Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest markets, with a population exceeding 150 million people. It has enjoyed a GDP growth rate averaging more than 6% per year over the past eight years. The telecommunications market is fully liberalized, with competition allowed in virtually all segments. And there is a unified licensing regime in place, which allows operators to offer converged services. The total number of fixed lines (including fixed wireless access) was as paltry 1.4 million at the end of 2009.
There are more than 70 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria and it has the largest mobile subscriber base in Africa. With the mobile subscriber penetration potential being more than 100%, there is ample room for growth in the market. National backbone coverage is limited and, in keeping with the government’s Vision 2020 initiative, there are plans underway to extend the backbone, which will provide additional opportunities for investors. The imminent lighting up of the MainOne and Glo-1 undersea cables is very likely to yield a wide range of growth opportunities in making international bandwidth more readily available.
The Nigerian government has established a number investment promotion initiatives whereby it will provide funding support to investors that address certain types of investments, most notably those aimed at providing broadband access to specific stakeholder groups or communities. The government is also actively promoting electronics manufacturing in Nigeria on the basis that Nigerian ICT markets are big enough to support local manufacture. Nigeria thus offers a wide range of investment opportunities in a rapidly growing market.
Compared with other economies in the Sub-Saharan Africa region covered by the Investing Across Sectors indicators, Nigeria is one of the most open countries to foreign equity ownership. All of its major industry sectors are fully open to foreign capital participation. The only exception is the banking industry, in which foreign investors are not allowed to acquire more than 40% of an already existing Nigerian bank. There are no restrictions, however, for investors setting up a new bank in Nigeria.
To download the World Bank "Doing Business in Nigeria 2010" Report, please click here.