeria, SMEs contribute a much higher proportion to GDP than currently observed in Nigeria Compared to other emerging markets. SMEs have significant untapped growth potential. SMEs in Nigeria are currently distributed along sectors within regions; creating potential operational and cost synergies. The Nigeria Government and the Nigeria banks have put a bold step in providing fund for many SMEs which can be seen through SMEfunds and the SMEdan is Government associate created by the government to help in developing SMES.

Profitable business Ideas to start in Nigeria

1. Agriculture

There are many business ideas in the agricultural sector one can invest in and considering the factor that Nigeria government is investing heavily on Agriculture which will be easy for one to get a loan from the agricultural bank and other government loan support programme.  Such Ideas are:


  • Poultry Farming:-  Poultry farming is a lucrative business in Nigeria and one can easily start it with little money and grow over time. Learn how to start a lucrative poultry business here.
  • Snail Farming:-  As the price of a snail is very expensive and cooked or prepared snail meat is even more expensive one will wonder how to start snail farming business. It is relatively easy to start as one snail can lay upto 300 eggs and this makes it very easy to triple your revenue. Learn how to start a profitable snail farm business here


  • Others are:
  • Tomatoes planting
  • Grass cutter farming
  • Fish farming
  • Cassava Farming

All are very lucrative business ideas to start in Nigeria.

2. Technology

This is a trending business growing all over the world today and many tech entrepreneurs have become a billionaire within a short period of time. From Alibaba, facebook, instagram, google, Gopro etcc to bloggers who have made a lot of money in Nigeria. One can also learn how to make money uploading unique videos in YouTube.

Starting a tech company involves many things but the most important thing is an Idea of what solution your tech company will solve to the world which you will in return make lots of money from it. I always advice people to start a tech company that delivers service rather than product because people are more willingly to pay for service than product.

 3. Manufacturing

This is very lucrative business idea to start in Nigeria. Manufacturing sector in Nigeria has witnessed lots of growth and with the assistance of banks and some Government Agencies to finance and support this SMEs-It has become very interesting for manufacturing companies. I have also shared how you can start a PVC manufacturing company and Bottled water company in Nigeria. Some of the things you can manufacture in Nigeria are:

  • PVC Pipes and Conduit Pipes
  • Bottled Water
  • Garri processing and packaging
  • Shoe and leather processing
  • Soap and detergent Production
  • Paint Production
  • Solid minerals processors
  • Foam production
  • Fishery Production
  • Garment and Textile Production
  • Printing press
  • Concrete Blocks-Bricks
  • Ceramic Tiles production
  • Etc….

 4. Management services

Management service has proven to be a lucrative business and also a good employer of labor. Such management services are;

  • Job recruiter
  • Real Estate Management
  • Hotel Management
  • Bar Management
  • Company Management
  • Consultancy services
  • Career Management
  • Car Hire service

5. Restaurant Chain

This is very profitable and also capital intensive. Starting a good and digital restaurant chain in Nigeria is an idea business to engage in. There have been many fast food restaurants in Nigeria offering almost the same type of foods and starting a unique set of food and at the right location will drag your competitors customers to patronize your food. Most of it all , make sure that your restaurant is very neat, conducive and your staff are very diligence in their duties.

6. Import and Export

Becoming a distributor for some foreign products or local products is very profitable. I knew someone who becomes a distributor for a foreign product and today he is now a very big figure in the society. I recommend you also check if the foreign product is allowed by the Nigeria custom to be imported to Nigeria. One thing with this is that sooner you will start manufacturing those products in Nigeria just as many other distributors and importers have done.

Another important factor is exporting some Nigeria made products to other countries. Many African countries relies in Nigerian product and being a distributor for that company in a particular country will fetch you more money.

 7. Education

Investing in Education is one thing that I will like to do in the future such as Starting a primary school, secondary school and university. There are other aspect of education centre you can start as well such as Management schools, Medical schools, Business schools,. etc. It is a good business idea and you will make some huge pile of cash provided that your school is educating people to its pupil and you meet up with the government standard of owning such organization in Nigeria.

8. Real Estate and Construction

Building and construction is very interesting and because of the population of Nigeria, many people are still looking for where to live why some are moving over to cities for greener pastures. This is makes it easy to find suitable tenants if you are investing in real estate.

If you are in construction, whether you are a builder or own a construction company. There is always business for you as Nigeria still lacks infrastructural development and  this is an open opportunity to for you.

 9. Transportation

Nigeria is now trying to re-validate their train business and moving over to transportation will create a difference. You can buy a train and operate it in Nigeria rail or invest with the Nigeria government. You can also invest in other means of transportation such as Airways, Bus services and the most lucrative ones are TAXI Company. Because many cities in Nigeria are becoming congested and one needs a TAXI always to go from one place to another within the cities. It now calls for an opportunity to invest in TAXi Company as Nigeria has many cities and you can start with one city and grow with time before coming to the major cities.

10. Health Care

Everyone cares for his health and starting limited equipped hospitals for Kids or aged Adults and maternity will fetch you Money. If you are not a Doctor then you can only invest and employ suitable doctors who are certified to practice as a doctor. It is lucrative and capital intensive.


These business ideas you can start in Nigeria are very Lucrative and if you know how to grow your business, you will be surprise at how big your company will become. In case you have any questions please comment below.

If you enjoyed this article, let me have your suggestions and commendation as comments below.

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