This post identifies top five sectors to invest in Nigeria. It is intended to guide people who are looking at doing business in Africa’s second largest economy and one of the top attractive economies to do business in Africa . Nifgeria is good place to do business in spite of her challenges. Some of the critical drivers are high returns on investment (ROI), relatively low labour cost, huge market, large consumer spending arising from her large population which is estimated at over 200 million people and a large endowment of natural resources to provide input to industries.
This is in addition to prevailing policy framework which has simplified the process of business registration, property registration, small business taxes, among others. Now let’s look at the top 5 sectors of the Nigerian economy you should consider investing your money in. Whether you are a micro entrepreneur or owner of a big multinational company, opportunities abound in these sectors.
#1. AGRICULTURE – Agriculture is perhaps, the most important sector of the Nigerian economy. It was her highest revenue earner until she discovered crude oil at Oloibiri, South of Nigeria in 1954. The Government is making a concerted effort to reposition the agriculture sector through policy and funding interventions. As a result of this, investments across the agricultural value chain are beginning to emerge.
Some areas of interest in the agricultural sector include:
Livestock – Livestock production will continue to be a hot in-demand business in Nigeria because many people eat either meat, bird or fish. There is a variety of livestock production to invest in, some of which include:
#i. Poultry Farming – This is the rearing of domesticated birds such as chicken, geese, turkey, guinea fowls and ducks. However, chicken rearing is more popular in Nigeria. They are reared either to produce meat (broilers), egg (layers) or both. Setting up a hatchery to breed young chicks to feed poultry farms for broilers and layers is also a profitable venture. Commercial poultry farm can be capital intensive but it can also be started on a budget scale. Setting up a feed mill, the sale of poultry equipment or the distribution of eggs, are also part of the value chain that can be very profitable.
The key to a successful poultry production business is to select a good site for your farm, implement best farm practices, and ensure you rear healthy birds by retaining a veterinary doctor.
#ii. Snail Farming – Many people may not know that snails are in high demand and supply is inadequate due the fact that few farmers consider snail farming a lucrative venture. A smart aspiring entrepreneur can take advantage of the huge supply gap to go into snail farming. Fortunately, rearing snails is something you can easily learn and start in a very short period of time. The market for snail are the big retail stores, hotels and individual households. All you need to start snail farming are a little capital, construction of your farm, procurement of snails, procurement of feed and adoption of best farming practices.
#iii. Pig Farming – Pigs are easy to rear, reproduces abundantly and poses minimal risks because they have high survival rates unlike some other livestock. Commercially, piggery is viable because, pork (which is what pig meat is called) is world’s most popularly consumed meat according to one research and particularly appeals to the high segment of the society. Pork is served in five star hotels, major conferences and are on the meal table of prominent Nigerians.
The viability of pig farming stems from the fact that it is widely consumed and virtually every part of the animal is useful as they can be applied in food, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries.
#iv. Fish Farming – Fish farming has become an important strategy in the global fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty, particularly in developing countries including Nigeria. Fish products are cheap alternative provider of the needed high quality protein and other essential micro nutrients because they are affordable. Thus the market cut across rich and poor segments of the society.
Fish farming involves the construction of ponds and nurturing juveniles up to the point they are harvested as table fish ready for the market. The most popular fish farmed in this way is Clarias Gariepinus or catfish. There is a huge market for catfish including hotels of all sizes, bars, restaurants and household. The business of fish farming is scalable meaning that an investor can start small and grow big with time. All you need is the construction of a bond, source of water, juveniles to start with, regular supply of fish meal and a good farming practice to succeed.
#v. Rabbit Farming – Yes rabbits can be reared domestically and it is very profitable to do so. Over one million tons of rabbit meat is consumed annually globally with most of it coming from China, Italy, Spain and France. Apart from its meat, rabbits are also in high demand for its fur. In Nigeria, business is booming for the few rabbit farmers around and you can become part of the lucrative market. Rabbit farming is recommended because it is cheap to start, easy to rear and they multiply heavily, hence its profitability.
Other livestock that are profitable investment include goat rearing, cattle rearing and quale farming,
Vegetable farming – This is another hot area in the agricultural sector that is booming. Vegetable farming is part of horticulture which focuses on the cultivation edible leaves for sale to the consuming public. Vegetable farming is easy to learn, start and manage. Whatever your financial capacity, you will be able to start a vegetable farm, make good profit and grow. Common vegetables tat are in high demand in Nigeria include the ugu leaf (fluted pumpkin), ewedu (jute leaf), green, waterleaf, cabbage, etc.
The market is very huge as every Nigerian consume one type of vegetable or the other on a daily basis. You dispose most of your products at the farm gate and you can also make arrangement to supply the big grocery stores like Shoprite, hotels and restaurants.
Cassava Farming – Cassava is a staple crop in Nigeria which is eaten in many forms – fufu, garri, starch, tapioca, brad, cake and chips amongst many other food products. It is the third largest source of carbohydrate after rice and maize. Apart from the food application, cassava can be processed into industrial starch, ethanol as well as used for the production of animal feed. An investment in cassava farming or cassava processing offer a high return on investment.
Key to success as a cassava farmer is the select the best breed, plant on suitable soil and control weeds in order to get optimum harvest.
Plantain Farming – Plantain is a stable food eaten by most Nigerians, if not all. Really I have not come across anyone who says he doesn’t eat plantain in one form or the other, namely plantain flour, plantain chip, boiled and fried plantain, etc. Indeed, plantain flour is set to replace wheat flour meal due to its nuitritional value. So it is a high in demand agricultural product that can make interested investors wealthy.
Plantain is grown in the tropical region of West Africa including Nigeria. Once planted, it can be harvested multiple times and the plants itself multiplies by itself giving the farmer multiple yields. All you need is to get an organic rich land, prepare the land suficiently, buy the plantain suckers, plant, nurture and harvest. The market is vast and most time your harvest can be taken off you at the farm gate if you do your marketing well.
#2. EDUCATION – Education is a public good but like in many other parts of Africa, the sector is in crisis in Nigeria. Public schools are inadequate to serve the growing population of children and the available ones are falling in standards. With about 10 million out of school children according to available data, education has become a burden that the Nigerian government cannot shoulder alone, hence the need for private investment in the sector. This makes it one the critical sectors to invest in Nigeria. To encourage private capital flow to the education sector, the law allows entrepreneurs to set up educational institutions up to university levels as long as promoters of such institutions meet the minimum quality standards.
Smart Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this to create wealth by establishing schools at all levels of education. Also included in this sector are professional traning and skill acquisition. The following are the top opportunities that abound in the education sector which entrepreneurs can exploit.
Basic Schools – Basic education in Nigeria is defined to mean the early stage learning in an individual’s life up to age nine. Thus, schools that caters for children’s intellectual development up to junior secondary are considered to be offering basic education. This will include day care, nursery, primary and secondary schools. The demand at this level of education is so much because of the sheer number of children born daily. At the day care level, there will always be a demand for day care as the number of working moms grows due to economic challenges and rising women empowerment.
Tertiary Schools – This include setting up higher learning institutions such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and specialised institutions.
Setting up a school can be expensive because you will need an elaborate space, furniture and fittings, learning aids, conducive environment and qualified personnel. In fact, if you want to succeed, do not compromise on qualified personnel. You will also need approval of the government of the state where you operate to start school at the basic level and the approval of the federal government if you are operating a tertiary institution.
Vocational Schools – The new economy is making a demand on educational curriculum towards skill building. Thus, the need for vocational training institutions where students are learn skills that will make them become self sufficient. Set up such schools to teach skills such as catering, bead making, computer operations, computer repairs, electrical and electronic equipment repairs, automobile repairs and maintenance, beauty and cosmetics, and so many other trade skills that equip young adults for industry work and self-employment.
The gap in this segment of education sector is wide as majority of the few vocational and skill acquisition centres across Nigeria are run by the government. The reason may be because, setting up a vocational school is capital-intensive and requires that the entreprenuer understand the vocational area of his interest. But the prospects are very high in terms of market and profitability.
Profession Training Centres – Businesses are constantly looking for graduates who have addtional professional certificates as a measure of proficiency. Such certifications also confer on the holder the authority to practice the profession related to the certification. Professional training schools, thus provide tutorials for students writing professional exams, say in accounting (ICAN), banking (CIBN), Management (NIM), and so many others in various professions such as building, engineering, real estates, safety and occupational health, investment management, etc.
To set up a professioal training instittution will usually require that you are qualified in that profession and aside meeting the regular requirements for setting up a business, you must also get necessary approvals by the professional body. Your investment may be minimal if you are able to have an arrangement with public schools to use their space during the weekends rather than renting a property.Such schools usually organise their classes oon weekends because majority of their students are workers. You can also take it a step further to incorporate online delivery to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Organise tutorial for secondary school students – The population of students taking the West African School Certificate and those seeking admission into higher institutions is ever-growing. Thus, tutorial centres for WAEC and JAMB exams are highly patronised. If you love teaching and you can organise people, consider setting up a tutorial centre. You will not go wrong if properly done.
Business opportunities in the education sector are so vast. Educational consultancy, book sales, educational blogging, sale of educational equipment or technology, are some of them. Do your research your research very well to be properly guided.
#3. Entertainment – Entertainment is one of the top sectors to invest in Nigeria. The Nigerian entertainment industry is booming with a contribution of 2.3% to the country’s GDP. A 2017 PWC report stated that Nigeria will be the world’s fastest growing entertainment market in the next five years. At the moment Nigeria’s film industy, Nollywood, is said to be third largest in the world and Hollywood and Bollywood and her music sector is leading in Afica with many local artistes now having international colloboration with top artistes.
A lot of investment is required to drive the entertainment industry and most of this will come from the private sector. Some of the areas that provide opportunity for entrepreneurs include:
Movie production – The movie production subseector is a multibillion Naira industry. The movie producer handles all the techinical and financial arrangement required in making a movie. This will range from providing suitble camera and other equipment, making arrangement for locations, travels, costume, make up etc. It is a whole lot of work which requires huge investment and sound management skills.
Music Production – Another hot area in the entertainment industry is music production. There is a growing number of up and coming artistes who are looking for good studios to record their music. The key to success in establishing music studio good quality equipment and highly qualified technical staff such as sound engineer and an eye for attracting artiste whose songs may become a hit.
Movie Distribution – This has to do with the marketing and sales of movies as well as other content. The opportunities are expanding with internet technology which has seen the birth of companies like Iroko.
Cinemas – Cinemas are places where movies are shown for public viewing for a fee. Movie producers also use cinemas to premier new movies before they are released to the market. This way movie producers maximise their revenue and reduce the negative impact of piracies on their business. To run a successive cinema, the investor ust pay attention to location, quality equipment, marketing and sound relationship with movie producers.
Video Production – Video production has to do with covering events and producing the video the appropriate format. You will need good camera, equipment for editing, and good location to operate from.Your market is wide and include movie producers, party planners, corporate organisations for their conferences, AGMs and events.
#4. Retail Trade – Retailing is one of the fastest growing subsectors of the Nigerian economy and this will be so for a very long time due to growing population, rising consumption, improvement in technology, rise in mobile payment and growing sophistication of the working population. Retailers provide massive amount of goods and services to houseseholds including food, appliances, auto parys, furniture, clothing and much more. The opportunities in the sector are massive and that is the reason popular global brands such as shoprite, game and spar.
The type of retail business you can start in Nigeria will depend on your capital and skill. From a once corner grocery shop or your unit neighbourhood store to the large supermaket chain and speciality stores – the opportunites are enormous. What this means is that you can start retail trading at any scale your finances can and still be profitable. For those who dont have the patience to start the business from the scratch there are a nuber of franchise you can buy. Some of these franchises include Best Choice, Addide, etc.
Ecommerce is another aspect of retailing that is gaining momentum in Nigeria. The sector is at the moment dominated by popular brands like Jumia, Konga, Dealdey and Jiji. The opportunities in Ecommerce space is enormous as the population of internet users grow by the day. Recent data from the National Communications Commission ((NCC) shows that about 111 million Nigerians access the internet and a chunk of them shop online.
An easy way to start the Ecommerce business for those on tight budget is through drop shipping. The drop shipping business model involves the retailer partnering with the manufacturer, stockist or wholesaler with the arrangement that the retailer finds the customer and the manufacturer or wholesaler ships the product to the customer.
To explain more: The retailer creates an online store, displays the products on this store, promotes the store and gets prospective buyers to visit. A visit plays an order, you find a way of sending the order to the manufacturer or wholsale who then ships the products to the buyer. You take your profit (margin), the ultimate seller takes his revenue, the buyer gets his products and every one is happy. The benefit to you is that you incure no cost for inventory, warehouse, delivery charges. Your only cost is what you pay to maintain your online store and your time.
Creating an online stores is becoming easier also with platforms like shopify.
#5. Solid Minerals – Nigeria is richly endowed with solid mineral resources. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas that has been neglected by the government over the years due to the preponderance of oil in the Nigerian economy. However, efforts are on to revatilise the sector and investors are welcome to take advantage of emerging opportunities in this sector. Some of the solid minerals resources that Nigeria is endowed with and for which opportunities exist for investment include gold, bitumen, lead, zinc, iron ore, coal, columbite, silver, sand, gypssum, glass and so many others.
Areas open to investment in this sector include
Mining – This entails setting up a company that will deploy relevant equipment to extract these solid minerals such as gold, lime stone, zinc etc from the soil and refining these resources for sale in the local and export market.
Transport Services – Providing transport and logistics services specifically to the solid minerals sector. Your transport company will provide haulage services to lift the solid minerals or metals from the mining sites to the factories where they will be processed.
Equipment Rental – You rent mining equipment such as caterpillar, churn drill, steel pump engine, conveyor bridge, etc. Due to the high cost of these equipment, most miners prefer to hire them for their operations. A big business opportunitiyy thus exist here for an entreperenuer who has the resources to invest in equuipment leasing business to the mining sector.
Consultancy Services – If you have worked in the mining sector for sometime and have some measure of experience, you can launch a mining consulrancy business to provide solutions to mining companies, processing companies and other stakeholders in the sector.
Training Services – Setting up a training institution focused on building capacity for the mining sector.
I have simply highlighted in its simplistic form hot areas that offer profitable investment opportunities just to wet your appetite. The top 5 sectors to invest in Nigeria. You will have to decide on any area of your interest and conduct detailed research and feasibility studies to give you the assurance tha1t it will be worth your effort. The kobotalk team are on hand to assist in conducting such research.