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Investment Policy Review: Nigeria


UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
INVESTMENT POLICY REVIEW
NIGERIA
UNITED NATIONS

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Investment Policy Review 
Nigeria
UNITED NATIONS
New York and Geneva, 2009
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
NOTE
UNCTAD serves as the focal point within the United Nations Secretariat for all matters related 
to foreign direct investment. This function was formerly carried out by the United Nations Centre on 
Transnational Corporations (1975-1992). UNCTAD’s work is carried out through intergovernmental 
deliberations, research and analysis, technical assistance activities, seminars, workshops and conferences.
The term “country” as used in this study also refers, as appropriate, to territories or areas; the 
designations employed and the presentation of the material do not imply the expression of any opinion 
whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, 
territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. In
addition, the designations of country groups are intended solely for statistical or analytical convenience and 
do not necessarily express a judgement about the stage of development reached by a particular country or 
area in the development process.
The following symbols have been used in the tables:
Two dots (..) indicate that date are not available or not separately reported. Rows in tables have been 
omitted in those cases where no data are available for any of the elements in the row.
A dash (-) indicates that the item is equal to zero or its value is negligible.
A blank in a table indicates that the item is not applicable.
involved, including the beginning and end years.
Reference to the “dollars” ($) means United States dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
Annual rates of growth or change, unless otherwise stated, refer to annual compound rates.
Details and percentages in tables do not necessarily add to totals because of rounding.
The material contained in this study may be freely quoted with appropriate acknowledgement.
UNCTAD/DIAE/PCB/2008/1
UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION
Sales E.08.II.D.11 
ISBN 978-91-1-112743-0
Copyright © United Nations, 2009
All rights reserved
Manufactured in Switzerland
II

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
PREFACE
The UNCTAD Investment Policy Reviews (IPRs) are intended to help countries improve their 
investment policies and familiarize Governments and the international private sector with an individual 
country’s investment environment. The reviews are considered at the UNCTAD Commission on Investment, 
Enterprise and Development.
The Investment Policy Review of Nigeria, initiated at the request of the Government, was carried out 
ministries and agencies, in particular the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). The mission 
international community, particularly bilateral donors and development agencies. 
The report was presented at a national stakeholders’ workshop held in Abuja in July 2008, and organized 
UNCTAD presented the key recommendations of the IPR to the President of Nigeria and cabinet ministers. 
The President fully endorsed the IPR and its recommendations, and committed to send a high-level delegation 
to Geneva for the presentation of the IPR at UNCTAD’s intergovernmental meeting. 
This report was prepared by Rory Allan, Stephen Young, Massimo Meloni and Nana Adu Ampofo under 
the supervision of Fiorina Mugione and Chantal Dupasquier, and overall direction of Khalil Hamdani and 
James Zhan. Collaborators included Suraj Yakubu, Cécile Leque, Daniel Gay and Noelia Garcia Nebra. Lang 
Dinh provided research assistance and Elisabeth Anodeau-Mareschal provided production support. This 
It is hoped that the analysis and recommendations of this review will contribute to improved policies, 
Geneva, December 2008
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
CONTENTS
PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .III
CONTENTS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  IX
NIGERIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .X
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
III. FDI TRENDS AND PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
A. Economic backdrop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
B. FDI trends  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1. FDI size and growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2. Nigeria privatization and FDI  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
  3 FDI by sector and country of origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
C.  Impact of FDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
1. FDI impact in oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
2. FDI impact in manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
3. FDI impact in the backbone services  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
D. Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
III. THE INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1. Entry and establishment of FDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2. Treatment and protection of FDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
B. General measures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
1. Taxation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
2. Foreign exchange arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
3. Labour  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
4. Entry of foreign workers and  business visitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
5. Land  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6. Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
7. Rule of law and administrative issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
8. Protection of intellectual property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
9. Technology transfer requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
10. Competition policy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
11. Selected sectoral regulations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
12. Summary of recommendations on the investment framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
III. FDI GENERATION AND DEVELOPMENT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
A. Nigeria on the TNCs development ladder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
B. Obtaining more developmental value from FDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
1. The competitive envelope – pressures and support to improve competitiveness . . . . . . . . . . . 73
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
3. Regional integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
4. Free zones integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
5. People quality programme. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
C. Generating FDI with development potential  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  101
D. Strengthening FDI-related institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  107
1.  Strengthening investment-related institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
2.  Continued transformation of NIPC  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
3.  Establishing coordinated federal-State investment promotion relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
IV. WORKING TOWARDS AN EFFECTIVE FDI STRATEGY: CONCLUSIONS
 AND RECOMMENDATIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113
a. Designing and implementing a strategy to attract non-oil FDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113
b.  Improving the regulatory framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114
c.  Investing in physical and human capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
d. Taking advantage of regional integration and reviewing external tariffs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
e. Fostering linkages and local industrial capacity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
f.
Strengthening institutions dealing with investment and related issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
ANNEX I. FDI STATISTICS IN NIGERIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
ANNEX II. CONSTRUCTION OF THE NIGERIA “WEDGE” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  120
ANNEX III. METHODOLOGY OF INTERNATIONAL TAX COMPARISONS . . . . . . . . . . .  121
REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  123
TABLES
Table I.1.
Comparative performance of Nigeria with selected countries, 1971-2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
Table I.2.
Presence of World’s 100 Largest TCNs in major African economies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
Table I.3.
Global top-100 non-oil TNCs present in Africa but absent from Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
Table I.4.
Major TNCs in manufacturing and supplier linkages in Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
Table I.5. 
Independent power producers in Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Table II.1.
Bilateral investment treaties of Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Table II.2.
Employing workers in Nigeria and selected economies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Table II.3.
Strikes and lockouts, most recent available data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Table II.4.
Non-citizen work and residence visas issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
Table II.5.
Entry of foreign labour, recommended regime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Table II.6. 
Investors’ perception of court system, 2000  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Table II.7.
Comparative rail networks and usage, 2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Table II.8.
Road network, 2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  61
Table II.9.
Telecom sector operators and investment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Table II.10.
Growth in telecom subscribers and teledensity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Table II.11.
Nigeria, summary of main FDI policy issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
up to 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
 . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Table III.3.
Nigeria tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Table III.4.
World and Africa ranking of suppliers in Nigeria and comparator countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Table III.5.
Competitiveness rankings in ECOWAS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  91
Table III.6.
Management education modes of entry into global markets by foreign universities  . . . . . . . 99
FIGURES
Figure I.1.
Economic structure and manufacturing output in Nigeria and selected comparator
countries, 1965 - 2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Figure I.2.
Timeline of major economic and policy events in Nigeria since independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Figure I.4.
Share of non-oil exports in total exports from Nigeria, 1962–2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
Figure I.5.
Total manufactured exports, 1965–2005  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
Figure I.6.
Cost of local cellular phone calls in Nigeria and comparator countries  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
Figure II.1.
Comparative taxation of investment, 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Figure II.2
Nigeria: trade disputes 1990-2004  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Figure III.2.  Industrial development path of Nigeria and comparator countries – the “wedge” 2005 . . . .  74
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Figure III.4. Nigeria, total university grant in real terms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Figure III.5. Nigeria tariff escalation in 2002, 2005 and projections for full ECOWAS CET . . . . . . . . . . .  81
BOXES
Box I.1.
FDI policies in Nigeria before and after 1995 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Box I.2.
Nigeria manufactured exports and FDI presence by commodity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
Box I.3.
Non-fuel sector FDI and innovation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
Box II.1.
Entry and protection regime in Nigerian export free zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Box II.2.
Nigeria’s One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre is created  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Box II.3.
Key provisions of Nigeria’s bilateral investment treaties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Box II.4.
Fiscal incentives in Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Box II.5.
Procedure to obtain work and residence permits in Nigeria - The BP/EQ Scheme - . . . . . . . 43
Box II.6.
Governance in resource-rich countries: the Extractive Industries Transparency  Initiative  . . 48
Box II.7.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Box II.8.
The Nigerian Copyright Commission and the STRAP Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Box II.9.
Evolution in the approach to technology transfer regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Box III.1.
Cost structures and corporate benchmarking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  76
Box III.2.
Bridging the infrastructure gap – the role of NEPAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Box III.3.
The Nigerian International Trade Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Box III.4.
The evolution of R&D at General Motors in Brazil  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Box III.5.
R&D in Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Box III.6.
Successful collaborations between research organizations and enterprises in Nigeria  . . . . . 86
Box III.7.
Proposed collaborative R&D
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Box III.8.
Successful supplier linkage programmes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Box III.9.
Proposed Partnership Linkage Programme for Nigeria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Box III.10.
Regional integration and regional supply chains among world-class TNCs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Box III.11.
Nigeria and ECOWAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Box III.12.
Ready-made garments industry in Nigeria: some recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Box III.13.
TNCs’ responses to the decline in education standards  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Box III.14. 
Issues in the taxation of returning Nigerian Diaspora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  102
Box III.15.
Experiences with IPA reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  110
VIII

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
ABBREVIATIONS
AGOA
African Growth and Opportunity Act (United States)
ASYCUDA
Automated System for Customs Data Entry
BIT
bilateral investment treaty
BOT
build–operate–transfer
BP
business permit
BPE
Bureau of Public Enterprises
CAC
Corporate Affairs  Commission
CBN
Central Bank of Nigeria
CERPAC
Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card
CET
common external tariff
DAS
Dutch Auction  System
DFID
Department for International Development (of the United Kingdom Government)
DTT
double tax treaty
ECOWAS
Economic Community of West African Countries
EFCC
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
EIA
Energy Information Administration
EIA
environmental impact assessment
EITI
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
EIU
Economist Intelligence Unit
EPZ
export processing zone
EQ
expatriate quota
FDI
foreign direct investment
FEPA
Federal Environmental Protection Agency
FGN
Federal Government of Nigeria
FIAS
Foreign Investment Advisory Service
FIRS
Federal Inland Revenue Service
FTZ
free trade zone
GDP
gross domestic product
GSM
Global System for Mobile
ICPC
Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission
ICSID
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
IDCC
Industrial Development Coordination Committee
IFC
International Finance Corporation
IFCTU
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
ILO
International Labour Organization
IMF
International Monetary Fund
IPA
investment promotion agency
IPP
independent power producer
IPR
Investment Policy Review
LEEDS
Local Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies
M&A
mergers and acquisitions
MFN
most favoured nation
NAFDAC
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control
NCC
Nigerian Copyright Commission
NCCA
National Commission for Conciliation and Arbitration
NCS
Nigeria Customs Service
NEEDS
National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy
NEPA
National Electric Power Authority 
IX

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
NEPAD
New Partnership for Africa’s Development
NEPD
Nigerian Investment Promotion Decree
NEPZA
Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority
NIDO
Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization
NIPC
Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission
NIS
Nigeria Immigration Service
NITEL
Nigeria Telecommunications  Limited
NNPC
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
NOIP
NOSCP
National Oil Spill Contingency Plan
NOSDRA
National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency
NOTAP
NOUN
National Open University of Nigeria
NPC
National Planning Commission
NT
national treatment
NTB
non-tariff barrier
OAU
Organization of African Unity
OECD
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OPEC
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
OSIC
One-Stop Investment Centre
PIDC
Patent Information and Documentation Centre
PPP
public–private partnership
PUR
Permanent Until Reviewed Visa
R&D
research and development
SAP
structural adjustment programme
SEEDS
State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy
SME
small and medium-sized enterprise
SMEDAN
Small–Medium Enterprise Development Agency Nigeria
SON
Standards Organization of Nigeria
STR
Subject to Regularization Visa
STRAP
Strategic Action against Piracy
TI
Transparency International
TNC
transnational corporation
TRIPS
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNESCO
UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
VAT
value added tax
WACIP
West African Common Industrial Policy
WAEMU
West African Economic and Monetary Union
WB
World Bank
WBES
World Business Environment Survey
WDAS
Wholesale Dutch Auction System
WIPO
World Intellectual Property Organization
WTO
World Trade  Organization
X


Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
NIGERIA
Business indicators 2007&2008
Nigeria Egypt
South Africa ECOWAS
Starting a business (# of days)
9.0
7.0
8.0
11.0
Cost of registering property
22.2
1.0
8.8
13.0
(% of property value)
Investor protection index
5.7
5.0
8.0
4.0
Rigidity of employment index
7.0
27.0
42.0
44.0
Cost of hiring (% of salary)
7.5
26.0
2.6
19.1
Firing cost (weeks of wages)
50.0
132.0
24.0
64.6
Enforcing contracts cost (% of debt)
32.0
25.3
33.2
51.0
Inter telecom cost 
1.5
1.5
0.8
2.5
($/3 min call to US, 2004)
Time for export (days)
26.0
15.0
30.0
29.9
Time for import (days)
46.0
18.0
35.0
36.5
Domestic investment (% of GDP)
22.0
18.7
20.5
20.3
1987-96
1997-06
2006
ECOWAS
NIGERIA
average
average
2006
 Investor
protection index
Key economic and social indicators
60
Population (millions)
98.9
129.8
144.7
276.3
Time for import
Rigidity of
(days)
40
GDP at market prices (billion dollars)
26.7
58.8
115.3
185
employment index
20
GDP per capita (dollars)
270.0
453.1
797.0
669.7
0
Real GDP growth (per cent)
4.1
4.5
5.2
4.7
Time for export
Cost of hiring
(days)
(% salary)
nual %)
39.7
11.9
8.2
4.2
GDP by sector (%)
International telecom cost *
Enforcing
Agriculture
31.1
29.3
23.3
8.5
($/3 min call to United States)
Contracts cost (% of debt)
Industry
45.7
46.8
56.8
7.8
Services
23.2
23.9
19.9
14.7
Nigeria
ECOWAS
Trade (billions dollars):
Merchandise exports
11
24
52
70.7
Services exports
0.7
2.2
4.2
2.7
Merchandise imports
6.4
12.3
21.8
45.1
Services imports
2.4
4.9
7.3
4.2
Exports of goods
Exports of goods and services (% GDP)
38.9
46.8
56.3
46.4
and services
(% of GDP)
Imports of goods and services (% GDP)
33.3
37.2
34.7
35.9
100
Imports of goods
Ca
ows (billions dollars) :
    and services
Agriculture
50
       (% GDP)
ows
1.4
2.2
5.5
6.8
ows (% GDP)
3.3
3.7
4.7
3.7
0
Literacy rate, youth
ows from private creditors
8.8
13.1
18.4
28.6
Infant mortality rate
(per cent)
    (per thousand)
ows fr
reditors
0.1
-0.2
2.5
7.1
Grants
0.2
0.8
6.1
10.6
Literacy rate, adult
(per cent)
Life expectancy at birth (years)
47.3
46.9
46.8
50.5
Infant mortality rate (per thousand)
120.0
101.9
98.6
99.8
Literacy rate, adult (per cent)
55.4
69.1
69.1
54.6
Nigeria
ECOWAS
Literacy rate, youth (per cent)
71.2
84.2
84.2
67.6
Human development index (HDI) rank
158
159
Sources: UNCTAD, FDI/TNC database,World Bank (Doing Business 2007&2008).
World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance. UNDP, Human Development Report 2007/2008.
XI


Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
INTRODUCTION
Nigeria is well known as a major oil producer. However, oil wealth has not been converted into 
a comparable improvement in living standards, due to decades of economic mismanagement. Compared 
to the early 1960s, agriculture, manufacturing and even services have all shrunk as a proportion of gross 
domestic product (GDP). For example, manufacturing exports per capita have halved. Furthermore, while 
foreign direct investment (FDI) has been prominent in oil and gas development, it has remained low in other 
sectors and of marginal developmental value.
The return to democracy in 1999 was accompanied by a fundamental reorientation of economic 
policy, expressed in Nigeria’s “home-grown” National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy 
(NEEDS). Following this new approach, the Government is gradually withdrawing from direct conduct of 
commercial activity to embrace a private sector-led growth strategy. Foreign investors are therefore fully 
welcome to participate in the process. Although their response has so far been most evident in the utilities 
sector, there are signs of increased foreign interest throughout the economy.
As a result of the measures taken by the Government, Nigeria is today more open and corruption 
is being tackled. Against this background, high growth rates, together with favourable oil prices and 
in a sustainable manner. In manufacturing, the strategic focus of this report a more robust presence of 
transnational corporations (TNCs) can help to bridge capital, management, skills and technology gaps where 
they are most severe, and to support the competence of local companies and the workforce towards world 
standards. This would enable Nigerian manufactures and services companies, foreign and national alike, to 
stand with the best in supplying local and global markets.
For this to happen, however, sustained policy action and appropriate strategies are required. In this 
addition to reviewing the investment framework needed to regulate and facilitate FDI, the report focuses 
on the strategic importance of FDI beyond the oil sector. Thus, given its importance for broad-based 
agro-allied industries. While FDI in the hydrocarbon sector, including downstream activity, is historically 
Furthermore, the role of State and local administrations, in spite of its importance for shaping the investment 
environment in Nigeria, is not covered in this review.
The report is structured as follows. Chapter I provides an overview of FDI trends and performance. Once 
a dynamic player in all sectors of the economy, FDI has been largely concentrated in oil extraction since the 
to other large African countries in attracting FDI beyond the oil sector. In addition, foreign operations in 
development has been low.
Chapter II analyzes the investment framework. Since 1995, Nigeria has been open to FDI in virtually all 
sectors of the economy, and foreign and domestic investors receive the same treatment in most respects. 
An impressive number of modernizing reforms, ranging from the design of a competition regime to the 
restructuring of the labour and tax regimes, are currently reshaping the investment environment. However, 
a series of regulatory impediments – relating primarily to the registration of foreign investors, their access 
to land, the status and conditions for the entry of expatriate workers and to some aspects of the taxation 
regime – still need to be addressed. Some of these measures represent a quite recent turnaround from 
1

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
policies that thwarted FDI for decades and have not yet affected investor sentiment. In this regard, issues 
of insecurity, instability and corruption are candidly acknowledged by the Government, which is showing 
resolve in tackling them.
Chapter III 
in manufacturing to increase their presence in the country and in so doing their contribution to Nigeria’s 
development. Improving the investment climate will certainly provide the conditions to attract more FDI to 
Nigeria’s large market. However, globalization has changed the world of manufacturing, and Nigeria needs 
with an upgrading of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to address the challenges 
brought about by the new global environment. In this regard, good strategic policy, combined with 
improved management of its growing oil wealth, give Nigeria opportunities available to few other developing 
countries.
Chapter IV
2

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
I. FDI TRENDS AND PERFORMANCE
Today, the FDI story of Nigeria is dominated by the oil industry. It was not always so. At independence, 
in 1960, there was a widespread FDI presence in the economy. Policy design thereafter narrowed the scope 
for FDI and decades of political instability, economic mismanagement and endemic corruption further reduced 
Nigeria’s ability to attract and retain FDI. This was compounded by a relentless deterioration of the country’s 
social conditions and physical infrastructure, in spite of increased public revenues generated by the oil sector.
While oil has played an important role in Nigeria, data show that over 70 per cent of the population 
lives on less than one dollar a day (this represents a quarter of all Africans living in this condition). The 
manufacturing sector, the focus of the FDI strategy of this report, has hardly progressed and only 3 per cent 
of agriculture is mechanized.
The return to democracy in 1999 has created the opportunity for economic renewal and an associated 
measures with a view to improve the investment climate. The reform process also takes into account the 
potential role that could play the Diaspora (close to 5 million Nigerians live abroad). The policy changes have 
started bearing fruits and if sustained, they will certainly provide an environment more conducive to private 
investment and contribute to enhance the attractiveness to FDI of Nigeria’s large and growing market.
A. Economic backdrop
At independence, in addition to being a leading exporter of groundnut, Nigeria accounted for 16 and 
43 per cent of world cocoa and oil palm production respectively.1
in terms of domestic food production (85 per cent) and Nigerian agriculture contributed to over 60
per cent of GDP and 90 per cent of exports. Conversely, manufacturing was less than 3 per cent of GDP and
1 per cent of exports, while the oil sector represented only 0.2 per cent of GDP. 
registered in Nigeria in 1956 were foreign-owned while in 1963 as much as 70 per cent of investment in the 
manufacturing sector was from foreign sources (Ohiorhenuan, 1990). Most FDI was from the Middle East 
and Europe (the United Kingdom especially) and concentrated in commerce and cash crops.
limit the risk of over-dependence on foreign trade (Okigbo, 1989). In keeping with the developmental 
rhetoric of that era, the tariff structure was formulated with industrialization and import substitution in 
mind. Manufacturing initially responded positively to the new policy but with foreign exchange and import 
licensing controls introduced in 1971–1972, the progress halted.
In addition to industrialization, removing the dominance of foreign entities in Nigerian economic and 
political life was a preoccupation of popular discourse. Legislation embodying goals of economic nationalism 
and State-led growth was adopted.
The second National Development Plan (1970–1974) accelerated indigenization on grounds that it was 
“vital for Government…to acquire, by law if necessary, the greater proportion of the productive assets of 
the economy” (p. 289). Restrictions were therefore imposed on the activities of foreign investors with the 
1
By 1997, Nigeria’s share of world oil palm production had dropped to 7 per cent.
3

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
2 The zenith of the indigenization policy, however, was the 
second indigenization decree in 1977.3 The result has been described as amongst the most comprehensive 
joint venture schemes in Africa and the developing world at large (Biersteker, 1987). The number of activities 
reserved exclusively for Nigerians was expanded to include a wide range of basic manufactures. Foreign 
investors – such as IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank and Citigroup – divested during this period.4
Box I.1.  FDI policies in Nigeria before and after 1995
The indigenization policy started in 1972 with “the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree” 
(NEPD). The decree imposed several restrictions on FDI entry. As a result, some 22 business activities 
were exclusively reserved for Nigerians, including advertising, gaming, electronics manufacturing, basic 
manufacturing, road transport, bus and taxi services, the media and retailing and personal services. Foreign 
investment was permitted up to 60 per cent ownership and provided that the proposed enterprise had, 
based on 1972 data, share capital of N200,000 ($300,000) or turnover of N500,000 ($760,000).
The second indigenization decree, the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1977, tightened 
restrictions on FDI entry in three ways: (a) by expanding the list of activities exclusively reserved to Nigerian 
investors (e.g. bus services, travel agencies, the wholesaling of home products, film distribution, newspapers, 
radio and television and hairdressing); (b) by lowering permitted foreign participation in the FDI-restricted 
activities from 60 to 40 per cent and adding new activities restricted to 40 per cent foreign ownership 
such as fish-trawling and processing, plastic and chemicals manufacturing, banking and insurance; and (c) by 
creating a second list of activities where permitted foreign investment was reduced from 100 to 60 per cent 
ownership, including manufacturing of drugs, some metals, glass, hotels and oil services companies.
Relaxation of these restrictions began in 1989. The NEPD was amended so as to leave a single group 
of 40 business activities in which foreign participation was completely prohibited unless the value of the 
enterprise exceeded N20 million ($2.7 million in 1989). In addition, foreign investors could hold only a share 
of up to 40 per cent in insurance, banking, oil production and mining.
Finally, in 1995, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act opened all sectors to foreign 
participation except for a short negative list (including drugs and arms) and allowed for 100 per cent foreign 
ownership in all sectors, with the exception of the petroleum sector (where FDI is limited to joint ventures 
or production sharing). For more details on the current FDI regime, see chapter II.
Sources: NIPC and UNCTAD.
The third National Development Plan (1975–1980) was framed after the world price of crude oil 
quadrupled (1973) and the share of oil in total exports reached 90 per cent. In this setting, exchange controls 
were reduced and restrictions on import payments abandoned. Public expenditure increased sharply and the 
Naira appreciated, further eroding agricultural competitiveness. Additional incentives for industrialization 
were adopted, including pioneer status and fast depreciation allowance on capital goods. These incentives 
produced a temporary increase in manufacturing output, which grew on average 14 per cent per annum 
between 1975 and 1980, compared to 6 per cent in services. On the other hand, agriculture production 
shrank by 2 per cent annually over the same period. 
2
did fall.
3
1977 Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decree, which imposed restrictions on FDI in several economic sectors. More details in chapter II.
4
The three of them have since returned, although Chase Manhattan Bank closed its branch in 1996–1997.
4

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Following the major decline of oil prices in the early 1980s, the shortcomings of past economic planning 
were exposed. Agriculture accounted for less than 10 per cent of exports and the country had become a net 
food importer. Manufacturing output started falling at about 2 per cent per annum between 1982 and 1986 
while GDP stagnated, with less than 1 per cent growth annually. Furthermore, by 1986, there were about 
1,500 State-owned enterprises, of which 600 were under the control of the federal Government and the 
remainder under State and local Governments. The evidence suggests that many made no contribution to 
Figure I.1. Economic structure and manufacturing output in Nigeria and selected 
comparator countries, 1965–2003*
(Percentages, millions of dollars)
     Nigeria
 South Africa
Kenya
Malaysia
Indonesia
100%
80,000
90%
70,000
80%
60,000
70%
50,000
60%
50%
40,000
40%
30,000
30%
20,000
20%
10,000
10%
0%
0
1965 1985 2003
1965 1985 2003
1965 1985 2003
1965 1985 2003
1965 1985 2003
Agriculture
Industry (excl. manufacturing)
Manufacturing
Services
manufacturing output (millions, $)
Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators Database. 
Notes: Oil production is accounted for in “industry”.
* 2003 is the most recent available data for comparing the manufacturing sector performance.
The cumulative effect of these policies is that Nigeria has not undergone the structural transformation 
only around 4 per cent of GDP, compared with 14 per cent on average throughout sub-Saharan Africa.5
Furthermore, the comparative growth of manufacturing and services in Malaysia (also a leading oil palm 
clear examples of how Nigeria has fallen behind.6
have taken a heavy toll on the state of basic infrastructures. Maintenance spending at levels close to zero 
led to the sharp deterioration in the water supply, sewerage, sanitation, drainage, roads and electricity 
infrastructure (Central Bank of Nigeria, 2004a; and World Bank, 1996).
5
6
(see: Economist, 2006).
5

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
In order to restore economic prosperity and address external shocks such as the global recession of 
the early 1980s, the Government initiated a series of austerity measures and stabilization initiatives in 1981–
1982. These, however, proved unsuccessful and a structural adjustment programme (SAP) followed. The 
SAP (1986–1988), which emphasized privatization, market liberalization and agricultural exports orientation, 
was not implemented consistently and was at odds with other facets of policy, e.g. tariff increases. But an 
economic reform process, which continues to the present, has it origins in this period.
Following the return to democracy in May 1999, the reform process was re-energized, mainly through 
Nigeria’s home-grown poverty reduction strategy. The National Economic Empowerment and Development 
Strategy (NEEDS), adopted in 2003, was meant to guide public policies until 2007. The preparation of 
NEEDS followed a highly participatory process. Associated poverty reduction strategies were developed at 
the State and local levels – State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (SEEDS) and Local 
Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (LEEDS). 
NEEDS, SEEDS and LEEDS were major departures from the policies of the past. Their broad agenda of 
social and economic reforms was based on four key strategies to: 
waste and free up resources for investment in infrastructure and social services;
(b)  
Make the private sector the main driver of economic growth, by turning the Government into a 
business regulator and facilitator; 
(c)    Implement a “social charter”, including improving security, welfare and participation; and
(d)  
Push a “value re-orientation by shrinking the domain of the State and hence the pie of distributable 
In contrast with previous development plans, NEEDS made FDI attraction an explicit goal for the 
Government and paid particular attention to drawing investment from wealthy Nigerians abroad and from 
Africans in the Diaspora. In this context, both current President Yar’Adua and his predecessor President 
Obasanjo have consistently expressed commitment to removing barriers to FDI in non-oil sectors. Though 
most FDI is still destined for the oil industry, the steps being taken under the reform agenda are bearing fruit. 
Average GDP growth, which was 2.8 per cent per annum between 2000 and 2003, had reached 6 per cent in 
2006 (9.4 per cent in the non-oil sector). The Government has now set a two-digit growth target for the short-
to-medium term.7 According to NEEDS, Nigeria would have to achieve 30 per cent annual investment and 7 
to 8 per cent growth to successfully halve poverty by 2015 in line with the Millennium Development Goals. 
However, growth alone will not automatically translate into poverty reduction. To achieve this objective, 
Nigeria will need to implement socially-oriented policy reforms.
2005. This achievement, together with a banking sector reform initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 
As a result, Nigeria received a BB- credit rating from Fitch and Standard and Poor’s Ratings Agencies in early 
2006, the same rating of countries such as Brazil and Ukraine.
NEEDS is currently under review, and will be harmonized with the policy platform of the new 
strategy will not abandon the focus on private sector-led development and will rely on a “seven-point 
agenda”: (1) wealth creation; (2) development of physical infrastructure (power, energy and transportation); 
(3) human capital development (education and health); (4) security, law and order; (5) land tenure changes 
7
“FG Targets Two-Digit GDP Growth Rate”, in Daily Trust, 24 October 2007.
6

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
7
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199
eria since independence
d
4-1999 
8
oun
rsals) 19
from 19
0
199
y rule 
ange rate crisis
6-1993
h
ents in Nig
8
ecession
v
Liberalization (piecemeal an
              reve
1st privatization r
19
Militar
0s
2-exc
8
8
5
19
Global r
19
8
19
er 
d
5
0
8
8
9
1
from 1962-19
1970s
Nigeria joins OPEC
Oil Boom
5
197
ees in 1972 
igenization:
 1977
d
d
 economic nationalism un
d
In
Decr
an
from 1966-1979
velopment plans 
e
0
d
y rule 
197
Militar
t substitution an
e 4 national 
h
 Timeline of major economic and policy e
Impor
 t
5
1967-1970
196
ar 
e I.2.
Civil W
Figur
0
196
.
AD
ence in 1960
d
epen
d
 UNCT
In
Source:
7

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
and home ownership; (6) regional development (Niger Delta); and (7) food security. The ultimate goal is to 
make Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.8
B. FDI 
trends
1. 
FDI size and growth
price and the Government’s policies in this area. 
In 1970, one year before Nigeria joined the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries 
gas that were introduced in 1986. The reduction of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 
stake in Shell Nigeria and other oil companies from 80 to 60 per cent, which took place in 1989 (mergers 
Nigeria have never decreased below $1 billion per year) also had a positive impact.
In the same way, although there are indications that non-oil FDI is rising (section B.3), the correlation 
the case since the early 2000s, when the rise in oil prices undoubtedly explains most of the sharp increase 
(Millions of dollars)
16,000
14,000
12,000
10,000
8,000
6,000
4,000
2,000
0
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
197
1979
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
199
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
88
8
8
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
9
8
-2,000
Source: UNCTAD FDI/TNC database.
8
Inaugural Address of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, May 29, 2007.
8

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
aftermath of the Second Indigenization Decree, which pushed many TNCs to divest. Among those were 
Citigroup, IBM and Barclays Bank in 1979.
Restrictions on the entry of non-oil FDI continued until the late 1980s. In 1989, they were partially 
reversed (box I.1), which contributed to the shift in the levels of FDI after that year. However, it was not 
until 1995 that the National Investment Promotion Act opened virtually all areas of the economy to foreign 
investors. This was accompanied by the Foreign Exchange Decree, which eased access to foreign exchange 
for business purposes. More recently, the improved macroeconomic environment and the reforms to the 
business environment explain the increase in non-oil FDI.
attractiveness. However, in 2007, notwithstanding the booming oil industry, Nigeria accounted for only 
improved FDI performance of other large African countries such as Egypt and South Africa, which were 
successful in attracting FDI in diverse sectors of their economies (table I.1).
Given its population, Nigeria’s recent underperformance in FDI attraction within Africa is becoming 
any other African country in the table I.1 sample, with the exception of Angola and Equatorial Guinea. 
Thereafter, other African countries began to catch up. In the most recent period (2001–2007), the average 
those to Nigeria. This indicates that Nigeria is not sharing fully the growing non-oil FDI to the continent.
Nigeria is the dominant recipient of FDI within the Economic Community of West African Countries 
the less restrictive conditions for oil FDI and the growing foreign interest for the sector.
In terms of absolute FDI stock, Nigeria remains second only to South Africa in the continent with $63 
billion and $93 billion respectively. In per capita terms, however, its relative underperformance is evident, 
and while its stock ($424) is at par with the African average ($405), it is much smaller than that of other 
oil-producing countries, and of South Africa and Egypt.
FDI to Nigeria is nonetheless a key contributor to the country’s capital accumulation. During 2001–
around 15 per cent in the rest of Africa, and 12 per cent for developing countries as a group.
2. 
Nigerian privatization and FDI
In many developing countries, privatization has been a very important source of FDI over the last two 
as part of the structural adjustment programme (SAP) and the second one since return to democracy
in 1999.
9

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
30 
30 
%
41.5 
34.3 
39.6 
19.9 
13.6 
32.7 
22.7 
27.9 
24.5 
29.8
GDP
2007
102.5 
r
296
FDI Stock 
668.9
717.0
358.6
254.5
136.9
154.8
792.5
Pe
pita
($)
424.0
287.1
405.2
ca
2007
1,924.3
21,172.5
67
2.5
2001-
2007
51.4
10.6
21.3
71.9
34.8
22.1
11.4
19.1
10.2
14.6
11.9
6.6
6.1
44
-1.1
9.2
8.6
1996-
2000
43.9
57.7
16.3
22.7
12.6
19.7
13.2
1.7
7.9
1.7
4.7
19
6.4
8.1
4.1
6.4
1991-
1995
35.7
18.9
36.9
11.7
4
5.6
0.2
1.7
8.1
5.6
1.1
2.1
3.4
1981-
1990
17.1
-0.1
10.3
14.4
As per cent of GFCF (%)
..
..
4
5.5
1.2
4.4
0.4
9.8
5.1
7.5
4.8
2.4
2.6
1971-
1980
 1971-2006
6.7
16.9
39.0
93.9
71.8
19.8
18.5
26.5
30.7
2001-
2007
47.7
301.3
37.9
29.5
0.5
10.7
10.8
23.9
420
21.4
27.1
20.3
32.1
1996-
2000
29.4
150.1
25.6
15.7
2.6
1.7
9.3
16
13.1
41.3
12.8
11.3
17.3
7.3
TIVE PERFORMANCE
1991-
1995
32.3
202.4
22.5
0
8
8
er $1000 GDP
1
5
P
0.3
4.4
5.1
1.8
8.6
RELA
25.9
24.1
1981-
1990
21.8
13.9
3
2
13
0.4
5.9
5.1
6.3
1971-
1980
12.5
-0.4
17.2
12.3
11.9
10.9
e)
25
9.3
39.5
63.0
58.9
60.1
48.4
11.5
15.6
29.5
57.1
2001-
2007
2,814.3
eria with selected countries,
7
7.7
4.5
8.1
43
34.4
15.1
75.4
20.4
1996-
2000
13.5
447.8
10.9
12.4
9.2
0.8
3.8
8.3
5.9
s and percentag
9.8
5.7
pita (Dollars)
1991-
1995
15.6
12.3
33.1
78.5
12.2
18.1
er ca
P

7.4
0.4
0.1
7.6
2.4
5.4
3.3
4.2
0.6
3.7
6.5
(Dollar
1981-
1990
17.3
10.7
4
7
ormance of Nig
2.7
5.3
0.9
0.2
3.4
3.7
1.6
3.1
1971-
1980
-0.1
3.9
2.2
e perf
5,702
3,634
93,474
50,503
12,207
13,828
10,745
58,955
18,476
2007
62,791
81,267
330,638
(Millions
dollars)
4,246,739
FDI stocks
847
285
294
5,572
2,984
4,364
1,776
1,373
2,664
6,756
1,184
2001-
2007
22,776
295,606
 Comparativ
980
246
191
843
872
325
133
1,506
1,517
1,011
2,378
8,203
1996-
2000
202,362
le I.1.
22
30
, Globstat.
b
377
729
379
357
118
101
a
1,543
2,342
1,900
3,373
T
(Millions
 dollars)
1991-
1995
78,047
7
6
3
3
9
9
45
878
418
262
1981-
1990
608
870
1,798
24,058
6
3
0
58
50
17
225
226
453
213
812
1971-
1980
6,825
 
, FDI/TNC Database
AD
ABSOLUTE PERFORMANCE
e
y name
oir
AS 439
xcluding 
oducers
AS 
ritories
 UNCT
e Regionals
W
eria
ola
W
eria
veloping 
Countr
ypt
Nig
Larg
South Africa
Eg
Oil Pr
Ang
Sudan
Equatorial Guinea
Indonesia
ECO
ECO
excluding Nigeria
Côte d’ Iv
Ghana
Africa e
Nig
De
countries
and ter
Source:
10

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
oil. This was effectively the last major expression of the indigenization policy. The sale of oil interests 
to Elf Aquitaine for $500 million in 1992, however, represented almost two thirds of the total proceeds 
from privatization ($740 million). Before the process stalled due to lack of investor interest, 88 of the 
manufacturing, tourism and transport (railroad) industries.
In contrast, the second privatization wave, originally scheduled to last from 1999 to the end of 2003, 
focused on attracting foreign investment. By then, the 1995 landmark NIPC decree was in place. Almost 100 
enterprises were targeted for privatization or commercialization in three phases.9
Phase I – Full divestiture of Government ownership in banks, oil marketing and cement;
Phase II – Full divestiture in hotels, insurance companies, vehicle assembly and parts, and other 
enterprises in competitive markets; and
Phase III – Partial divestiture of Government ownership in major public enterprises in backbone 
services, e.g. electric power, telecommunications, ports and rails, oil and gas.
Sale proceeds totalled approximately N28 billion ($261 million), of which about N4 billion ($36 million) was 
from foreign sources. Another 14 enterprises falling under phase two had been privatized by April 2005 and 
N8 billion ($62.4 million) was raised for the federal Government as a result. Foreign investors included Blue 
Circle Industries of the United Kingdom (71 per cent of Ashaka Cement Co. Plc. and 58 per cent of the West 
African Portland Company – WAPCO), Scancem of Norway (87 per cent of Cement Company of Northern 
Nigeria) and Global Infrastructure of India (80 per cent stake of Delta Steel Company). 
Progress in the privatization of Nigeria’s public utilities (phase III) has been slower due to the need to 
develop an adequate regulatory and institutional environment for private sector participation. Privatization 
in the power sector has proceeded so far as the restructuring of the industry but divestiture is as yet to be 
realized. Nevertheless, there have been some successes in the drive to draw FDI into Nigeria’s third phase 
industries, particularly in aviation and ports (chapter II reviews the regulatory environment for the backbone 
services in more detail).
3. 
FDI by sector and country of origin
estimates have largely been made from alternative sources.10 Prior to the 1970s, oil FDI was estimated to 
principal exports, e.g. palm oil (World Bank, 1974; and Central Bank of Nigeria, 2004b). Since then, FDI
11 This is despite the opening of the economy to FDI started in 
the 1990s and the efforts to attract investment in other sectors, including via the establishment of free trade 
in this section). It is attributable to the positive effect of the improvements in macroeconomic management 
9   Note that the phases refer to the planned sequencing of privatization; the actual privatization timetable varied. For example, bank privatizations were 
taking place as late as October 2002, whilst phase II began in January of the same year.
10
Bank statistics suggest that non-oil FDI is actually lower now that in the 1990s. Annex I to this chapter presents these statistics and measures
needed to provide more credible information.
11
11

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
by international rating agencies, and in the de-listing of the country by the Financial Action Task Force
(Chapter II).12
Prospects for the continued attraction of oil FDI in the near future remain positive, due to the 
commodity’s high price. Exxon Mobil Corporation, for instance, plans to invest $11 billion in the country’s 
oil sector through 2011 and the Total Oil group has announced plans to invest approximately $10 billion in 
the industry over the years 2005–2011.
to the various reforms to the investment climate carried out since 1999 (many of which will be addressed 
in chapter II of this report). Several established non-fuel-sector TNCs have recently expanded production 
Nigerian Breweries in 2004.13 The South African telecommunication company MTN, now the largest mobile 
telephony operator in Nigeria, has invested over $3 billion in the sector between 2001 and 2006, and has 
expressed commitment to ongoing expansion. 
The Nigerian authorities are also renewing their efforts to attract FDI to the FTZs. Between 2001 
and 2007, four new zones became operational and 10 more were under construction. At present, of the 
nine operational zones, three are reserved for services to the oil sector. The remaining zones have so far 
attracted some FDI. Calabar, the most advanced zone, reported total foreign investment of about $230 
million as of the end of 2005 (more details on the FTZs and their performance are given in chapter III). 
Nigeria’s underperformance in FDI attraction outside the oil sector can nonetheless be illustrated by 
reference to prominent TNCs that are not present in Nigeria but have invested in its peers. Table I.2 shows 
that in 2003, only 18 of the top 100 world’s largest non-oil TNCs (as measured by assets held abroad) had 
100 were present in at least one of these countries but not in Nigeria. These 41 TNCs represent a wide 
range of sectors, with pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles prominent, as shown in table I.3. 
the attraction of world-class TNCs. As discussed later in chapter III, continued growth in Nigeria’s internal 
market, matched with accelerated regional integration within ECOWAS, would contribute to Nigeria’s FDI
attractiveness, including for the world’s top TNCs.
Table I.2. Presence of World’s 100 Largest TNCs in major African economies
Nigeria
Kenya
Egypt
South Africa
TNCs present
24
19
26
45
Oil
6
2
1
3
Non-oil
18
17
25
42
Source: UNCTAD (2005c).
perceptions are fed by the frequent disruptions of oil production and incidents involving foreign personnel 
and assets in the Niger Delta oil region. Objectively, these issues are less problematical outside the oil 
Economic Forum’s index of business perceptions of costs of crime and violence ranks Nigeria 120th of 
130 countries – but ahead of Brazil, Kenya and South Africa. Chapter III of this report notes the need to 
formalize an approach to improving perceptions of Nigeria in the international investment community. 
12 Central Bank of Nigeria, Annual Report & Statement of Accounts for the Year Ended 31st December 2007, Abuja  2007.
13 Agreement for increase in stake from 24 per cent to 50.05 per cent, 29th November 2004.
12

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Table I.3. Global top-100 non-oil TNCs present in Africa but absent from Nigeria
Home country
Number
Sector
Number
Total 41
Total
41
Australia
2
Chemicals
2
Canada
1
3
Finland
1
Electronic & electric equipment
3
France
8
Food & beverages
-
Germany
8
Machinery & equipment
1
Japan
5
Media
2
Norway
1
Metal products
2
Spain
1
Mining
2
Switzerland
2
Motor vehicles
8
Sweden
1
Non-metallic mineral products
2
United Kingdom
2
Pharmaceuticals
4
United States
9
Telecommunications
6
Textiles
1
Tobacco
1
Transport
1
Wholesale
1
Utilities
2
Source: UNCTAD (2005c).
In light of the oil industry’s prominence, it is not surprising that the countries of origin of FDI to Nigeria 
have traditionally been the host countries of the oil majors. Topping the list of the largest foreign investors 
in Nigeria are the United States, present through Chevron Texaco and ExxonMobil; the Netherlands with 
Shell; France with Total; and Italy with ENI. While Western Europe and the United States remain dominant 
increasingly involved in the Nigerian oil sector. In late 2004, the Chinese companies Funsho Kupolokum and 
Sinopec have both signed agreements with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the exploration 
investment from China and India.
is South Africa’s third-largest trading partner on the continent after Zimbabwe and Mozambique (which 
than 20 South African companies are today present in Nigeria, in segments ranging from construction, 
telecommunications and entertainment, to revenue collection and aviation.
C. Impact 
of 
FDI
Oil extraction has been the dominant target of FDI for the last 30 years and its impact on the Nigerian 
economy has been large. Understandably, the oil industry story attracts the most attention in international 
commentary on FDI in Nigeria.
services and the impact of FDI in this area, though recent, is promising. A more extensive analysis on the 
impact of FDI on the overall economy, based on employment and poverty reduction, is not possible due to 
13

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
Taking this into account, this chapter reviews the impact of FDI in three areas – oil, manufacturing and
services – with a particular focus on manufacturing as background to the extended review of this sector in 
chapter III.
1. 
FDI impact in oil
Foreign investors have been instrumental in the development of oil extraction to a point where Nigeria 
is now the 11th largest oil producer in the world and the largest in Africa. TNCs have been able to deploy 
capital and technology on a scale beyond Nigeria’s domestic resources. They have been especially important 
plans to increase oil production to 10 million barrels a day by 2010 from today’s level of 1 million to 2 million. 
To achieve this, the involvement of TNCs in deepwater areas will be essential.14
FDI has not, however, been prominent in the downstream side of the oil industry. For example, 
Government has been pursuing negotiations with Libyan, Indian, and Chinese investors. In April 2006, the 
Chinese National Petroleum Corporation won licences in four exploration blocks and committed to invest 
Figure I.4. Share of non-oil exports in total exports from Nigeria, 1962–2006
(Percentage)
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
196
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
197
1979
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
199
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
88
8
8
8
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
9
8
Sources: United Nations Comtrade database, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
14 The Energy Information Administration’s Nigeria Country Analysis Brief, Environmental Issues, available online at www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/
nigenv.html.
14

Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
While oil contributes to around 98 per cent per cent of national exports (i.e. $56.3 billion in 2006) and 
the oil bounty has not been well managed. As a result, the booming oil sector is yet to contribute to lifting 
people out of poverty in Nigeria. There are, in this regard, mounting pressures to adopt representative and 
participatory processes to address issues related to the exploitation of oil resources (UNCTAD, 2007). 
Furthermore, the conduct of oil TNCs has been questioned. With respect to the environmental impact 
recently been created to regulate oil spillages. Regarding the lack of transparency in the payments of TNCs 
to the Government and other agents, Nigeria has committed to implement the principles of the Extractive 
Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Nigeria is among very few countries that have made the most 
law making revenue disclosure mandatory.
2. 
FDI impact in manufacturing
FDI has not had a meaningful impact on the development of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector. This is an 
over 30 years. Of course, for much of this period, FDI was on a low scale, either because it was unwelcome 
or because general business conditions were inhospitable for those foreign investors who remained during 
the indigenization period. 
simple sale and assembly functions to manufacturing capacity. In doing so, they seek to enhance their 
domestic competitive position by product adaptation and development, and by encouraging linkages with 
local suppliers. They progress further by developing an export capability, initially to regional markets and, 
ultimately, in the case of many products, by participating in the global supply chains of their parent groups. 
15
In relation to export capability
(Central Bank of Nigeria, 2004b). Of the top 50 exporters, 13 appear to be foreign enterprises, contributing 
36 per cent of export value. This is a moderate impact by foreign investors. In Brazil, for example, foreign 
2001). Overall, Nigeria’s manufactured exports performance is very weak. Figure I.5 presents the long-term 
performance of the bulk of Nigeria’s manufactured exports.16 Manufacturing exports have revived since the 
1990s. But they are not appreciably greater now (2005) than in 1965 (in constant United States dollars) and 
have halved on a per capita basis. In comparative terms, exports per capita in 2003 were $493 in South Africa, 
$59 in Egypt, $24 in Kenya and $3 in Nigeria for the same group of manufactures.
15 The evidence is not systematic due to data and survey constraints.
16 Transport equipment is excluded.
15

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
across a number of industry categories compared with the prevalence of foreign investors in these industries. 
Food and beverages and rubber products have a strong foreign investor presence and exports have increased 
in recent years. But export values are low (less than $15 million in 2005 in both cases). The strongest export 
industry is leather products (exports in excess of $160 million in 2005) yet here foreign investor presence 
appears to be minor. The footwear and textiles industry has an important foreign presence (up to 50 per 
cent of the industry may be foreign owned) and has clearly struggled in the last 10 years to retain export 
competitiveness (despite the potential boost from the United States African Growth and Opportunity Act 
(AGOA)). The building materials, pulp and paper and chemicals industries have been largely in the hands of 
State- or nationally-owned enterprises. This is changing as the most recent round of privatization has been 
open to foreign investors and foreign acquisitions have taken place (e.g. in cement and aluminium).
Figure I.5. Total manufactured exports, 1965–2005
(2005 constant dollars, millions)
400,000
350,000
300,000
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
0
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Source: 
Notes: 
Mirror data (world imports from Nigeria) including costs, insurance and freight. When data was not available for 
the chosen year, data for adjacent years has been used instead.
In relation to developing supplier capacity, the limited presence of foreign investors in manufacturing suggests 
interviews, which revealed little sustained integration of foreign operations with local suppliers. Companies 
reported that mandatory local content rules in the past had been ineffective. This is consistent with UNCTAD’s 
international experience of mandatory local content requirements, which have in most cases shown disappointing 
Although no comprehensive study on the linkages between TNCs and local suppliers in Nigeria 
is  available,  a  survey  conducted  by  UNCTAD  as  part  of  the  research  for  this  report  of  some  of  the 
largest TNCs in manufacturing found that linkages have largely been established in low or medium 
technology or intermediate products. Only one out of six large TNCs present in Nigeria for more 
that 40 years (on average) reported having established a network of internationally competitive local 
suppliers, while the majority only resorts to a few local suppliers of low/medium technology inputs
(table I.4). 
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Box I.2.  Nigeria manufactured exports and FDI presence by commodity
(2005 constant dollars, millions) 
FOOD & BEVERAGES
RUBBER PRODUCTS
16
5
14
12
4
10
3
8
6
2
4
1
2
0
0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
FOOTWARE & TEXTILES
ELECTRIC & ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
40
50
35
45
30
40
35
25
30
20
25
15
20
10
15
10
5
5
0
0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
LEATHER PRODUCTS
 BUILDING MATERIALS
180
250
160
140
200
120
100
150
80
100
60
40
50
20
0
0
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Strong FDI presence
Moderate FDI presence
Low FDI presence
Source
Note
: Mirror data (world imports from Nigeria) including costs, insurance and freight
Table I.4. Major TNCs in manufacturing and supplier linkages in Nigeria
In low or 
Regionally/ 
Local suppliers,
In higher-tech 
Few and very 
medium tech/
globally 
type
intermediate
basic
cost-intensive 
competitive 
        Period
products
sectors
Arrival in Nigeria
5
1
Now
4
1
1
Source: UNCTAD’s survey of major TNCs in manufacturing in Nigeria.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter I
Box I.3.  Non-fuel sector FDI and innovation
Company A: The company has 5-6 core people working part-time in R&D to analyse the properties 
and quality of materials’ supply. The company started registering patents after a design problem (leaking 
packaging) which they solved for a TNC was registered by a competitor. Now they have registered a large 
number of patents for both domestic and international markets. R&D is viewed as essential to support their 
objective of being a quality and innovative producer if not the largest packaging company in the country.
Company B: R&D for the global group is located in Europe. In Nigeria, there is a development 
department employing three people at the management level. Its role concerns the transfer of technology, 
and especially formulations, which is highly challenging because of the difficulties of availability, cost and 
quality of raw materials. The department is currently involved in a packaging localization programme, 
highlighting the link between local sourcing and product development.
Company C: The affiliate has a small but focused development department of six people, directly 
supporting the businesses in respect of local development and innovation. One process is patented (in 
India and United Kingdom). The global science and technology facility is in Europe. All businesses across
Africa have access to each other’s development results through a computer-integrated tool for innovation 
called “Integrated Product Management”. 
Company D: 10-15 people work in development, principally to support the main R&D operations 
in Japan and South Africa. The role is principally that of testing and providing feedback on performance of 
the final product.
Company E: Around 30 people work in adaptation and product testing, although there is no R&D 
unit as such.
Sources: Company interviews and UNCTAD’s survey of major TNCs in Nigeria, 2006.
In relation to product adaptation and design, UNCTAD’s interviews with TNCs in Nigeria suggest that, 
with very few exceptions, their research and development (R&D) operations are typically at the early 
stages of sophistication. Small departments, responsible for technology transfer or product adaptation to 
the local market, are maintained in support of main research departments in home countries (box I.3 and
chapter 3).
63,009 and 1,527 in South Africa and Egypt, respectively.17
3.
FDI impact in the backbone services
a. Telecommunications
FDI has had a notable impact on the expansion of mobile telephony in Nigeria since the launch of 
Global System for Mobile (GSM) licensing in January 2001. Two of the three licences issued went to foreign 
now Celtel Nigeria, further to the entry in 2006 of the Zain Group of Kuwait) – for $285 million each.18
17
18 A fourth licence was issued to domestically owned Globacom in 2002.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Within two years, Econet and MTN had signed up 2.2 million subscribers. MTN alone claims to have invested 
more than $3 billion to date in Nigeria and the Zain Group has pledged another $2 billion investment.
The impact of FDI under competitive conditions in mobile telephony has been remarkable. In the 
sector as a whole, subscriber numbers have grown from 35,000 to over 16 million by September 2005,19
second national operator licence in 2002. After various failed attempts to privatize the State-owned operator, 
51 per cent of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) was eventually acquired by Transnational 
Corporation (Transcorp) of Nigeria, a local company, in November 2006. However, the Government 
reversed the privatization in February 2008, on grounds that Transcorp failed to achieve the objectives of 
the privatization guidelines, and is now looking for a new core investor.
Figure I.6. Cost of local cellular phone calls in Nigeria and comparator countries
(Peak rate, $/3 minutes)
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
Nigeria
Kenya
Egypt
South Africa
Source: ITU World Telecommunications  indicator  2006.
Note:  Nigeria communications Commission.
b. Power
Power provision has long been a thorn in the side of Nigerian competitiveness and quality of life. The 
erratic and costly provision of electricity hurts businesses generally but especially the energy intensive 
manufacturing sector. According to NEEDS, up to 25 per cent of business start-up costs are accounted 
for by expenditure on private power generators and privately generated electricity can be up to 2.5 times 
as costly as that from the national infrastructure.20 According to the 2001 World Bank Investment Climate 
South Africa and 19 per cent in Egypt, while some manufacturers operate independently of the national 
infrastructure.
19 Nigeria Communications Commission.
20 I 
n 2003, MTN reported that unforeseen problems with power and environment resulted in an additional $100 million in the cost of telecoms infra-
structure rollout. 
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Chapter I
Traditionally, the power sector has been run by the State monopoly, the Nigerian Electric Power 
Authority (NEPA). Over the last few years, there have been various attempts at liberalizing the sector 
and NEPA has already been broken up for privatization, changing its name to Power Holding Company of 
Nigeria. No private investment has been attracted so far, however, due to the deteriorated state of the 
energy infrastructure. Finally, in May 2008 President Yar’Adua indicated that the Government will invest to 
repair the nation’s power stations and transmission lines before proceeding with its sale.21
Table I.5. Independent power producers in Nigeria
Commencement
Proposed 
Location
Company
Ownership
Initiating Government
date*
capacity
AES and Y.F. 
July 2000
Lagos
US/Nigeria
270 MW
Lagos State Government
Power
30 MW 
N.A.
Abuja
ABB Group
Swiss
(Energy)
Federal Government
450 MW
August 2000
P-Harcourt
Siemens
Germany
276 MW
Federal Government
Kwale,
April 2000
ENI/Agip
Italy
450 MW
Federal Government
Delta State
N.A.
Bonny
Exxon/Mobil
United States
388 MW
Federal Government
N.A.
Enugu
Eskom
South Africa
2000 MW
Federal Government
3 locations in 
March 2001
N.A.
N.A.
180 MW
Rivers State
River State
Sources: Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Heinrich Boll Stiftung: Utility Privatization and the Poor Nigeria in Focus, by Ademola 
Ariyo (2004).
* Agreement  signed.
Pending privatization of the respective business units, foreign participation in the sector is limited to 
a number of independent power producers (IPPs). For example, in June 2000, the federal Government 
signed an agreement with Enron for the construction of a 270 MW IPP in Lagos State. Ownership has since 
listed in Table I.5. are as yet operational. The commercial prospects for IPPs have been complicated by the 
generated power.
c. Transport sector
FDI in the transport sector is at the emergent stages as liberalization and privatization have only just 
begun to make private investment opportunities available. Ports sector concessioning is well underway, 
with 20 long-term concession agreements fully executed by the end of 2006 and six more in progress, 
and concessions have recently been announced for airport services. A.P. Moller of the Maersk Group has 
acquired the Apapa container terminal concession and the ENL consortium has emerged as preferred 
bidder for Apapa terminals A and C. Although these investments are too recent to judge their impact on 
21
, BBC News, 30 May 2008.
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Chapter I
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
port services and the removal of concession charges (normally $300 per container) by some shipping lines, 
as operations and ship turnaround times improve (Leigland and Pallson, 2007).
Initial capitalization for Virgin Nigeria was $50 million, of which Virgin Atlantic provided approximately $24.5 
million.
D. Summary
back by overt restrictions in favour of national enterprises until the 1990s and by poor business conditions. 
Although by 1995 Nigeria had relaxed virtually all restrictions on the entry of FDI, other countries moved 
faster to attract non-oil FDI including through privatization. Taking oil and non-oil FDI together, Nigeria now 
Outside the oil-based economy, Nigeria is a country of widespread poverty. The commercial agriculture 
sector has declined and there has been no structural transformation into manufacturing. FDI in manufacturing 
(the focus of this report) has not been the dynamic force it might have been in a more favourable climate. 
Major reforms to improve the investment climate and infrastructure for business are underway. More FDI
outside the oil industry is forthcoming as a result. The challenge will be to position this FDI to make the 
greatest contribution to Nigeria’s development.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
II. THE INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK
This chapter reviews Nigeria’s policy framework and provides recommendations to improve the 
investment climate. This should contribute to attaining Nigeria’s development objectives through increased 
After placing considerable restrictions on FDI in the past, in 1995 Nigeria opened its economy to foreign 
investment in almost all business activities. In a liberalization effort, sweeping reforms have been carried out 
in most policy domains affecting business activities, ranging from privatization of backbone services, labour 
regulations and environmental protection to, more recently, competition policy and taxation. An important 
effort to combat corruption at all levels is also taking place.
Although much has been accomplished, reminiscences of the old regulatory approach, in areas such as 
land policy or technology transfers agreements, continue to constrain private sector development. Hence, 
the current reform drive needs to persist not only to remove the remaining bottlenecks, but also to ensure 
effective implementation of the new regulations.
A.  Specific FDI measures
1. 
Entry and establishment of FDI
In 1995, Nigeria adopted one of the most liberal regimes in Africa for the entry of foreign investors, 
virtually opening all its economy to FDI and reversing the severe restrictions on FDI imposed by the 
“indigenization” policy of the 1970s and 1980s.
The indigenization policy proposed to promote the participation of Nigerians to the economy by the 
transfer of foreign holdings to Nigerians. As mentioned in chapter I, the policy was also conceived as a method 
for pushing foreign investment into intermediate and capital goods, and to dilute foreign concentration in 
consumer non-durable goods (Ogbuagu, 1983). Foreign investors affected by the indigenization decrees 
reacted either by issuing shares on the Nigerian stock market (e.g. Metal Box Ltd., The United Africa 
Company, Lever Bros and Dunlop) or by pulling out of the Nigerian market altogether (as in the case of 
Chase Manhattan Bank, Citigroup and IBM, among others). 
Initial steps to open the economy were taken in the late 1980s. In 1988, the Industrial Coordination 
Committee (IDCC), the forerunner of today’s Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), was 
established to coordinate the grant of all approvals (business permits, expatriate quotas and incentives) in 
respect of establishing new businesses with foreign interests. The major amendment was introduced in 1989. 
Many sectors were partially re-opened to FDI and foreigners were allowed to invest in a list of activities 
provided they complied with a total project investment of N20 million ($2.7 million in 1989) and a citizens’ 
ownership of at least 40 per cent.
Finally, in 1995, the Nigerian Enterprises (repeal) Act abolished restrictions on limits to foreign 
shareholding while the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act established the NIPC as a successor 
to the IDCC, to become the agency in charge of promoting and facilitating foreign investment in Nigeria.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter II
The NIPC Act is Nigeria’s investment law and governs the entry of FDI. It allows for 100 per cent 
ventures or new production-sharing agreements, and in a short negative list. The last refers to investment 
in industries considered crucial to national security, which are precluded to both Nigerian and foreign 
investors. These include the production of:
Arms and ammunition;
Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; and
Military, paramilitary disciplined services uniforms.
The Federal Executive Council may, from time to time, determine what other items enter the negative 
list. No changes to the list have, however, been adopted since its introduction in 1995.
Companies are incorporated via the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), prior to registration with 
way of incorporating companies. A new online system for incorporation was established in 2003 and is 
and CAC is proceeding to electronic recording of all former paper registrations. An e-payment system was 
established and the average duration of the incorporation process was brought down to three working days 
(starting from the date all payments of fees are received), from up to three months before the introduction 
of the electronic system (World Bank, 2002).22
Under the current system, no investment approval is needed, but it is required that all investments with 
foreign participation be registered with the NIPC to be covered by the treatment and protection clauses of 
the act (sections 17 and 27). In practice, however, the NIPC has been limiting the registration to companies 
investing a minimum share capital of N10 million (about $80,000). Registration with NIPC is not necessary 
for companies establishing in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs), or obtaining the “Export Processing 
Factory” status. In those cases, investment approval and licensing is the responsibility of the Nigerian Export 
Processing Zones Authority – NEPZA (box II.1).
The minimum investment threshold for registration introduced by the NIPC appeared to derive from 
its administrative involvement in the process of enabling investors to bring in foreign employees. Statutory 
responsibility for this rests with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which requires investors seeking to hire 
foreign employees to obtain a “Business Permit” (BP) and an Expatriate Quota (EQ).23 The minimum 
investment requirement for a Business Permit is set at N10 million ($80,000). 
Previous analyses of the Nigerian investment climate by the Foreign Investment Advisory Service 
(FIAS)24 and others have recommended the elimination of the NIPC Business Permitting process. NEEDS 
was taken with the opening, in March 2006, of a One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre (OSIC) within the NIPC 
premises (box II.2). The NIPC reports that, since the introduction of the OSIC, the steps necessary to 
obtain a Business Permit have been reduced from nine to three and that business permits are issued fairly 
automatically (in 10 minutes).
22
23 Handbook on Expatriate Quota Administration, Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs – Citizenship and Business Department, 2004 revision.
24 FIAS, 2000 and The Nigeria Investors’ Roadmap, 2002.
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Chapter II
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Box II.1.  Entry and protection regime in Nigerian export free zones
The regime for entry and protection of FDI in Nigeria’s Free Zones (Export Processing Zones before 
2001) differs significantly from that of the customs territory.  The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Act 
of 1992, which provides the legal framework for the establishment and operation of the zones in Nigeria,
is also the legal foundation of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).  Apart from the 
management of all Free Zones, responsibilities of NEPZA include: 

Granting and removal of all requisite permits and licences;

Establishment of customs, police, immigration and similar posts; 
•   Resolution of trade disputes between employers and employees and between public and private 
organizations;
•  Investment promotion strategies (including opening of oversees promotion offices); and

Budget approval functions in respect of the zones’ annual budgets.
Investors are allowed to enter the zones only for a list of approved activities. These are:

Manufacturing of goods for export;
• Warehousing, freight forwarding and customs clearance;

Handling of duty-free goods;

Banking, stock exchange and other financial services, insurance and reinsurance;
•  Import of goods for special services, exhibitions and publicity;
•  International commercial arbitration services;
• Activities relating to integrated zones; and

Other activities deemed appropriate by NEPZA. 
Applications for permission to invest in the zones are received directly by NEPZA, which can grant 
a license whether or not the business is incorporated in the customs territory.  The NEPZA Act also
indicates that the grant of a licence shall constitute automatic registration within the zone. Up to 100 
per cent foreign ownership of business is allowed. However, under the 2004 Investment Procedures,
Regulations and Operational Guidelines by NEPZA, approved enterprises can engage in authorized
activities provided an investment of at least $500,000, with no distinction between foreign and domestic 
investors.
Apart from the specific incentives that will be discussed later in this chapter, investors in the zones 
are offered such guarantees as repatriation of foreign capital investment at any time, including the capital 
appreciation of the investment, remittance of profits and dividends and the possibility to employ foreign 
managers and qualified personnel. Immigration and employment permit applications are received directly 
by NEPZA together with the application for a licence to establish in the zone or at any time thereafter. 
As mentioned above, dispute settlement falls under the competences of NEPZA, which is empowered 
to decide on disputes arising between licensees and to represent a licensee in all negotiations, arbitration and 
settlement of disputes with any other government agency or department in the zones. In the latter scenario, 
the 2004 Guidelines specify that the  Arbitration and Conciliation Act Cap 19 Laws of the Federation of 
Nigeria shall apply.  NEPZA also receives disputes between licensees and their employees and, according 
to the guidelines, it shall take all necessary steps to reach settlement between the parties. In all the above 
cases, NEPZA maintains “the right to intervene at any stage of any dispute in order to maintain industrial
peace in the zone”.
Source: UNCTAD
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter II
Box II.2.  Nigeria’s One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre is created
A One-Stop-Shop Investment Centre (OSIC) has been operational in Nigeria since March 2006. It is housed 
within the premises of NIPC in Abuja and a site for the forthcoming Lagos branch has been acquired. OSIC
was opened with the stated objective of addressing “problems related to the multiplicity of agencies involved 
in various aspects of investment facilitation in Nigeria and the resultant inter-agency rivalry, complicated by 
conflicting statutory laws/legal frameworks; arbitrary use of discretion in granting approvals; limited transparency; 
bureaucratization in procedures; and poor service orientation” (NIPC, 2006). Since inception, OSIC has registered 
more than 2,500 companies. 
While the ultimate goal is to get the agencies involved in the OSIC to work in harmony to reengineer 
and streamline their processes, procedures and requirements for granting business entry permits, licences and 
approvals, it was decided to adopt a “Coordinated One-Stop Approval Framework for the One-Stop-Shop 
(OSS) of Nigeria. This model implies that the various agencies/authorities maintain their existing mandates and 
responsibilities within the structure of the OSIC. In this regard, the following agencies have opened desks in the 
Centre:
• The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC);
• The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC);
• The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN);
• The Ministry of Federal Capital Territory;
• The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development;
• The Federal Ministry of Finance;
• The National Bureau of Statistics;
• The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS);
• The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS);
• The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS);
• The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP);
• The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON);
• The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC);
• The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency;
• The Northern Nigeria Development Corporation; and
• The O’dua Investment Corporation Limited. 
OSIC is currently envisaging an e-payment solution to facilitate payment of fees charged by the various 
agencies. To this end, all agencies involved need to conform to the agreed service standards as shall be enunciated 
in the forthcoming Client Charter.
UNCTAD, invited to comment on the OSIC initiative on the occasion of the Presidential Retreat of 20 
March 2006, recommended that the creation of the OSIC did not obviate the need to streamline business 
regulation, nor bring a better service culture within key regulatory agencies. UNCTAD’s recommendations, 
geared towards achieving a “Team Nigeria” approach, include:
(a) The NIPC should negotiate protocols of cooperation with the agencies participating in OSIC. These 
should spell out the extent of empowerment of OSIC-located officers, NIPC oversight arrangements, the quality 
and number of staff assigned and service delivery expectations;
(b) OSIC should function in large part as a “virtual” OSIC, taking advantage of the opportunities opened 
by Internet technology. Online applications and inter-agency exchange would not only lead to faster information 
flow, better monitoring and accurate and timely reporting, but also extend the OSIC services to all areas 
of the country with Internet access. This has now been adopted as an official objective with proposed full 
implementation in three years.
(c) Use of OSIC services should not be mandatory. Investors should be able to apply directly to the 
regulatory agency if they choose. It is up to OSIC to perform. This is now official policy and the authorities are 
now determined to make OSIC an irresistible choice for investors.
Wherever feasible, regulatory officers sitting in OSIC should be “empowered” to approvals as distinct from 
channelling applications back to their headquarters. 
Source: UNCTAD, based on information from the NIPC.
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Chapter II
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
The objective of NEEDS mentioned above can be readily accomplished by restricting NIPC’s role in 
the approval process to the registration of foreign investors only. Expatriate entry rights should be obtained 
directly by application to the Immigration authorities. NIPC can facilitate this by housing the Immigration 
representatives in its OSIC. In this regard, the NIPC should no longer purport to have a regulatory role, but 
25
An important outcome of this de-merger will be the right of all foreign investors to obtain guarantees 
of treatment and protection through registration with the NIPC. Another practical implication is that the 
registration, not a licence. 26
The launch of the OSIC in March 2006 to facilitate business establishment is an important initiative. To 
fully meet its objectives, the OSIC will require strong support and mentoring from parent agencies and from 
NIPC’s management if it is to be useful and credible to investors. The quality of seconded staff is equally vital. 
This applies to both the NIPC and the regulatory agencies represented in the OSIC.
2.
Treatment and protection of FDI
Most of the standard provisions relating to the treatment and protection of foreign investment are 
contained in the NIPC Act. The fund transfer undertakings are also given in the Foreign Exchange Act of 
1995 and the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Act of 1992. There are, nonetheless, gaps in the treatment 
provisions of the NIPC Act. Furthermore, Nigeria has also signed a number of bilateral investment treaties 
(BITs) containing all the usual provisions on treatment and protection.
a. The BITs framework
BITs’ negotiations in Nigeria are conducted by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investment 
Promotion and Protection Agreements, which comprises representatives of the Ministries of Finance, 
Commerce, Justice, Industry, Foreign Affairs; the National Planning Commission; the Central Bank; and 
those with France, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have entered into force
(table II.1).27
respect, a more coordinated and energetic approach on the side of the Nigerian BITs negotiators should be 
China; and (b) conclude new BITs with countries that are emerging as potentially large investors in Nigeria 
in the short to medium run, such as India. Furthermore, those BITs should represent the building block of 
broader instruments of economic diplomacy to be negotiated between Nigeria and its strategic partners. 
25   Following a recent change, this is now being accomplished indirectly. While NIPC appears still to be approving business permits, it may no longer 
apply the statutory minimum capital requirement and is thus able to issue the permit quickly and routinely. While this has the effect of speeding up 
the expatriate hiring procedure and removing an administrative limit to registration of FDI, it is not the role of a typical IPA. The business permit is 
a form of substance test on employers seeking to hire abroad and should be retained and improved (see subsection 4 below), not disregarded. It
should, however, be administered by immigration representatives. NIPC need not have this regulatory role and should not apply an important policy 
instrument in a cavalier fashion, albeit in good faith.
26   The present merged documentation (the NIPC Form 1) is quite intrusive. Apart from general information on the investing company and its intended 
operation in Nigeria, a feasibility study is required, as well as information on the number of Nigerians and expatriates to be employed, the train-
ing programme to be offered to the local workforce and the time-frame for replacement of expatriate labour with Nigerian workers (understudy 
(tenancy or lease agreement). The NIPC reports that it has recently overhauled the process and drastically reduced the steps involved.
27   It should be noted that there are other sources of information that suggest a different number of BITs have entered into force – see the website of 
the Ministry of Industry, Planning, Research and Statistics Department. However, such information appears less reliable.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter II
Table II.1.  Bilateral investment treaties of Nigeria
Partner
Signed on:
Entry into force:
Algeria
14 January 2002
Partner yet to ratify
Bulgaria
21 December 1990
Partner yet to ratify
China
27 August 2001
Partner yet to ratify
Egypt 
20 June 2000
Partner yet to ratify
France 
27 February 1990
19 August 1991
Finland
22 June 2005
Nigeria yet to ratify
Germany 
28 March 2000
Partner yet to ratify
Jamaica
5 August 2002
Partner yet to ratify
Korea, Rep. of
27 March 1998
01 February 1999
Korea, Dem. Peoples’ Republic of
11 November 1996
Partner yet to ratify
Italy 
27 September 2000
Partner yet to ratify
Netherlands
02 November 1992
01 February 1994
Romania
18 December 1998
Partner yet to ratify
Serbia and Montenegro
01 June 2002
Partner yet to ratify
Spain
09 July 2002
Partner yet to ratify
South Africa 
29 April 2000
Partner yet to ratify
Sweden 
18 April 2002
Partner yet to ratify
Switzerland
30 November 2000
Partner yet to ratify
Taiwan Province of China
07 April 1994
?
Turkey 
08 October 1996
Partner yet to ratify
Uganda
15 January 2003
Partner yet to ratify
United Kingdom 
11 December 1990
11 December 1990
Sources: Government sources and UNCTAD BITs database.
In this respect, effective mechanisms should be put in place to ensure coordination and consultation 
BITs. The NIPC should take a leading role in this process, and act as the secretariat for processing BITs 
through the government machinery. This new function would also entail ensuring consistency between the 
in investment policy advocacy, as proposed in chapter III of this report. 
Box II.3 summarizes the key treatment and protection provisions contained in the BITs that have been 
The BITs in force thus provide sound standards of treatment and protection for investments originated 
from signatory countries. The relevant provisions in national law and practice are considered below.
b. Treatment
There is no explicit legal provision granting national treatment to foreign investors in Nigeria apart 
from those appearing in the signed BITs. All existing BITs provide such guarantees as national treatment, fair 
and equitable treatment and MFN provisions (box II.3).
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Chapter II
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Box II.3.  Key provisions of Nigeria’s bilateral investment treaties
Since as early as 1990, Nigeria has signed 22 Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection 
Agreements (table II.1). However, only four of them have entered into force: the United Kingdom (1990); 
France (1991); the Netherlands (1994) and the last one with the Republic of Korea (1999). Most others 
are awaiting ratification of the partner countries. Negotiations for further treaties are also in progress with 
Belgium, the Russian Federation and the United States.
All four ratified treaties contain guarantees of national treatment (NT) of foreign investors, most 
favoured nation (MFN) provisions, fair and equitable treatment and standard guarantees for unrestricted 
repatriation of investment and returns. Expropriation is only allowed for public purposes and is subject to 
prompt, adequate and effective compensations, based on market value. The coverage of the BITs provisions 
extends to all investment originating from the signatory countries, irrespective of whether they are 
registered with the NIPC.
Exceptions to NT and MFN feature in all four BITs in respect to any existing or future free trade zone, 
customs union, regional economic organization or other similar international agreements to which one of the 
parties might adhere (regional exception). The BITs with the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea also 
allow for exception to NT in relation to any international agreement or domestic legislation relating wholly 
or mainly to taxation, while the BIT with the Netherlands limits such exclusion to fiscal advantages accorded 
under double tax treaties (DTTs). The BIT with the United Kingdom further provides for exclusion to NT and 
MFN for special incentives to stimulate the creation of local industries. Such exclusions are not unusual.
In case of disputes between a foreign investor and the State, all BITs in force provide for reference to 
the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Sources: UNCTAD and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Nigeria thus relies strongly on its track record of dealings with foreign investors and only two exceptions 
is with respect to the minimum share requirement of N10 million to hire foreign labour and the obligation 
to obtain a business permit for such purpose, which is not required for national investors.28 The second is 
the different minimum investment threshold to obtain the main form of tax incentive, the “Pioneer Status”, 
which is higher, but by no means prohibitive, for foreign investors.
c. Funds transfer 
As per the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1995, any investor is 
guaranteed the free importation and convertibility of foreign exchange and the unconditional transferability 
of funds, through an authorized dealer, in freely convertible currency of:
Payments in respect of loan servicing where a foreign loan has been obtained; and
The remittance of proceeds (net of all taxes) and other obligations in the event of sale or 
liquidation of the enterprise or any interest attributable to the investment.
28   
applications are processed in a matter of minutes.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
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The act constitutes an important liberalization effort with respect to the repealed Exchange Control 
Decree of 1984 (section B.2 on general foreign exchange arrangements). The Central Bank guarantees 
These are issued by the Authorized Dealer (i.e. the commercial banks) within 24 hours of the importation 
(according to the act) and confer a right to repatriate dividend earnings and capital, subject of course to 
compliance with the tax regulation. 
the act applies, but for the reasons mentioned above, the coverage of the NIPC’s guarantee is limited to 
investments above N10 million.
d. Expropriation
The Constitution provides that expropriation can only occur if an enabling law is enacted to provide 
for prompt payment of compensation and for access to a court of law for the determination of interest and 
compensation amount (section 44). It further grants right of judicial appeal. 
the Federation and that no law can force an investor to surrender his interest, unless the acquisition is in the 
national interest or for a public purpose. In those cases, investors are entitled to fair, adequate and prompt 
compensation (including authorization for its repatriation) and the right to access the courts to determine 
the investors’ interest or right, and the appropriate compensation. 
e. Dispute settlement
Arbitration Law and Conciliation Rules elaborated by the United Nations Commission on International Trade 
(Asouzu, 2001).29
Part V of the NIPC Act establishes that in case a dispute between the State and a foreign investor is 
not settled amicably, recourse to arbitration can take place either via the settlement mechanisms of the 
bilateral or multilateral investment protection agreement of which they are parties, or via other national 
or international dispute settlement mechanisms, as mutually agreed. In case of disagreement on the arbitral 
tribunal, the ICSID applies.
Only one case of investor–State dispute, the Guadalupe Gas Products Corporation vs. Nigeria (Case 
No. ARB/78/1) in 1980, resulted in arbitration before ICSID so far. The case was settled by the parties and 
made an ICSID reward at their request. 
29 Arbitration and Conciliation Act, No. 11 of 1988, Chapter A18. 
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
B. General 
measures
This section reviews those areas of the policy and operational framework that affect all investors and 
form part of the investment climate that has an impact on FDI.
1.
Taxation
The allocation of taxation powers within Nigeria’s federal system is relatively simple. The federal 
Government imposes corporate income and withholding taxes, oil and gas production taxes and charges, 
value added tax (VAT) and import duties. The State Governments collect personal income tax, individual 
capital gains tax, stamp duties, urban land rentals, business registration and road and gaming taxes. Local 
Governments collect personal, social and commercial permit fees. The federal Government collects about 
95 per cent of all taxes. Substantial amounts are shared with local and State administrations, which account 
for around 45 per cent of national public expenditure. 
Corporate income is taxed at a rate of 32 per cent30 with a small minimum tax applicable four years 
after business start-up (and from which all companies in agriculture or with at least 25 per cent foreign 
$40,000 or at 15 per cent of a weighted average concept of capital employed.31
exemptions available on the minimum tax. The Government advises that this onerous tax is not applied in 
practice. It should therefore be repealed.
The corporate tax base allows comprehensive deductions including:
Attractive annual capital allowances (including 10 per cent on buildings, 25 per cent on plant, 20 
(including 50 per cent on plant, 15 per cent on buildings and motor vehicles). Agricultural, mining 
and public transportation assets have especially favourable initial year allowances. Replacement 
plant and machinery have an initial allowance of 95 per cent. However, the deduction of capital 
processing, and the total allowance is limited to 95 per cent of asset cost;
Additional investment allowances of 10 per cent are allowable on all plant and equipment 
(“reconstruction” investment allowance). Businesses located at least 20 km away from reticulated 
electricity and water and a sealed road are entitled to allowances for self-provision of such 
facilities (“rural investment allowance”);
These allowances may only reduce taxable income by two thirds in any year except in agriculture 
and manufacturing.
provision and the cap on use of allowances attenuate the incentive value of the capital and investment 
30   30 per cent general tax rate plus a 2 per cent “education tax”.  A 20 per cent general tax rate applies to microenterprises – those with turnover 
less than about $8,000. 
31   The capital employed formula is paid-up capital (40 per cent) plus capital or statutory reserves (20 per cent) plus general reserve (20 per cent) plus 
long-term loans (20 per cent).
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
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Box II.4.  Fiscal incentives in Nigeria
Pioneer industry incentive
Designated “pioneer” industries may qualify for a five-year profits and dividends tax holiday. 
There are currently 69 designated types of pioneer industries in agriculture, agro-processing, mining,
quarrying, manufacturing, tourism, property development and utilities. Minimum capital invested to
qualify is about $2,500 for nationally-owned companies and about $40,000 for foreign-owned companies. 
Capital allowances only commence at the end of the tax holiday period and any tax losses can also be 
carried forward. These have the effect of extending the period of tax relief available to pioneer industries. 
Despite the generosity of this scheme, there appears to have modest take-up.
Sectoral incentives
Agriculture attracts accelerated depreciation of capital allowances (up to 95 per cent on some assets 
in the first year) and the deductibility of such allowances is not capped at two thirds of a year’s profits. 
Losses can be carried forward indefinitely. Many kinds of agriculture are also eligible for pioneer status.
Agro-processing industries can qualify as pioneer industries (see above). In addition, the cap on use 
of capital allowances does not apply.
Mining qualifies for three-year tax holiday.
Manufacturing, not otherwise a pioneer industry, is entitled to rapid depreciation allowances, 
although these are somewhat vitiated by the cap on aggregate capital allowances and the four-year limit on 
loss carry forward.  Also, manufacturing plant and machinery receives a 10 per cent investment allowance.
Services have few specific incentives. However, investments in several important services industries 
may qualify for pioneer status (see above). Also, earnings from services exports are tax-free if repatriated 
to official “domiciliary accounts”.
Outcomes’ incentives
Exports: Designated “export processing factories” and firms located in EPZs are “extra-territorial” 
and not subject to any taxes, including income tax, VAT and import duties. Approved activities include 
manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and financial services. The amount invested must be at least $500,000. 
Draft legislation prepared in 2005 proposes an important amendment to zone corporate taxation.
The income tax relief would be made proportionate to the amount of exports in relation to total turnover. 
(Previously, 75 per cent of output had to be exported in order for total income to be tax exempt.) 
he effect of this change is to enable companies to establish in zones, and take advantage of their superior facilities
and services, even if they are not primarily exporters.
A separate scheme permits manufacturers that export at least 50 per cent of output to qualify for 
pioneer status. It is also possible for exporters to qualify for financial assistance for export marketing 
expenses (the Export Development Fund), for expansion and export diversification (the Export Expansion 
Grant Fund) and to compensate for higher production costs arising from poor infrastructure or factors 
beyond the exporters control (the Export Adjustment Scheme Fund).32
Tax law provides that profits earned from goods exports may, if reinvested, be exempt indefinitely 
from income tax.33 However, it seems that this scheme does not operate in practice due to the difficulties
of monitoring the reinvestment conditions.
32 Export (Incentives and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1986.
33 Companies Income Tax Act, section 23(9).
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Chapter II
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Dividends received from wholly export-oriented businesses are also exempt from tax.
R&D: Nigeria has several fiscal incentives to encourage R&D by firms. Some are duplicative in that
they cannot all be applied in a given situation.
The general provisions are that, for any business, up to 10 per cent of profits set aside as a reserve 
for R&D qualify as allowable expense. In addition, expenditure on commercializing R&D qualifies for a
20 per cent investment tax credit. Other, not necessarily consistent provisions, allow (a) 100 per cent 
expensing of R&D, deemed to include a levy payable to a qualifying R&D institution; and (b) corporate 
contributions to R&D carried out by universities and research institutes to be tax deductible up to a 
maximum of 10 per cent of profits (draft legislation prepared in 2005 proposes to raise this cap to the 
higher of 15 per cent of profits or 25 per cent of the tax bill). Overall, this regime provides substantial 
incentives for local R&D and has been in place for at least 10 years.
Local sourcing: local manufacturers of spare parts, tools, equipment supplied to other local
businesses or exported can obtain a 25 per cent investment tax credit on their capital expenditure.
A company buying locally manufactured plant, machinery and equipment is entitled to a 15 per cent 
investment tax credit. (Draft legislation prepared in 2005 proposes to eliminate these incentives.) 
There is also a deemed export scheme in which suppliers of inputs to exporters can obtain total 
exemption from profits taxation. 
SMEs: such businesses are exempt from minimum tax, pay a lower profits tax rate of 20 per cent in 
the first five years in several sectors, and dividends are exempt from tax. Under the Small and Medium-
Sized Enterprise (SME) Investment Equity Scheme, banks are required to set aside 10 per cent of
profits to provide funding for new ventures. NEEDS proposed to legislate a 100 per cent investment 
allowance to banks and to give beneficiary SMEs a 10 per cent corporate tax rate plus a five-year tax 
holiday at inception. As of 31 March 2006, 212 projects had been funded with investment totaling about 
$8.6 million.
Outward investment: Dividends from Nigerian affiliates abroad are exempt from tax in Nigeria,
if repatriated to official “domiciliary accounts”. 
Sources: UNCTAD and Federal Revenue Service.
Withholdings on payments to non-residents are set at 10 per cent of dividends, interest and rent, and at 
15 per cent on royalties. These statutory rates are mostly below the maximum rates set in Nigeria’s DTTs. 
Further, a unilateral reduction to 7.5 per cent in these rates was made for Nigeria’s tax treaty partners 
in 1999.34 There appears to be no withholding system for services’ payments to non-residents in either 
Nigeria’s law or tax treaties. But such payments would be caught in the general measure of withholding 10 
per cent of contractor payments.
capital expenditure (box II.4). In addition to documented incentives, the President may exempt any project 
from income tax or vary allowances.
34  
Nigeria has DTTs in force with Belgium, Canada, France, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. Agreements with China, South Africa and Sweden are 
33

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter II
How competitive is Nigeria’s taxation of business? Figure II.1 provides a comparison of the burden of 
taxation in Nigeria on various business activities with that in a selection of other developing countries. It
is based on UNCTAD’s comparative tax methodology (annex III). The (discounted) present value of tax is 
is the tax on an investment.
Figure II.1 suggests that Nigeria has a relatively high standard regime of corporate taxation in keeping 
with other known higher tax jurisdictions such as Brazil, India and South Africa. The pioneer scheme 
It provides a similar outcome to the pioneer schemes of Malaysia but not always as favourable as China’s 
incentive schemes (which, however, tend to discriminate in favour of foreign investors). Obviously, the tax 
only by those able to export at least 75–80 per cent of output. 
Figure II.1.  Comparative taxation of investment, 2006
Manufacturing (textiles)
Agribusiness
50%
40%
40%
30%
30%
20%
20%
10%
10%
0%
0%
d
d
I
II
d
d
d
er
d
d
d
l
d
I
I
er
FZ
r
PZ
d
d
EZ
d
EPZ
frica
SEZ
one
dar
frica
FIE/1 FIE/2
ndar FIE/1
IE/2
eer  eer I
pione
t -
tandar
regional
 -
 -
 pi
andar
ta
 F
standar
ia -
standar
standaryp
standar
standar
pionee
a -
tandar
tandar on
on
ia -
ger
Eg
uth A -
dia - - standar
- pioneer
geria - E
dia - S
il - regiona
uth A
t -
hina hina
In
a - s
ia -
zil -
a
hin
hina -
In
- s
- pi
- pi
Ni
zil -
So
C
C
sia -
a
Ni
il - stan
t - st So
C
C
ger
ger
yp
hina
dia -
geria - sigeria -
dia - s
Bra
In
lay
Braz
hin
In
Bra
Eg
laysi
Ni
Ni
C
laysi
Ni
N
Braz
Egyp
C
laysia laysia alaysia
Ma
Ma Ma
Ma
Ma
M
Manufacturing (electronics)
Tourism
40%
40%
30%
30%
20%
20%
10%
10%
0%
d
er
d
d
I
II
0%
PZ
d
nal
d
Z
E/1
EZ
er
d
l
a
ione
dar
frica
eer
a
d
tandar
regio andar
- FI
nya
fric
ypt - F
tandara
a - FIE/2tandar
tandardioneeron
pione
han
geria - E
Eg
uth A - s
dia - S
tandard
G
andar
a
- s
hin
hin
In
- s
- p
- pi
- s
 standar
 regiona
ypt - FZ
Ke
Ni
il - stan
t - st
So
C
C
ia
ia
Eg
uth A
geria - sgeria - p
az
dia
Brazil -
hin
In
t - st
So
Ni
Ni
Br
Egyp
C
laysia lays lays
geria
geria -
Brazil -
Ma
Ma Ma
Ni
Ni
Brazil -
Egyp
Business and Professional Services
ICT (software
40%
50%
40%
30%
30%
20%
20%
10%
10%
0%
l
ive
0%
geria
azi
ypt
frica
hina
eer I
Br
Eg
C
andard
a
Ni
incent
andard
on
uth A
- st
geria
azil
ypt
frica
hin
- st
- pi
India
So
- IT
Ni
Br
Eg
C
laysia
dia 
uth A
Ma
In
dia
In
laysia
alaysia
So
Ma
M
PV Tax, %
Source: UNCTAD
Notes: Nigeria: “pioneer” is a pioneer status enterprise; “EPZ” is an export processing zone activity; Brazil: “regional” is an approved activity in the
disadvantaged areas of the North and North-east; China: “FIE1” is a foreign enterprise with export production; “FIE2” is a foreign enterprise 
with export and technology-based production; in agribusiness,”incentive1” is a foreign enterprise and “incentive2” is foreign enterprise in export
production; Egypt: “FZ” is an export activity from a free zone; India: “SEZ” is an export activity from a special economic zone; Malaysia: “pioneer1” is a 
pioneer status activity; “pioneer2” is a pioneer status activity in a promoted area.
34

Chapter II
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Nigeria’s tax regime has much in common with an Asian dual approach of combining high general taxation 
with generous incentives for selected activities. When the gap between the dual regimes becomes wide 
and incentive schemes proliferate, it can easily lead to undue discrimination among industries and between 
tax with standard capital allowances for virtually all activities. Figure II.1 shows that this regime is highly 
competitive whilst being simple to administer and available to investors of all types in all industries. This 
approach is worth considering for Nigeria rather than going further down the path of selective incentives. 
The same conclusions are shared by the Presidential Committee on the Review of Incentives, Waivers 
and Concessions, created by the new Government in September 2007. The role of this committee is to analyse 
objectives. In its report of February 2008, the committee found that at least 20 incentive schemes had been 
introduced over time in an ad hoc manner. These were administered by different agencies and their impact was 
not monitored. The report further indicated that it was not possible to identify all other incentives that may 
have been available and which ones were in operation. Finally, it recommended reducing reliance on incentives 
and instead adopting a generally applicable corporate tax rate of 20 per cent or less.35
VAT was introduced in 1994 at a rate of 5 per cent, among the lowest in Africa. The VAT has, however, 
unusual features. First, capital purchases and indirect costs (such as overheads) attract input VAT but cannot 
be credited against output VAT. Second, export income is exempt rather than zero-rated. In this respect, 
the VAT is partly a sales tax rather than a true tax on value added. While this accounts for the comparatively 
low rate adopted, its features also simplify administration of refunds. However, it disadvantages exporters 
because they cannot obtain relief on their input taxes.36 It also adds non-relieved elements to the cost base 
of import competing producers. 
Recommendations:
ii
all non-extractive businesses whilst maintaining and rationalizing the current attractive capital 
allowances. This approach, in line with the conclusions of the Presidential Committee on the 
Review of Incentives, Waivers and Concessions, would provide internationally competitive taxes 
for all investors (not just SMEs or those eligible for the pioneer scheme) and would be a simple 
and powerful investment promotion message.37 Any revenue loss is likely to be inconsequential, 
proposal to reduce the corporate income tax rate to 25 per cent is a step in the right direction. 
recourse to large-scale incentives;
i(ii)  
The pioneer industry scheme should be removed as a consequence of the above recommendation. 
It is overly generous (especially in relation to providing for full capital allowances at the end of the 
tax holiday period) and limits competitive tax arrangements to the few eligible businesses rather 
than all;
(iii)  
The current caps on utilization of capital allowances and the limitation of loss carry-forward to 
four years should be eliminated. The current restrictions are technically muddled and in any event 
35   Federal Ministry of Finance (February 2008). Report of the Presidential Committee on the Review of Incentives, Waivers and Concessions, Abuja, 
Nigeria. 
36   The impact of restricted input VAT creditability was modeled in the case of textiles and garment manufacturing for export using the UNCTAD tax 
jump.
37 Egypt has recently undertaken a similar reform.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter II
ii(iv)  
The removal of domestic sales restrictions on zone companies is sensible and the proposed dual 
basis of taxation by income source is a natural consequence. Income from domestic sales would 
$500,000;
iii(v)  
VAT should be restructured into a genuine VAT system to remove the bias against exports, 
ii
applicable to turnover) should be formally abolished, to accord with de facto situation;
i
with standard practice;
partners and to aid Nigerian business within ECOWAS.
2. 
Foreign exchange arrangements
The history of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market since independence is characterized by alternate 
phases of comprehensive and more relaxed controls, interventions by the Central Bank which led to a 
misalignment between the exchange rate and the underlying market conditions, and to the abandonment 
(Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) came into force. This act was introduced in parallel to the NIPC 
improve the investment climate in the country” (Sofowora, 2003). From a business perspective, the reforms 
have generally liberalized access to foreign exchange, and further improvements are underway, albeit under 
a foreign exchange control regime. The key liberalization since 1995 has been: 
Foreign exchange proceeds must be brought back in Nigeria (surrender requirement), but can 
be maintained in local foreign currency accounts (“domiciliary accounts”) and used for any valid 
purpose from such accounts; and
No prior approval is needed to initiate capital account transactions – FDI, borrowings – and 
However, the system did not provide certainty of convertibility for non-exporters (i.e. the great majority 
of businesses that sell to the domestic market). Furthermore, Nigeria has not accepted the obligations of 
article VIII of the Articles of Agreement of the IMF that ensures currency convertibility for current account 
transactions and bans multiple currency practice. 
Controls placed on the foreign exchange market are a problem. Until recently, there were two main 
markets in place: (a) the retail Dutch Auction System (DAS), where authorized banks can bid on behalf of 
their customers, who then can use foreign currency for eligible transactions only38 (this excludes import 
of banned items); and (b) the inter-bank market, where foreign exchange can be obtained from other 
sources than the Central Bank, including local currency purchases from domiciliary accounts. In this case, 
the exchange rate was freely negotiated among authorized dealers. A parallel market, illegal but tolerated, 
38   These are listed in CBN’s published foreign-exchange instruction manual and include visible imports, excluding banned items, contract service fees 
and other invisible trade items such as educational expenses and travel allowances.
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Chapter II
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
This system posed two key problems: (a) with the inter-bank market playing only a minor role 
(representing about 20 to 30 per cent of the DAS sales)39
debt needed to resort to the DAS, with uncertainty regarding the outcome of their bidding; and (b) a 
cumbersome administrative procedure, which prompted many to resort to the illegal market.40
The practical implications were as follows:
Exporters had ready access to foreign exchange; and
Non-exporters were often faced with the uncertain outcome of bidding in the DAS and the 
bureaucratic requirements involved.
In February 2006, the Central Bank replaced the DAS with a Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) 
foreign exchange market for foreign currency released by the Central Bank. It is organized around authorized 
dealers, where participants are free to establish buying and selling rates for transactions among themselves and 
system, run by the Central Bank for some of their foreign exchange needs, can now be accommodated by their 
own commercial bank. The commercial banks handle the documentation, including responsibility for ensuring that 
their customers’ needs are legitimate.
There is still a parallel market rate however. The Central Bank attributes its existence to two main 
reasons: (a) the long list of banned items for imports; and (b) the continued existence of a heavy documentation 
burden on those intending to use the formal market. It intends, therefore, to further liberalize the market by 
administrative requirements for access to foreign exchange.41
Nigeria has clearly made serious efforts at foreign exchange liberalization and is moving gradually 
towards accepting the obligations of the IMF article VIII. As things stand, including the new WDAS, the 
arrangements are workable for business, especially for those eligible for domiciliary accounts. But foreign 
exchange arrangements will not become best practice as long as they continue to be used as an instrument 
to support import bans.
3.
Labour
Nigeria has a rather liberal labour regime, based on English common law, and set out in few pieces of 
legislation, mostly from the 1970s.42 However, most labour norms, including strikes and lock-outs, are regulated 
via collective bargaining agreements between the unions and management.43 The majority of Nigerian workers 
Confederation of Free Trade Unions (IFCTU), serious restrictions exist with regard to the freedom of association, 
collective bargaining and the right to strike (IFCTU, 2005). Cited examples include a new law, signed on March 
2005 (Trade Union Amendment Act), which made union membership voluntary and introduced a strike ban on 
transport and education).
39 Estimate from the IMF, Country Report No. 04/242, August 2004.
40  
submission of original copies of the bill of lading, with evidence of payment of the relevant administrative charges, to the collecting bank.
41
Programme for Further Liberalization of the Foreign Exchange 
Market in Nigeria, 27 March 2006.
42 The former include, among others, the Labour Act of 1974, the Trade Disputes Act of 1976 and the National Minimum Wages Act of 1981.
43 For professional and managerial staff, all conditions are set in individual contracts.
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Encouragingly, the entire labour regime is currently being revised with the support of ILO, in full 
consultation with employers’ and employees’ representatives. The new set of laws is meant to codify 
fundamental principles and minimum standards of treatment which comply with internationally agreed labour 
standards.44  If implemented, Nigeria will have one of the most modern and balanced labour regimes in Africa, 
at least on paper.
A single national minimum wage, reviewed infrequently in tripartite consultation, is set under the 
National Minimum Wages Act.45 In mid-2007, the level of the minimum wage was set at N8,625 (about $68 
employment paid at piece-rate, on commission basis, part-time or seasonal and in merchant shipping or civil 
aviation. The set minimum wage does not appear to impose economic distortions to the labour market, as 
it is lower than average monthly wages for all levels of skills. The Minister of Labour could also set sectoral 
minimum wages, but none is in place. No relevant changes are introduced by the new set of labour laws on 
this matter.46
 index of the World 
Bank (table II.2). Government approval is not required, as is sometimes the case in other countries, and 
termination results from expiration of the contractual period or notice, both in the current and proposed 
regimes. While in the current Labour Act, notice time depends on the effective duration of the employment 
and ranges from one day to one month, the draft Labour Standards Bill proposes notice periods of not less 
than one month (or as agreed by the parties for contracts of limited duration). Under both regimes, the 
parties can also agree on payment in lieu of notice.47
Table II.2. Employing workers in Nigeria and selected economies
Employing workers rank
Nigeria
30
Kenya
66
South Africa
91
Egypt
108
Algeria
118
Ghana
138
Morocco
165
Source: World  Bank,  Doing Business Database, 2008.
The Labour Standards Bill follows the formulation of the Labour Act of 1972 in respect of redundancy 
provisions: the employer needs to notify the trade union concerned of the reasons and extent of the 
44 I 
ncluding a new “Labour Standards Bill”, a “Collective Labour Relations Bill”, a “Labour Institutions Bill”, and an “Occupational Safety and Health 
Bill”.
45   The federal Government sets the minimum wage upon recommendation from the “National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission”, which 
includes Government representatives, one representative of the Nigerian Employer’s Consultative Association and one of the Nigeria Labour
Congress, the federation of trade unions.
46   Although the prohibition for the employers to grant general or percentage wage increases to any group of employees without the approval of the 
Minister of Labour currently set in the law (Trade Disputes Act, section 19) would be cancelled.
47   Although the draft Labour Standards Bill is also new in that in the calculation of pay in lieu of notice, leave pay and sickness, only the part of the 
remuneration which the worker receives in money is taken into account.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
that an employee’s merits can be considered. Both existing and proposed legislation empower the minister 
responsible for labour to make regulations providing for compulsory payment of redundancy allowances. 
But the current power of the minister to regulate redundancy payment would be changed somewhat. The 
minister could continue to make general regulations but, in the future, he would only step in to regulate if 
the parties were unable to agree. It would be advisable for the minister to remove opportunities for dispute 
by setting an international standard regulation, which would then guide all collective bargaining agreements. 
This regulation should be drafted so as to come into effect with the passage of the bill. Otherwise, it will be 
an area of uncertainty for business.
Neither the current nor the proposed labour laws contain any statutory protection against unfair 
dismissal or statutory severance pay. However, unfair dismissal may constitute a “trade dispute” under 
the Trade Disputes Act and the ILO reports. Therefore, the National Industrial Court has, on occasion, 
awarded severance pay as additional compensation to unfairly dismissed workers (ILO, 2000).
Figure II.2. Nigeria: trade disputes 1990–2004
(Number)
250
200
150
100
50
0
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
9
00
01
02
03
04
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
19
199
20
20
20
20
20
Source: Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity.
draft Trade Union Amendment Act mentioned above was proposed to the National Assembly and a series 
of strikes took place in response to the plans announced by the Government to increase petrol prices by 50 
per cent. The following year, the total number of days lost due to strikes and lockouts was higher in Nigeria 
than in any other large comparator country in Africa, with the exception of South Africa (table II.3).48
48   An appropriate comparative analysis would take into consideration the relative weight of the workforce in each country; this was not possible due 
to data availability issues. 
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Table II.3. Strikes and lockouts, most recent available data
Number of days not worked
Algeria
628,838 (in 2004)
Egypt
19,969 (in 2003)
Ghana
n.a.
Kenya
217,012 (in 1997)
Morocco
141,083 (in 2002)
Nigeria
2,737,399 (in 2004)
South Africa
4,152,565 (in 2006)
Source: ILO, LABORSTA Database 2006. 
Note: The number of days not worked as a result of strikes and lockouts is usually measured in 
terms of the sum of the actual working days during which work would normally have been car-
ried out by each worker involved had there been no stoppage. 
Under the Trade Disputes Act of 1976, after the initial attempts to explore an amicable settlement,49
each trade dispute is referred to the Minister of Labour, who sets up an Industrial Arbitration Panel.50 The 
panel’s decision is binding, but can be reviewed by the National Industrial Court. In this context, the reform 
of the dispute settlement mechanism is one of the major innovations proposed by the new legislation. On the 
basis of the South Africa and Lesotho examples, the draft “Labour Institutions Bill” and the “Collective Labour 
Relations Bill” would bring to best practice standards the dispute resolution mechanism described above by:
(a)  
Establishing a National Commission for Conciliation and Arbitration (NCCA) as a permanent body 
in charge of the conciliation and arbitration of labour disputes.51 In the new system, strikes and 
lockouts would not be lawful unless the dispute has been referred to the NCCA for conciliation. 
Upon receipt of a referral, the NCCA would designate a conciliator who must try to resolve the 
dispute within 30 days;
(b)  
Introducing the principle of equal representation of Government, employers and employees within 
the NCCA;
(c)  
Distinguishing between disputes of rights (i.e. those arising from the application and interpretation 
of labour laws, contracts and collective agreements) and disputes of interest (i.e. all other disputes) 
with respect to the resolutions mechanisms that apply to each.
In a dispute of right, striking is not allowed, but the parties can refer the dispute directly to the 
is preserved. The parties can then refer the dispute to the NCCA, which designates an arbitrator, whose 
award can only be reviewed by the National Industrial Court in case of misconduct, gross irregularities or 
excess of power. An alternative “voluntary arbitration” applies where the parties to a collective agreement 
have provided for labour disputes to be referred to private arbitration. In this case, they can appoint an 
arbitrator by common agreement (or the NCCA may do it on their behalf).
49
the dispute remains unsettled or no agreement exists, the parties must meet within seven days, under the presidency of a mediator mutually agreed 
upon.
50   The panel is composed of not less than 10 members, two of them “appearing to the Minister as representing the interest of employers and two (…) 
the interest of workers”.
51  
The proposed structure could be: one chairperson, three representatives of Government, three representatives of employers, three representatives 
of organized labour, three full-time Commissioners representing the social partners, two persons representing the public interest and the Director 
General of the Commission.
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4.
Entry of foreign workers and business visitors
One recurring bottleneck to investment, reported by the international private sector in Nigeria during 
interviews conducted by UNCTAD, is the scarcity of well-trained executive staff and specialized technical 
staff in the Nigerian workforce (see more in chapter III). On the other hand, there is some feeling within 
the Government that foreign investors are too keen to quickly hire overpaid and inexperienced foreign 
workers. Obtaining a balance between the legitimate interests of investors to obtain appropriate staff and 
the national interest of citizen job protection, training and advancement is not easy. In Nigeria’s case, the 
foreign workers is not only cumbersome and anachronistic, but also highly discretionary, unpredictable and 
open to rent-seeking. Procedures for temporary entry of business visitors and service providers are also 
problematic. Both need urgent revision.
Immigration is an area of sole federal jurisdiction and statutory responsibility for work and residence 
permitting rests on the Nigerian Immigration Service in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.52 The statistics from 
the Ministry of Internal Affairs indicate that the number of work permits issued in Nigeria to non-citizens is 
comparable to that of other large developing countries, although much smaller than that of large developed 
ones (table II.4).53
Table II.4. Non-citizen work and residence visas issued
Temporary work and residence permits issued
Nigeria (2005) – total
26,492
Nigeria (2005) – via NIPC
140
Brazil (2004)
20,162
Mexico (2002)
24,649
Australia (2002/03)
37,859
Canada (2001)
58,860
United Kingdom* (2003)
113,960
Source: National authorities.
* Top 10 countries of origin of immigration only.
a.  Business visas
Investors going to Nigeria on a business trip must apply for a business visa for up to 90 days (not valid 
for employment or remuneration).54 They need to provide the Nigerian missions abroad with evidence 
from companies or business organizations stating the reason for the travel, and accepting “immigration 
responsibilities”. This involves responsibility for accommodation/feeding, transportation and, if needed, the 
cost of repatriation or deportation. UNCTAD interviews with foreign investors in Nigeria indicate that such 
the trip upon entry. This can be a severe problem for prospective investors, who may not have a suitable 
Nigerian counterparty to accept “immigration responsibilities”. 
52 An immigration desk was, however, opened within the NIPC premises in Abuja to facilitate foreign investors’ applications for expatriate labour.
53   The statistics also point at a large gap between the permits issued through the NIPC channel and those issued directly by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs
54 As of December 2006, all visa application forms are available online at the NIS website: www.immigration.gov.ng.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Chapter II
attraction of FDI. The following changes are recommended:
Business visa applicants only need to provide evidence of a return ticket and availability of 
funds to support their visit. The “immigration responsibility” requirement should be removed 
altogether.55
Introduce a “Green Channel Business Visa” to fast track applicants who meet the ticket and funds 
applicant. Nigerian missions abroad should approve these applications within 24 hours.
b. Temporary work permits (less than three-month stay)
Foreigners providing specialized services (such as maintenance and after-sales installation) for less than 
three months must obtain a temporary work permit. The application is accompanied by the same documents 
needed to obtain a business visa, with the exception of the evidence of funds. The permits are obtainable 
who retains power to determine on the request.
c. Work and residence permits
Obtaining visas to work in Nigeria for up to three years is far more complicated and involves various 
steps, as summarized in box II.5. 
According to the wording (and interpretation) of the Immigration Act of 1963, business permits
(box II.5) are a precondition to obtaining EQ positions and are only necessary for companies with some 
degree of foreign investment. In addition, the immigration authorities only receive applications for BP/EQs 
from companies whose share capital is at least N10 million ($80,000)56 This represents a clear bias against 
foreign investment, especially against small foreign investors and start-ups. Also, the determination of the 
and favours rent-seeking behaviour. 
NEEDS recognizes that the current approach to the entry of foreign workers in Nigeria requires revision 
and proposes to “consolidate immigration matters, including visas, EPs, work permits, and “Permanent until 
Reviewed” (PUR) status”.57
streamline the entry procedures for key expatriate personnel required by new investors. For this purpose, 
Nigeria should adopt an Automatic EQ Scheme, which would allow investors to recruit for a select number of 
positions without the requirement to justify the need to hire abroad or to engage understudies. Of course, 
the applicants hired for those positions must undergo the normal credentials, character and health checks. 
55 Or applied only to citizens of high-risk countries, i.e. where there is a history of unacceptable rates of overstaying.
56 Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs (2004).
57 National Planning Commission (2004), p. 56.
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Box II.5.  Procedure to obtain work and residence permits in Nigeria 
The BP/EQ Scheme
1.  
The foreign investor requests a Business Permit (BP) and applies for the right to hire expatriates for 
designated positions, the Expatriate Quota (EQ). This is done either through the NIPC, by means of 
Form 1 mentioned earlier, or directly at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through the corresponding 
Form T1.58 Most applications are made directly. Each expatriate position requires the employment of 
two Nigerian understudies who must be trained to take over within three years. 
2.  
It appears that, where the investor was already granted an EQ, the consulates can grant the entry visa 
before the employment permit requests are completely processed, Thus character, credentials and 
health checks are administered by the missions abroad (mission interviews and Investor’s Roadmap).
Hiring against an EQ requires an application to the Comptroller General of Immigration for a Subject 
to Regularization Visa (STR). STRs are collected at the consulate nearest the entering expatriate’s place 
of residence.59 Among other forms, the application must be accompanied by the letter of invitation 
accepting “immigration  responsibility”. 
3.  
Statutory responsibility for issuing EQs rests with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (the parent ministry 
of the Nigerian Immigration Service), which decides on a discretionary number of expatriates 
(EQ positions) per company that can enter Nigeria. 
4.  
Once in Nigeria, expatriates apply for regularization of their STR visas to obtain a “Combined Expatriate 
Residence Permit and Alien Card” (CERPAC), i.e. a one-year residence and work permit (the validity is 
two years according to the guidelines issued by the Nigerian Immigration Service, but it appears that, in 
practice, most CERPAC are issued for a one-year period).
5.  
An alternative to CERPAC is the “Permanent Until Reviewed” (PUR) Status. PURs are available only 
for sole owners/CEOs of a foreign invested enterprise and are subject to the employment of Nigerian 
Deputy CEO and payment of a $10,000 fee. The company needs also to show proof of an appreciable 
net profit of which not less than N2 million ($15,500) has been paid as corporate tax. Other factors 
considered are the “political/policy direction of Government; the company’s area of business; evidence 
that the PUR would guarantee technology transfer and that the company has a large quota portfolio 
and corresponding share holdings as an added qualification”. 
Exceptions to the above EQ approval procedure apply to ECOWAS nationals, who do not need an EQ 
or residence permit and are required only to register with the authorities for record-keeping purposes. 
Also, Free Zones are not subject to the EQ process because they are deemed to be extraterritorial. 
However, the STR, then residence permit is, strictly speaking, only for sojourn in a zone. Foreigners with
this status need a pass to travel to the “hinterland”, but according to the Nigeria Immigration Service,
these are readily issued by its officers stationed in the zones.
Sources: UNCTAD and Nigeria Immigration Service.
58 F
-
ates. 
59  It appears that, where the investor was already granted an EQ, the consulates can grant the entry visa before the employment permit
requests are completely processed, Thus character, credentials and health checks are administered by the missions abroad (mission
interviews and Investor’s Roadmap).
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Many countries employ this kind of scheme. The number of key positions allowed usually depends on the 
capital invested and, in some cases, the priority attached to attracting investment in the sector. For example:
Ghana offers key positions based on paid-up capital – one position for $10,000<100,000 
invested, two positions for $100,000<500,000 invested and four positions for $500,000 or more 
invested;
In Malaysia, a manufacturing investor may be entitled to one key position if a minimum of RM 
(about $1.3 million). A key position scheme also operates for investment in the Multimedia Super 
Corridor, which is accorded high priority as a strategic initiative.
Nigeria’s Automatic EQ Scheme should be similar to that of Ghana, but perhaps with a higher minimum 
investment threshold of $50,000 (to match the new BP threshold proposed below) and up to 10 key positions 
for large-scale investments. The automatic EQ positions would be converted into work and residence 
higher number of EQ positions could be granted if the investment takes place in priority sectors, including 
would be allocated on the basis of the current BP/EQ system. However, the current BP threshold would be 
lowered to $50,000 and apply to both foreign and national investors, so as to remove the bias of the current 
regime against small foreign investors and start-ups.
A second stage of reforms should entail moving towards international best practice in a full-scale 
revamp of the present system for approving employers, assessing needs for foreign skills, allowing employers 
reasonable predictability in visa applications and renewals and catering for local skills development.
Table II.5. Entry of foreign labour, recommended regime
Phase I
Phase II
Automatic EQ Scheme
Extended EQ Scheme
Automatic EQs assigned according to size of investment
Validity of permit – up to 5 years (according to duration of 
contract)
- Scarce skills list based on objective research 
No understudy programme
for fast-tracked EQs
Priority sector scheme
Increase the automatic EQ quota in priority sectors
- No understudy programme, but introduction 
Validity of permit – up to 5 years (according to duration of 
of a company-wide training performance 
contract)
assessment to inform the allocation of EQ 
positions
No understudy programme
Additional EQ
-  Validity of permit – up to 5 years, renewable 
Current BP requirement, but Investment threshold lowered 
(according to duration of contract)
to $50,000 and applied to both domestic and foreign 
investors
Determination of EQ quota by Internal Affairs/Immigration
Understudy programme
Source: UNCTAD.
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Based on an UNCTAD study of international best practice (UNCTAD, 2005a), it is recommended that 
Nigeria move away from the understudy approach to adopt a system based on the assessment of company-
wide training performance to ensure that expatriate hire goes hand in hand with local skills development (table 
II.5). In this new system, which could be called Extended EQ Scheme, Nigeria would introduce a “scarce skills” 
list to be based on objective research, carried out in collaboration with the private sector. The list would 
signal to employers where expatriate hire can be fast-tracked. At the same time, an investment threshold to 
the upkeep, health costs and departure costs of expatriate employees. 
The proposed changes would make the expatriate labour regime more predictable and, at the same 
time, provide an appropriate regime to foster the training and advancement of the local workforce.
5. Land
The land system is a serious constraint in the investment framework of Nigeria due to misdirected land 
policy and decades of underinvestment in land administration. It is one of the most important impediments 
to NEEDS’ goal of creating a competitive private sector.
As result of a major reform of the land regime in the 1970s, which sought to consolidate and simplify 
the previous mixture of customary and statute law (Hodgson et al., 1999), the Land Use Act of 1978 vested 
all proprietary rights on land in the State. The reform also introduced a distinction between urban and non-
urban land: State Governors can grant statutory rights of occupancy and determine the lease conditions in 
respect to both, while local Governments can grant customary rights of occupancy only in respect to non-
urban land. Lease period is 99 years for residential plots and 40 for industrial plots. 
The act empowers the State Governors to revoke rights of occupancy for reasons of overriding public 
interest. However, compensation may be paid only on the value of the “improvements” to the land (such 
as buildings, roads, plantations, etc.), and not on the value of the land itself. This compensation regime only 
covers part of the market value of the expropriated land and is therefore hardly protective of the legitimate 
interests of the land “occupant” to receive fair compensation. Furthermore, it provides undue incentives to 
State and local Governments for land expropriation. 
Apart from frustrating the proprietary rights and interests in land, the reform inhibited the development 
of a land market in a second major way. An administrative system overlays market forces in the disposition of 
land, as the Land Use Act prohibits the alienation of the rights of occupancy by either “assignment, mortgage, 
transfer of possession, sublease or otherwise howsoever without the consent of the Governor” (section 22). All 
transfer procedures must hence be submitted to the State Governors’ approval of otherwise straightforward 
commercial transactions. This is an obvious source of non-transparency given the potential for delay and 
undue discretionary treatment in this process. Attempts to avoid this procedure could lead to the formation 
of corporate entities to hold and transact land or to use powers of attorney. Interviews reported that fraud is 
a serious problem in leasing transactions, including fraudulent subleasing. For instance, in response to the fraud 
for 12 months.
land registries in many States, which contribute to a backlog of unresolved title disputes. In this respect, 
however, the States of Lagos, Niger and The Federal Capital Territory appear to constitute positive 
exceptions, having digitalized their land records. The last, in particular, is now digitizing cadastral maps with 
the support of GPS technology.60 Other States, such as Cross River and Enugu, are also making efforts to 
60 Abuja Geographic Information System on http://www.abujagis.com/.
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modernize their registries. For instance, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the 
land registry is also being considered by the Presidential Committee on Doing Business, which is working 
with the Commissioners of Lands and Housing towards the establishment of an information technology-
driven Land Registry.
Although the matter was not researched by UNCTAD during the mission, previous reports suggest 
that the cost and time required for the range of transactions involving land titling is problematic. There 
Business survey of the World Bank points out that an entrepreneur seeking to buy property free of dispute 
compares, for example, to one day and payment of a registration fee and 2.5 per cent of the property value 
in stamp duties in Norway (World Bank, 2008). 
There is broad agreement in the literature that secure individual land rights increase incentives to 
undertake productivity enhancing land related investment.61 However, the evolution of the land system 
in Nigeria has not permitted the development of a sensible land market in which investors and others 
requiring land are able to readily purchase and encumber titles from others and put the land to improved 
commercial use. In 2002, UNCTAD recommended the Nigerian Government to amend the Land Use 
Act so as to address the problems arising from its enactment, which has impeded secure access to land.
This is central to farming and its absence has created additional barriers to access credit for example by 
investors in horticulture.62
NEEDS calls for streamlining the process for land access and transfer, but does not indicate how. In this 
regard, the National Assembly recently concluded a public hearing on land allocations/acquisitions, in which 
a number of the above issues were brought to light. As a result, the creation of a Land Allocation Committee 
was recommended and is currently in the works. These recent initiatives suggest that a fundamental policy 
change is required. The following are therefore recommended actions:
Abandon the requirements of State Governors’ approval for all land transactions. Governors 
should retain powers to allocate new lease titles, under transparent conditions, but title transfer 
and encumbrances would simply be registered in conventional fashion by the deeds’ registry. 
Apart from streamlining a very cumbersome process, this would promote a freer market in 
land with more private sector involvement (domestic and foreign). The public interest lies in 
appropriate land use (such as through zoning laws) rather than in land occupancy  (which should 
be left to market forces);
Institute full compensation at market value for land resumed by Government;
Outsource land surveying and the administrative support to land registries to specialized 
commercial enterprises to reduce delays;
Encourage the transformation of free zones into multi-facility zones so as to provide ready to use 
plots of land for investment, but recognize that this is a palliative measure and does not obviate 
the need for thorough policy and administrative reform.
61   1999 literature review by Deininger K and Binswanger H. The Evolution of the World Bank’s Land Policy: Principles, Experience and Future Chal-
lenges. The World Bank Research Observer , Vol. 14, #2, pp. 247–76. 
62   Recommendations stemming from the National Workshop on “Horticulture for National Development”, held at Women Development Centre, 
Abuja 23–25 April 2002.
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6. Environment
Environmental damage in Nigeria, also by foreign investors, is subject to much debate. Oil exploration 
and development, in particular, have had a severe environmental impact. In this regard, Nigeria continues 
to suffer the detrimental effects on marine life and human health from oil spills as well as from air pollution 
Administration, 2003).
Modern and comprehensive environmental management legislation was introduced in 1992, with the 
Environmental Impact Assessment Decree. According to the decree, proposed projects, both from the public 
an environmental impact assessment (EIA), including a description of planned efforts to mitigate any damage 
deriving from it, must be prepared. EIAs were to be submitted to the Federal Environmental Protection 
Agency (FEPA),63 which was responsible for the protection and sustainable development of the environment. 
The FEPA was integrated into the new Ministry of Environment created in June 1999. With respect to the 
oil sector, the Department of Petroleum Resources, within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is charged 
with the responsibility of ensuring a clean environment where the oil industry is operating. For this purpose, 
since 1991 and is in charge of their enforcement.
The decree distinguishes between three types of projects:
(a)  
The Mandatory Study Activities:
production of a Mandatory Study Report. This list includes projects relating to agriculture, airports, 
land reclamation, logging and conversion of forestry to other uses, housing schemes covering more 
than 50 hectares, large industrial developments, infrastructural developments, mining, petroleum 
developments, power generation and transmission projects;
(b)  
Projects excluded form EIA requirements: These are projects that have been deemed to have minimal 
effects on the environment by the President, or are projects which are undertaken during national 
emergency;
(c)  
 This report indicates potential 
adverse effects. The project proposal has to go through the process(es) of mediation and review. 
The decree also contains a comprehensive process for reviewing EIAs and determining appropriate 
action to safeguard the environment. 
Despite the quality of the environmental legislation, its enforcement has so far been weak. The 
environmental protection agency is underfunded and viewed as not capable of adequately protecting the 
environment (Dung-Gwom, 2004). Another issue raised relates also to poor linkages and coordination 
among the different tiers of Government. Under the Nigerian Constitution, environmental protection is the 
responsibility of the federal Government. Yet the FEPA Decree encouraged States and Local Government 
Councils to set up their own environmental protection agencies. Many of them were unnecessarily charged 
with identical responsibilities to those of FEPA, effectively undermining the latter’s role (Echefu and
Akpofure, 2002).
the current administration. Although FEPA was absorbed and its functions taken over by the new ministry, 
enforcement and funding problems remained. For that reason, NEEDS formulates a proposal for the 
establishment of a “central self-sustaining regulatory agency responsible for environmental enforcement, 
63 Established via the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Decree, No. 58 of 1988 (revised in 1992 and 1999).
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compliance, monitoring, environmental auditing, impact assessment and standards setting” (National Planning 
Commission, 2004, p. 66). This is in fact a proposal to revive the former FEPA. This initiative is welcome 
assuming that the new FEPA would be adequately funded and professionally staffed.
The Government is looking into new solutions to the environmental damage caused by oil spills and gas 
Administration, 2003). A sign of the seriousness of the obligation came in 2003, when Shell Nigeria was 
ordered to pay $1.5 billion to the Ijaw tribe in compensation for the environmental damage caused to the 
created a National Forum on the Monitoring of Natural Gas Utilization and Implementation of Related 
Projects to ensure its achievement. 
In addition to these measures, a National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the 
(NOSCP), for the agency to manage, was also prepared. Accordingly, a three-tier response system was 
devised, to regulate the agency’s response and involvement in case of spillage.64
In this context, tighter regulation – and better monitoring and enforcement of existing environmental 
laws – should indeed stop the degradation of the environment and prevent the most serious environmental 
problems in the future.
7.
Rule of law and administrative issues
Nigeria is perceived as being among the most corrupt countries, not only in Africa but worldwide. 
Corruption in the public and private arenas hampers development and affects both the cost of doing business 
in the country and its international image. It therefore constitutes a serious impeding factor in the country’s 
Box II.6. Governance in resource-rich countries: the Extractive
Industries Transparency  Initiative
The EITI supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and 
publication of company payments and Government revenues from oil, gas and mining. The sponsors of the 
initiative intend to improve governance – through greater transparency and accountability – so that oil 
revenues stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and foster sustainable development. 
Some 20 countries have either endorsed or are now actively implementing EITI across the world. The 
countries involved include Azerbaijan, East Timor, Nigeria (where the EITI initiative is implemented at all 
three tiers of Government – federal, State and local), Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.
EITI is supported by an international secretariat presently based in the United Kingdom’s Department 
for International Development. The secretariat works closely with the World Bank and the IMF. In addition 
to the implementing Governments, EITI is supported by donors, many of the largest oil and mining 
companies in the world, investors in large oil and mining TNCs, and different civil society groups.
Source: EITI Secretariat website: http://www.eitransparency.org.
64
initiated and for larger spills, NOSDRA takes over response management and coordination. 
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Box II.7. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
The “419” advance fee fraud is one of the best known international financial scam which bilks hundreds 
of millions of dollars annually and contributes to worsening Nigeria’s image internationally. Its pervasiveness 
had severe negative consequences on Nigeria. These include reduced FDI flows to the country and 
difficulties in business prospecting for genuine Nigerian businesspeople, spurned by the international 
business community because of distrust. 
To tackle financial and related crimes, including the “419” fraud, the Government of Nigeria set up 
the EFCC in 2002. It became operational in April 2003. The EFCC Establishment Act of 2002 was a major 
departure from the past laws for fighting economic and financial crimes in terms of powers and functions 
attributed to the commission, which holds responsibility for the enforcement of all laws and regulations 
relating to economic and financial crimes. 
The two main functions of EFCC are prevention and investigation. The commission identifies trends 
and all issues associated with economic and financial crimes, takes measures to prevent unlawful activities 
and investigates all financial crimes. It enjoys cooperation and support from (a) national and international 
agencies such as INTERPOL, EUROP, and customs and immigration services; (b) Governments of partner 
countries such as the European Union, the United States and South Africa; and (c) the private sector for 
banking, financing, etc.
Early in 2006, after only three years since its creation, the EFCC had some concrete achievements to 
showcase:
• Recovered money and assets derived from crime, worth over $700 million; 
• Recovered £3 million in looted assets from the British Government;
• Had over 500 suspects in custody, most of them standing trial in the various courts in the country;
• Was prosecuting over 100 cases in court and investigating over 500 cases at various stages;
• Recovered billions for the Government in respect of failed Government contracts; and
•   Established a sub-unit called The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit in 2004, which is saddled with 
the responsibility of checking transactions in banks in order to detect any fraudulent activity.
However, the greatest success of the EFFC was its capacity to start the process of sanitizing the 
business environment, fighting corruption, ensuring accountability in Government, reforming and stabilizing 
the banking sector through loan recoveries.
Sources: UNCTAD and EFCC (website: www.efccnigeria.org).
Since 1999, however, the Nigerian Government has taken determined action against corruption.
A series of anti-corruption agencies and practices have been introduced. The main ones of a long list 
include:
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), established 
by the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000. Its functions are not only 
to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, but also to correct corruption-prone systems and 
procedures of public bodies and to educate the public against corruption and enlist its support;
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It began operating in 2003 and has 
already developed a highly impressive track record (box II.7);
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activities and projects;
EITI, under which oil companies agree to publish what they pay to Governments (box II.6);
Publication of monthly revenue allocations to all three tiers of Government (federal, State and 
local) as of January 2004.
As a result of the above initiatives, the former inspector general of the police was tried and sentenced 
65
NEEDS is clear about the extent of the problem and the systemic changes that are needed to 
complement its direct compliance measures. According to NEEDS, the Government must become 
“transform it from a haven of corruption to an institution that spurs development and serves the 
people”. In that respect, the Government is committed to fast-track public sector reforms which 
reduce the scope for corrupt practices. 
Although some progress is recognized, the international perception is that Nigeria is irretrievably 
mired in corruption.66 Important changes are taking place and (chapter 3) the time is coming when a more 
positive message can be, credibly, communicated to international business.
Another key issue for investors – both domestic and foreign – is the ability of courts to deliver 
commercial justice impartially, promptly and consistently. On these matters, Nigeria’s record remains poor. 
A recent comparative survey – the World Bank’s World Business Environment Survey (WBES, 2000) – found 
absence of corruption, and consistency of judgements. Ninety per cent had negative opinions regarding the 
speed of the judicial system. Among Nigeria’s main competitors for FDI attraction in the continent, only 
Kenya scored worse on all counts (table II.6).
Table II.6. Investors’ perception of court system, 2000
(Percentage assessing poorly)
Fairness
Honesty
Speed
Consistency
Enforcement
Nigeria
61.4
69.8
90.6
68.6
52.3
Egypt
8.1
6.1
30.3
13.1
14.1
Ghana
46.2
54.0
83.2
59.0
46.5
Kenya
70.6
82.8
94.9
83.0
70.0
South Africa
5.1
7.6
84.7
23.9
28.2
Source: World Bank (2000),World Business Environment Survey.
Note: Values refer to percentage of investors assessing performance as “slightly bad”, “bad”, or “very bad” as opposed to “slightly good”, 
“good” or “very good”.
65  Interview with Mrs.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Finance Minister, by Paul Vallely, “The Independent”, 16 May 2006.
66   In 2002, Nigeria topped the Transparency International poll as the most corrupt nation on Earth. In 2007, its position in the rankings, while still low, 
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In the interviews conducted by UNCTAD to prepare this report, they acknowledged the main problems as 
being:
Lack of funding and human capacity issues (lack of specialization). Judges are not specialized and 
are expected to hear a wide range of civil, administrative, commercial and family matters. They 
have inadequate staff and courts are not computerized. Therefore, judges themselves have to 
record the presented evidence by hand and there are long delays in getting opinions typed and 
published;
Slow and archaic procedures, which make it easy for defendants to prolong matters;
The maximum cost (set by the judiciary) for awarding against unsuccessful plaintiffs that amounts 
to a derisory N10,000 (about $80); and
Corruption.
Solutions are, however, being considered and progress is being achieved in many areas. The Government’s 
appointment system is being introduced. The new system will involve the Bar Association in a peer review 
of the candidacies. A useful development in this regard is the World Bank-supported project to improve 
commercial dispute settlement in two States, including the commercial capital Lagos. Moreover, with the 
support of the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID), the Attorney General’s 
Promotion of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to be a part of the court system and 
not seen as a competing system by the judiciary;
Streamlining of the court civil procedures system to avoid overlapping jurisdictions as between 
the federal, State and local levels;
Introduction of a fast-track channel to treat commercial matters more urgently and minimize 
adjournment;
Review of costs to reduce frivolous suits; and
Review of commercial laws by the “National Committee on the Review of Investment Laws in 
Nigeria”, inaugurated in May 2005. 
A positive feature of the Nigerian system is the courts’ independence from government pressure 
in disputes involving private investors, including the foreign ones, which is not always the case in many 
countries. 
Another area where administrative backlogs and rent-seeking constitute a major obstacle to business 
development is customs administration. Import clearances are lengthy and irregular payments are 
rife.67Documentation requirements and processes are especially burdensome, exacerbated on the import 
side by Nigeria’s long list of banned imports.68
67   
estimate that undocumented extra payments or bribes connected to export and import permits are commonly made. Nigeria ranks 102 of 117 
countries in this regard.
68   
-
mentary requirements.
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of the main projects is the implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data Entry (ASYCUDA) 
with the support of UNCTAD. ASYCUDA++ is the third generation of an automatic data processing 
system developed by UNCTAD. This software automates data for customs control, duty tax collection 
and statistical economic analysis. It also provides for Electronic Data Interchange between users and the 
customs administration.
As of June 2008, the ASYCUDA++ programme had been installed in the two main ports of Lagos and 
in Port Harcourt, with plans to expand it to the remaining ports in the near future. ASYCUDA has already 
helped to reduce clearance time from two to three weeks to two to three days.
Also, in a bid to achieve 48 hours clearance at ports, the Government has constituted a “Special 
Presidential Committee on 48 Hours Clearance of Cargo at the Nation’s Ports”. Its mandate includes 
cost issues. 
Although it is too early to comment on the success of such an initiative, it is encouraging that these 
in the commercial justice system, however, should get higher priority. They are an essential complement to 
8. Protection of intellectual property
Nigeria is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a signatory to, or a 
member of, the Universal Copyright Convention, the Bern Convention, the Paris Convention and the Rome 
Convention. Intellectual property infringement remains, however, a serious problem. It is estimated that 
Nigeria is the largest market for counterfeit products in Africa.69
The national framework for intellectual property protection is characterized by a multiplicity of legal 
instruments, including the Patent and Design Act of 1970, the Trademarks Act of 1967 and the Copyright 
Act of 1988 (revised in 1999), matched by a number of implementing agencies. The Ministry of Commerce is 
in charge of the industrial property protection, through the Registry of Trade Marks, Patents and Designs, 
while copyright is administrated by the Ministry of Justice,70 via the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). 
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), under the Ministry of 
Health, is responsible, among others, for the registration of food and drugs and for combating counterfeit 
drugs in Nigeria. The Registry of Trade Marks, Patents and Designs appears to have orphan status within 
its parent ministry. It is poorly supplied with funds, staff and equipment. Applications may not be properly 
assessed (for example, patent applications appear to receive only cursory examination). While this may 
reduce delays in approvals, the public interest is not necessarily served. 
Although much progress is being achieved, notably by the Copyright Commission (Box II.8.), law 
in trademark or patent protection as the judicial process is slow and far from transparent. Shortage of funds, 
property climate (WTO, 2005; and the United States Commercial Service, 2005). 
69   From the address by Ms. Karen Burress, United States Department of Commerce, at the “CTO business and technology summit”, Lagos, 16 May 
2005, available at: http://www.microsoft.com/africa/press/ng_nigeria_ip.mspx.
70   The Nigerian Copyright Commission was an agency under the Federal Ministry of Culture until February 2006 when it was relocated to the Federal 
Ministry of Justice in order “to strengthen the Commission to achieve its mandate”. See Nigerian Copyright Commission (2006). Update on the 
Strategic Action against Piracy (STRAP).

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Box II.8. The Nigerian Copyright Commission and the STRAP Initiative
In 1999, in response to widespread copyright infringement in Nigeria, affecting both local and foreign 
products, a series of amendments to the Copyright Act of 1988 gave the Nigerian Copyright Commission 
(NCC) new powers, shifting its focus from administration to enforcement.  Among the new powers are the 
following:
•   Powers to impose the use of anti-piracy devices (such as holograms, labels, marks, etc.) in connection 
with any copyrighted work;
•   Powers to regulate businesses that make use of copyrighted material, including factories and rental 
outlets;
•   Copyright inspectors have all the powers, rights and privileges of a police officer pertaining to the 
investigation, prosecution or defence of a civil or criminal matter under the act; and
•   New fines and punishments for copyright infringement (up to five years imprisonment).
On the institutional side, the NCC was strengthened by the introduction of a governing board which 
includes, aside from a chair appointed by the President and the Director-General of the Commission, 
representatives of the Ministries of Justice and Education, of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Customs 
Service and of the authors’ community, to reflect the role that each agency needs to play in the fight against 
copyright infringement in a country where more than 80 per cent of software in use is pirated. 
The new NCC, run by a dynamic and competent team, reports satisfaction with the revised legal 
framework, although it stresses the importance of appropriate funding. Police awareness of intellectual 
property rights and their cooperation significantly improved over the last two years. Implementation at 
the border is more problematic, although the customs management is cooperative and it is hoped that the 
recently established Ports Monitoring Authority will help improve border control. 
Finally, in 2005, NCC launched the STRAP (Strategic Action against Piracy) Campaign. By means of 
STRAP, NCC aims to create a copyright environment, which will not only benefit local investors in the 
copyright-based industries but also act as an incentive to foreign investors. STRAP, which is supported by 
Microsoft and other foreign and domestic businesses, has three components:
•   An anti-piracy enforcement component with a zero tolerance approach;
•   A public education programme (named “mass enlightenment”); and
•   The introduction of a hologram scheme, a video rental scheme, optical discs manufacturing plants 
scheme and a database of copyright works.
The Standard Organization of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police are directly involved in the STRAP 
initiative. The latter has set up Special Copyright Enforcement Teams, to work in conjunction with NCC’s 
copyright inspectors. A number of joint operations to confiscate pirated materials, arrest pirates and shut 
down illegal replication plants have already taken place. The NCC reports that, by May 2006, over N600 
million ($4.7 million) worth of software, books and musical works had been seized in the anti-piracy 
operations.
Source:  UNCTAD interviews.
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A new legal framework is currently being discussed in the Ministry of Justice. The draft legislation 
proved however impossible to obtain. Nonetheless, it was reported that the reform aims at ensuring 
compliance with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement. In particular, 
the Patents and Design Act would be amended to make comprehensive provisions for the registration and 
proprietorship of patents and designs. The Trademarks Act would also be amended to improve existing 
legislation relating to the recording, publishing, and enforcement of trademarks and the protection for plant 
varieties (including biotechnology) and animal breeds. 
On the institutional side, the reform would introduce a new Intellectual Property Commission, bringing 
together all Government agencies involved in the administration of intellectual property. This would be a 
welcome development.
9.
Technology transfer requirements
Nigeria retains traditional thinking on the regulation of the entry and acquisition of foreign technology. 
for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), an agency within the Ministry of Science and 
Technology. 
For approval to be granted, such contracts must pass a number of criteria concerning, among others, 
Nigeria, the training embodied and the avoidance of monopolistic practices.71 The obligation to ensure 
proper registration falls both on the licensor and the licensee of the foreign technology. The 1979 Act further 
assigns NOTAP a monitoring role concerning the implementation of Technology Transfer Agreements. The 
objective is to ensure respect of the law, correspondence of the technology acquired with Nigeria’s long 
term development objectives, to assess its diffusion and identify solutions to absorption constraints. 
The stringent criteria for approval of technology transfer agreements were adopted over 25 years 
ago in response to a number of concerns by the Nigerian authorities. NOTAP reports that, before the 
introduction of the NOIP Act, “technology transfer contracts contained unfair conditions such as monopoly 
pricing, restrictive business practices, export restrictions, high royalty rates and tie-in clauses (with respect 
to equipment, raw materials, components etc.) but also little comprehensive training and management 
succession programmes and poor local R&D activities”.72
Though the original functions are maintained, NOTAP recently shifted its focus from regulatory 
control and technology transfer to promotion and development of technology. In 1998, it was given an 
undertaken some initiatives to assist SMEs in Nigeria to make effective use of Intellectual Property through 
the Patent Information and Documentation Centre (PIDC) established in NOTAP with the assistance of 
WIPO.73
71 All relevant requirements are listed in the Revised Guidelines on Acquisition of Foreign Technology under Noip Act Cap 268 LFN, NOTAP, 2003.
72   Okongwu DA (Director General of NOTAP) (2003). IPRs and the Transfer of Technology – African Case Study, presentation at the WIPO–WTO Joint 
Workshop on IPRs and Transfer of Technology, November, Geneva.
73   WIPO. Assisting SMEs to Make Effective Use of Patent Information: The NOTAP Case. On the WIPO website at: http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/best_prac-
tices/notap.htm.
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While a number of countries such as Brazil and Kenya still retain a screening – or regulatory – approach 
to transfer of technology, a more modern approach (the targeted approach), which does not rely on prior 
approval of technology transfer agreements, has emerged and is currently adopted by the majority of 
developing countries (box II.9.).
Box II.9. Evolution in the approach to technology transfer regulation
The discipline concerning technology transfer issues has evolved significantly over the last three 
decades. In this regard, the “regulatory” approach typical of the 1970s has been largely abandoned in favour 
of a more “targeted” approach. The characteristics of both are described below.
The regulatory approach.  The underlying rationale is to control the potentially adverse economic 
consequences of technology transfers on the weaker party, which include both the licensee and the 
developing host country. Hence, the major features of such provisions include the prior screening of 
transfers of technology from abroad and the outright prohibition of certain terms in technology transfer 
transactions that are deemed to be detrimental to development goals. This approach was adopted in the 
national laws and policies of numerous countries during the 1970s, following a model well established 
in Japan and the Republic of Korea and later abandoned. It is most fully exemplified at the regional level 
by the Andean Community’s policy on technology imports as contained in decision 24 of 31 December 
1970, the “Common Regulations Governing Foreign Capital Movement, Trade Marks, Patents, Licences and 
Royalties”, which has also since been superseded.
The targeted approach.  With this approach, the technology transfer transaction is not necessarily 
seen as one between unequal parties. Rather, the private property character of the technology is stressed 
and a TNC that (in most of these cases) owns the technology is seen as being free to transfer it by the 
means it sees fit. However, given the potential inequality of market power between the owner and recipient 
of the technology, this freedom for a TNC is subject to certain obligations not to abuse its market power, 
whether in the case of an external transfer to a licensee or in the course of internal transfers within 
the TNC network. The willingness to prohibit specific terms in technology transfer transactions that is 
characteristic of the regulatory approach is abandoned. The targeted approach relies rather on adequate 
ex-post monitoring by those agencies that are most competent to address the various issues arising from 
technology transfer agreements. Hence, competition rules and agencies control market abuses, taxation 
authorities ensure correct reporting of taxable income, while training and transfer of technology is 
addressed by formulating general policies on these matters. These include incentive regimes by both the 
TNCs’ home and host countries, so as to encourage technology transfer to developing countries.
Thus, over time, the emphasis has shifted away from the regulation of technology transfer transactions 
in the interests of the weaker party – normally the recipient in the developing country – towards a more 
market-based model in which increased technology transfer to developing countries is to be encouraged 
through the proper operation of the market, coupled with targeted regulation to counter potentially 
detrimental effects and an appropriate incentive structure to support diffusion.
Source: UNCTAD.
The current regulatory approach to technology transfer in Nigeria may have worthy objectives, but its 
criteria are far too sweeping and cumbersome to be effectively enforced. Moreover, the registration process 
and subsequent monitoring do not appear to have resulted in any assessment of the impact of foreign 
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technology on Nigerian technological competence.74 Monitoring the absorption of foreign technology and its 
diffusion within the national productive tissue is important and should be undertaken via competent analysis, 
but approval and registration of technology transfer agreements should cease as means of protecting or 
enhancing Nigeria’s interests in technological advancement. 
It is recommended that Nigeria embark on an overhaul of its public policy in the area of intellectual 
property rights and adopt a new generation of policies. Such policies should be consistent with the NEEDS’ 
goal to make the Government “the enabler, the facilitator and the regulator”, while leaving the private sector 
as the “executor, the direct investor and manager of businesses” (National Planning Commission, 2004: xi). 
Nigeria should therefore deploy market forces to provide competitive stimulus, which is in the interest of 
the country’s development, by appropriate incentives (tax and/or subsidies).
In particular, NOTAP should complete the transition from a regulatory to a monitoring and promotion 
agency. NOTAP’s key role should be to offer training to Nigerian businesses, especially at the SME level, 
in accessing foreign technology, including the negotiation of fair terms. Regulatory matters can be better 
handled by tax and competition law. Issues such as ensuring that payments under such agreements do 
not lead to underreporting of Nigerian taxable income could be dealt more effectively via anti-avoidance 
provisions in the tax legislation and enforcement monitoring by the tax authorities, while training and 
transfer of technology need to be addressed by formulating general policies on these matters, including via 
a regime of incentives and sanctions. In the same way, monopoly pricing and other anticompetitive practices 
should be contrasted by putting in place an appropriate competition regime.
10. Competition policy
Commission. Until adoption of the bill by the National Assembly, however, the main legislation on competition 
in Nigeria remains the Investments and Securities Act of 1999.
The bill covers the whole spectrum of anticompetitive agreements and conduct (abuse of dominant 
position, price maintenance, mergers and acquisition, monopoly, restrictive practices and intellectual property 
related issues) and gives the commission extensive powers to investigate (either on its own initiative, after 
receiving complaints or at the request of responsible minister) alleged anticompetitive conduct affecting 
business in the Nigerian market. 
The initiative to introduce a full pro-competition regime is a welcome development and arguably 
overdue. The draft law is comprehensive, but often unclear in many of its provisions, which may create 
to review potential “dominance” arising from mergers and acquisitions (arts. 36 and 59). The bill could be 
effects of vertical constraints and other anticompetitive arrangements. In particular:
to the commission, even if they result in a low combined market share. The commission will give 
the ability of the merging parties to control prices, exclude competitors or behave independently 
74 No impact studies have been published, as required by the “Revised Guidelines for the Operation of NOTAP”.
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of competitors, customers or suppliers. Otherwise, the commission will proceed with a full 
as is the case in many countries. There is no substantive rationale to overwork the commission 
would impose unnecessary costs and delays to business;
(e.g. via an explicit employment target or an exports target). A second issue is that of which 
75 If it is considered that the commission (and 
not the Parliament or the Government) should carry out that role, then it should be assigned 
an explicit mandate to address public interest and particular attention should be paid in ensuring 
with the decision taken;
sales or purchases of at least 51 per cent of a goods market, 25 per cent of services market and 
25 per cent of the total national export of a good. However, a monopoly is normally understood 
to be a market situation with a single producer/supplier. Monopolies are not incompatible with 
competition law and policy if they emerge as a result of superiority in management, innovation 
or ownership of intellectual property rights, etc. Competition law and policy seek to prohibit 
monopolization, i.e. the conduct by enterprises which seeks to lessen or eliminate competition 
Finally, the bill lists a number of exceptions to the abuse of dominant position (art. 37.3), including, 
for example, if the company’s behaviour is the result of its superior competitive performance. 
behaviour, excluding de facto agreements and conducts which the exceptions seek to authorize, 
rather than take this broad and more intrusive approach, which puts the burden of proof on the 
enterprise to demonstrate both positive and negative conditions (art. 37.3).
During the Fifth United Nations Revision Conference on Competition Policy, the UNCTAD secretariat 
of the Competition Bill.76 This will be provided in the context of the follow-up implementation activities to 
this report. 
11. Selected sectoral regulations
There has been a concerted effort to improve and modernize the regulation of the backbone services. 
The boundaries between public and private investment are being redrawn to an unprecedented extent (see 
the privatization section in chapter I). Major foreign investment cannot be expected in all areas, especially 
those involving heavy capital commitments and highly sensitive public services remunerated in local currency. 
Thus, privatization and concession are proceeding at different speeds in the various sectors. Major public 
funding will still be required, particularly in electricity and roads. But the conditions are being put in place to 
attract more foreign investment. Some questions are raised below about regulatory models and, although 
regulatory institutions have not all found their feet, there is a sense of progress.
75   This is one of the competition policy issues which is still largely debated and was the object of the “Judicial Seminar on Competition Law”, which 
took place in June 2006 under the auspices of UNCTAD in Bali.
76 Belek (Antalya), Turkey, 14–18 November 2005.
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a. Banking
Historically, the Nigerian commercial banking sector had not provided an adequate 
24 per cent in Nigeria prior to recent reforms, in comparison to an African average of 57 per cent and over
100 per cent for South Africa (Soludo C, 2005). A long period of poor supervision led to a proliferation of 
banks and declining standards of compliance. Certain practices by less reputable banks also harmed Nigeria’s 
international image. By 2004, there were 89 commercial banks, which had an average non-performing loan 
ratio of over 20 per cent (Central Bank of Nigeria, 2005).
A far-reaching programme of banking sector reform began in 2004 to address the above failings. Its 
central feature has been sector consolidation, pursued through the raising of the minimum base capital 
requirement to N25 billion ($200 million) from N2 billion ($16 million). Through mergers and acquisitions, 
capital injections and new capital raisings, 25 banks remained in operation while another 14 banks had their 
licences revoked after failing to meet the new requirements. Also, $3.2 billion of additional capital was raised 
through the exercise, including reported foreign investment of $650 million. 
The speed and reach of the reforms undertaken since 2004 are impressive and the impact is tangible. 
According to a CBN interim progress report, bank liquidity has improved, interest rates have fallen and 
banking sector reform programme was an important factor in the agency’s analysis.
On 23 June 2006, the Financial Action Task Force, recognizing the progress made, decided to remove 
money laundering. This is a signal of the improved quality of bank supervision.
Three Nigerian banks rank among the largest 20 banks in Africa, but they are minnows compared with the 
largest South African banks. The largest South African bank is 20 times bigger than the largest Nigerian 
bank.77
Foreign participation is also muted and has not, so far, changed as a result of the reforms. There are 
still only four foreign-owned banks operating in Nigeria at present: Stanbic; Standard Chartered; Ecobank 
(owned by ECOWAS member States); and the Nigerian International Bank, a Citigroup subsidiary. 
Barclays Bank, a stalwart African banking, was nationalized in the 1970s and has not returned.78 Only 2 
banks represent a tiny 2.8 per cent of total banking assets. They have larger shares of total foreign assets
(32 per cent) and the treasury bill market (29 per cent).79 These statistics suggest that the foreign banks 
are little engaged with bread and butter corporate business. It seems likely that, as banking and wider 
economic conditions stabilize, there will be more interest in the Nigerian market by other foreign banks, 
probably through acquisitions.
77 Africa Business October 2005. Size is measured by value of shareholders’ equity.
78
79 As at March 2006. Data supplied by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
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b. Electricity
The Nigerian electric power system, which has been run since 1972 by the vertically integrated State-
owned monopoly National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), is chronically dilapidated with respect to 
infrastructure, commercial standards and customer service.80 As a result, over 90 per cent of industrial 
customers of NEPA have installed their own generators. High power costs represent the largest single 
source of non-competitiveness of Nigerian manufacturing (box III.1, chapter III). Yet Nigerian electricity 
costs could in fact be a source of competitive advantage, at least in thermal-based power, as Nigeria has the 
10th-largest gas reserves in the world. 
The electricity sector is to be liberalized, including the dismantling of NEPA, and private investment 
is sought. The new approach is set out in the Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act of 2005. The act 
provides a framework for private investment and for competition among private operators. 
The Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act provides for the unbundling of NEPA into distinct business 
units, comprising generation, transmission, systems operation and distribution. The pro forma transfer took 
place in July 2005, when an initial holding company, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, assumed the 
staff, liabilities and assets of NEPA. In turn, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria is composed of six 
generation entities, one transmission utility and 11 distribution companies created along previously existing 
regional arrangements. The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) will attempt to privatize all of the operating 
companies, except for the transmission entity. The act establishes an independent regulator, the Nigerian 
Electricity Regulation Commission, which was formed in early 2006. The commission has appropriate 
independence and powers, including in relation to safety and consumer standards, operator licensing and 
tariff regulation (which must follow economic principles). 
Independent power producers (IPPs) have been licensed to provide power to distributors and industrial 
users as a means of immediately reducing the shortage in supply, and to compete against the established 
generating units. There are already a number of IPPs operating or proposed (table I.4). It is sensible to 
encourage IPPs and to permit them to contract directly with major industrial users.81 They are a useful 
source of private investment in new capacity. The Government, with World Bank support, is enhancing grid 
capacity to cater for the increased supply.
The dismantling of NEPA, the wish to involve private investment and management and the appointment 
of an independent regulator are important steps to a long-term solution in which Nigeria’s power disadvantage 
is turned into a competitive advantage for business. However, it is questionable whether the unbundling 
model that has been adopted will attract the volumes of private investment that are so urgently required. 
The proposed separation of generation and distribution, in particular, is likely to be an obstacle to foreign 
investment outside the special case of industrial users:
Private investment in generation relies on power purchase agreements with distributors. 
The distribution system requires comprehensive investment and not just strong commercial 
management to restore it to a reasonable standard. Reputable operators might be attracted to 
a management concession. But given the size of investment required, and the inherent risks, it 
purchase undertakings; 
80   Only 36 of the country’s 78 generating installations are operating at present. Nigeria, a country approaching 140 million people, produces only 3,000 
MW a day, compared to the 40,000 MW per day for South Africa, with a population of 46 million. Also, a high proportion of energy produced does 
not reach consumers due to transmission and distribution losses.
81  
It is reported that payment to the IPPs for supply to the State-owned system is guaranteed permitting the IPP owners, the oil producers, to net 
such charges off against oil revenues owed to the Government. This appears to be a useful short-term solution until the distribution companies are 
creditworthy offtakers.
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Power producers and distributors are too interdependent for a successful separation to be 
workable at this time in Nigeria.
The Government should consider instead a system of regional vertically integrated production and 
distribution entities, served by a common grid (in which the regional entities had consortium ownership).82 
This allows the power producers to directly access their customers as in the successful expansion of mobile 
telephony. The B2C model of mobile telephony is more likely to attract investment than the B2B model 
proposed for electricity. Of course, this does not introduce competition from the outset. However, the 
existence of several regional utilities will provide valuable benchmarking information for the regulator to 
set tariff and quality standards for the industry. And, in the longer term, it would be possible to build 
competitive options into the system.
c. Rail
At present, the sector is entirely owned and operated by the Government. The 1955 Railway Act 
established the National Railway Corporation, which acts as both operator and regulator across the country’s 
Central, Western and Eastern railways. The rail network is reasonably large (table II.7) but is severely under 
utilized because it is poorly run and maintained. Currently, the National Railway Corporation accounts for 
only 1.2 per cent of Nigeria’s total freight market. This can be compared to Uganda, where approximately 
10 per cent of domestic freight and 30 per cent of external freight is transported by rail, even though the 
Ugandan system and its seaport transit routes are also dilapidated (UNCTAD, 2000b).
The BPE has decided on the vertically integrated concession of operations and the outright sale of 
non-core assets. By way of build-operate-transfer (BOT) and public–private partnership PPP agreements, 
concessionaires will be responsible for infrastructure maintenance, expansion, upgrade and train operations 
(passenger and freight). Legislation is being drafted to create a rail regulator and a National Rail Development 
Authority. In addition to granting concessions and receiving concession fees, the authority will determine 
public service obligations, payment of subsidies for passenger services and monitor concessionaire obligation 
compliance. The rail regulator will (a) oversee tariffs and fare structure; (b) set and monitor service, quality 
and delivery standards; and (c) arbitrate disputes. The BPE has committed to the pilot concession of Central 
Railway in 2006.
Table II.7. Comparative rail networks and usage, 2003
Goods hauled, 
Passengers, 
Network,  km
million ton-km
millions
Nigeria
3,557
39**
973**
South Africa
20,041
105,725
9,960
Kenya
2,634
1,538
288
Ghana
977
242
85
Egypt
5,145
4,188*
40,837
Source: World Bank Development Indicators.
Notes: *2002 ; **2004.
82   Generation capacity need not all be located within a given distributor’s region. Regional utilities would be able to build or buy capacity from any-
where in Nigeria.
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d. Roads
Nigeria’s road network is reasonably extensive and compares well with other African countries in the 
proportion of paved roads. Approximately 90 per cent Nigeria’s passenger freight is carried by road. Road 
conditions are often poor (potholes, inadequate drainage, fallen bridges and washed away pavements are 
common) and overweight vehicles are not adequately policed. Additional vehicle operating costs associated 
with bad roads have been estimated at the equivalent of almost $500 million per annum (Central Bank of 
Nigeria, 2003).
Currently, local Government is responsible for 67 per cent of the road network (urban and rural 
access roads), federal Government for 17 per cent (major roads and highways) and State Government for
16 per cent.
The importance of better management and expansion of the road network is recognized in NEEDS and 
reforms are being undertaken. The initial phase is to strengthen public institutions and tackle rehabilitation. 
The beleaguered Federal Roads Maintenance Agency is to be strengthened. Further proposed reforms 
include establishing a Federal Highway Authority and other institutions. It is proposed that the Federal 
Highway Authority would be empowered to award BOT concessions to private operators. It would certainly 
be useful to see if private operators would be attracted to rehabilitation concessions (which entail fewer 
political and commercial risks). For the foreseeable future, the bulk of funding is likely to be public.
Table II.8. Road network, 2002
South
Nigeria*
Kenya
Ghana**
Egypt
Africa
Total network (km)
194,394
63,942
46,179
275,971
64,000
Paved road (%)
31
12
18
21
78
Paved road (km)
60,262
7,673
8,312
57,953
49,920
Paved road (km per 1,000 people)
0.4
0.2
0.4
1
0.7
Source: World Bank Development Indicators.
Notes: *1999; **2001.
e. Ports 
Nigeria’s eight ports became, under State ownership and management, a byword for underinvestment, 
corruption and poor service. Corrective action began in 1999 with the passage of the Nigerian Ports 
Authority Act. This act permitted private sector port operations and created a new regulator, the Nigerian 
Ports Authority. A proposed new law, the Ports and Harbour Authorities Bill, makes more explicit provision 
for the encouragement of private sector operations under appropriate regulation. The bill proposes the 
creation of two “landlord” authorities (in Lagos and in the Niger Delta) which will own port infrastructure 
but will be empowered to concession terminal operations and issue service licences. The split is designed 
to introduce an element of internal competition. In addition, they would be responsible for technical 
regulation and the provision of certain essential services and infrastructure e.g. ensuring road and rail access 
to ports and providing off-shore cargo handling. However, economic regulation will be the responsibility of 
the proposed National Transport Commission, which is the subject of an eponymous bill now before the 
National Assembly. The commission’s powers include tariff determination for the relevant entities, public 
and private. For example, while the authorities may levy tariffs on concessionaires for certain services, e.g. 
towage, this will be subject to commission approval. 
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Concurrently with the development of new legislation, the BPE has put into effect plans to commercialize 
operations within the sector. Overall, 25 concessions are underway. An important feature is that intra-port 
competition will be promoted where practicable by offering multiple concessions for individual terminals 
within single ports (for instance, six terminal concessions are available in the Apapa Port Complex, four in 
Tin Island Port, three in Onne Port and two in Port Harcourt). Tariffs are currently regulated but, when 
the National Transport Commission is in place, it can decide to open tariffs to competitive forces. Tariff 
regulation will probably remain in smaller ports, where competition is less likely.
By July 2006, 20 port concessions had already been decided upon, while the remainder were at the 
bidding  stage.  For  example,  AP  Moller  S.A.  of  Denmark,  part  of  the  Maersk  Group,  will  “operate  and 
manage” Apapa Port container terminal. It has a 25-year concession for a reported fee of $1.061 billion (net 
present value over the concession life). The ENL Consortium – which includes Haastrup Line WA; GSI, a 
South African logistics equipment supplier; Dublin Ports Company; and ENL of Nigeria – was the preferred 
bidder for Apapa Port terminals C and D. The consortium was awarded a 15-year concession agreement for 
the two terminals in June 2005. 
The structuring of concession contracts in the larger ports relies heavily on competition to govern tariffs 
and service quality. Importantly, the concessions offered did not stipulate capacity expansion.83 Competition
will be relied upon to stimulate investors to meet the demands of the market. This is a bold approach but  
is well conceived. At this early stage of Nigeria’s re-emergence, it would be unrealistic and self-defeating to 
mandate large investment obligations. 
Nevertheless, foreign investment is being solicited directly for infrastructure improvement, through 
concession schemes. For example, the Grimaldi Group of Italy will construct a new port in Lagos under a 
25-year BOT concession.
f.  Telecommunications
Nigeria made an early start in the liberalization of the telecommunications market. The 
telecommunications system was separated from the postal service in 1985. The National Communications 
Commission was inaugurated in 1993 to initiate the sector’s liberalization. In 2003, the commission was given 
full regulatory control including regulation of entry, licensing, spectrum management and implementation 
of developmental objectives such as promoting universal access. The national telecommunications policy 
unequivocally encourages private sector participation, within a competitive environment and provides for 
interventions to achieve greater network coverage.
Until quite recently, the liberalization had little practical impact. The sector was dominated by the 
line connections and poor technical quality. The National Communications Commission did not regulate 
NITEL but focused on some fringe services where competition was permitted. 
(table II.9). A viable second national operator, Globacom, was introduced in 2002 to the market and already 
has more subscribers than NITEL. Nevertheless, the combined subscriber base is tiny (table II.10). Two 
additional GSM licences were awarded by auction in January 2001 to compete with the NITEL mobile 
phone monopoly. These went to MTN and V mobile (formerly Econet Wireless). Globacom also obtained 
83 However, operators will be required to comply with investment plans submitted with their bids.
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a GSM licence as part of its second national operator status.84 Mobile subscriber numbers have expanded 
enormously (Table II.10). MTN alone claims to have invested in excess of $1.8 billion in the development 
of mobile telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria since 2001, while V mobile reports investment of 
$650 million. Celtel, a large pan-African mobile operator, has recently acquired a controlling interest in 
Vmobile and intends to invest heavily in network expansion. GSM operations are expanding fast and are 
highly attractive investments.85 The new GSM licensees were permitted to operate international gateways 
to offer international access.
Table II.9. Telecom sector operators and investment
Number of operators and 
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005*
service providers by category
National carriers 
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
Mobile (GSM) telephony
1
1
3
3
4
4
4
Fixed telephony
9
16
16
17
20***
24***
24***
VSAT networks 
n.a
n.a
n.a
n.a
51
52
52
Internet services
18
30
30
35
35
35
35
Cumulative investment all categories
50
150
1,200
2,100
4,000
6,080**
n.a
($ million)
Source: Nigerian Communication Commission, Presentation to the National Political Reform Conference Committee on Social
Infrastructure for Development, 7 April 2005.
Notes: *March; **September; ***Including 3 Fixed Wireless Access operators.
Clearly, the liberalization of the sector has revealed a substantial market that was poorly served by 
NITEL and has induced a burst of private investment from both national and foreign sources. Competition 
have also fallen dramatically.86
Important challenges for the future remain in areas that are key to business competitiveness and to 
Nigeria’s development objectives:
Broadband access is not a developmental focus.
this extent, Nigeria is ahead of South Africa, where the incumbent remains dominant, although this is also a 
extremely low and does not serve developmental aims. The introduction of Globacom has helped, but it 
needs. Three attempts to divest NITEL to a credible private investor failed. 
84 The auction, which included payment by NITEL raised $855 million, which when adjusted for national income exceeds that of the United Kingdom 
3G auction per MHz. Source: ITS Regional Conference, On the design and implementation of the Nigerian GSM auction in Nigeria.
85
86  
The average cost of a three-minute call to the United States fell from $2.47 in 2002 to $0.84 in 2004, but continues to be higher than in South 
Africa ($0.58) and in Ghana ($0.39). Sources: NCC (2005), World Bank World Development Indicators, UNCTAD (2005).
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according national carrier status. This is perhaps a practical recognition of its inability to enforce these 
obligations on existing operators or impose them as conditions on the privatization of NITEL. In part, it is 
industry. “Universal service” will now be pursued through a universal service fund to be created from the 
levy of 2.5 per cent on the revenues of licensees.
are induced or subsidized to expand, it is unlikely that market forces alone will facilitate rapid deployment of 
broadband. The market for international voice telephony is still lucrative and operators have no incentive yet to 
risk their core business by facilitating voice over Internet protocol telephony. There may be a case for offering 
a separate class of licences to broadband providers, including for WiMax technology, that will permit wireless 
Internet connection for data and voice, including in rural areas. This may have implications for the scope of the 
Table II.10. Growth in telecom subscribers and teledensity
Service
Number of subscribers/teledensity
category
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004*
2005***
Fixed
NITEL
450,172
497,019
540,662
555,466
555,466
524,596
525,000*
PTOs
23,144
56,355
59,659
146,534
333,068
515,173
568,925**
Subtotal
473,316
553,374
600,321
702,000
888,534
1,039,769
1,093,925
Mobile
35,000
35,000
266,461
1,569,050
3,149,472
8,500,000
9,950,000
Total
508,316
588,374
866,782
2,271,050
4,038,006
9,539,769
11,043,925
Teledensity
0.42
0.49
0.72
1.89
3.36
7.77
9.2
Source: Nigerian Communication Commission, Presentation to the National Political Reform Conference Committee on Social 
Infrastructure for Development, 7 April 2005.
Notes:  *Estimates; **Includes estimates for some companies; ***January.
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12. Summary of recommendations on the investment framework
Table II.11 presents a brief overview of the status of Nigeria’s regulatory framework for FDI, by policy 
area and by Government’s initiative for reform.
Table II.11. Nigeria, summary of main FDI policy issues
Policy area
Current 
Comment/recommendation
(last revised)
status
FDI entry (1995)
***
Open entry to FDI, solid legal basis.
FDI establishment (2006)
**
registration barriers need administrative reform.
FDI treatment and 
BITs closure and negotiation needed, national treatment needs to be 
**
protection (1995)
formalized.
Taxation (2006 proposed)
**
for all and eliminate the pioneer scheme.
Standards are currently good and will improve with adoption of new 
Labour (2006)
***
legislation.
Entry of foreign workers 
Both temporary visas and entry of foreign workers regimes badly in need 
*
(1990)
of reform.
Anachronistic and discretionary land title allocation system in need of 
Land (1978)
*
reform.
Technology transfer 
*
Old regulatory approach to technology transfer, shift in focus needed.
regulations (1998)
Competition regime and authority are being introduced, but there is room 
Competition (2006)
**
for improvements.
Major improvements achieved. Reconsider electricity unbundling. Address 
Sectoral regulations (2005)
**
Sustained anti-corruption drive, need communication strategy targeted at 
Rule of law (2006)
***
international business.
Serious questions of speed and fairness of the system. Improvements 
Court system (2006)
**
underway, including State-level initiatives.
Intellectual property 
*
protection (2006)
Protocol framework is being devised – not made available for assessment.
Environment (2003)
***
issues need to be addressed.
Source: UNCTAD.
Key: * = poorly developed; ** = solid development but room for improvement; *** = high standard regulation.
The main suggestions on policy options emerging from the review of the legal and regulatory framework 
for FDI are the following:
Entry and establishment
Remove NIPC from its current “gatekeeping” functions, including business permitting, expatriate 
quota and pioneer status approval. These are contrary to the NEEDS’ objective to make the NIPC 
a facilitator of investment and make establishment unnecessarily complicated. The creation of the 
(immigration desk, FIRS desk, labour desk) are better positioned to perform licensing function.
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Chapter II
effectively and in a timely fashion. in responding effectively and in a timely fashion.
Entrench good practice within the OSIC by negotiating protocols of cooperation between NIPC
the OSIC desks, the NIPC oversight arrangements, the quality and number of staff assigned and 
service delivery expectations. Progress is being made on this.
Utilize the NIPC desk at the OSIC to register all foreign investment for statistical purposes and 
introduce an “investor tracking system”. Remove the administrative practice of setting a Naira 
10 million threshold for FDI registration, which is not prescribed by the NIPC Act and creates 
confusion on the treatment and protection available to smaller foreign investors. 
technology-based service to investors outside Abuja and to enable monitoring of customer service 
standards. The NIPC has stated its commitment to establish this service within three years.
Treatment of FDI
Given the risk perception of Nigeria, adopt a proactive BIT closure and negotiation approach 
new BITs with countries that are emerging as potentially large investors to Nigeria in the short 
to medium run. These should constitute the building blocks of broader instruments of economic 
diplomacy with strategic partner countries.
Consider revising the NIPC Act to include an explicit provision guaranteeing “national treatment” 
to foreign investment, although this is currently a low priority given that national treatment is 
extended for almost all practical purposes.
Taxation
businesses whilst maintaining and rationalizing the current attractive capital allowances. This 
approach would provide internationally competitive taxes for all investors (not just SMEs or 
those eligible for the pioneer scheme) and would be a simple and powerful investment promotion 
message. The proposed corporate tax reduction to 25 per cent does not go far enough as a “low, 
Eliminate the pioneer industry scheme as a consequence of the above recommendation. It is 
overly generous and limits competitive tax arrangements to the few eligible businesses rather 
than all.
Eliminate the current caps on utilization of capital allowances and the limitation of loss carry 
forward to four years. The current restrictions are technically muddled and in any event need not 
Remove the minimum requirement of $500,000 to invest in the free zones. The removal of 
domestic sales restrictions on zone companies is sensible and the proposed dual basis of taxation 
by income source is a natural consequence.
Restructure VAT into a genuine VAT system to remove the bias against exports.
when applicable to turnover.
Clarify the tax treatment of services payments to non-residents and bring it in line with 
standard practice.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Labour
Adopt the proposed new labour acts, which will further improve the already modern labour 
regime.
Eliminate the uncertainty involved in the current formulation of redundancy provisions by drafting 
a regulation on redundancy compensation to accompany the Labour Standards Bill when it passes 
into law.
Employment and residence of non-citizens
Remove the “immigration responsibility” requirement for business visa applicants, currently an 
impediment to business visits from potential investors. Further improve the short-term visas 
system by introducing a fast-track “Green Channel Business Visa”, where NIPC endorses the 
Streamline the entry procedures for key expatriate personnel, currently highly discretionary, 
by adopting an “automatic EQ scheme”, which would allow investors to recruit for a select 
number of positions without the requirement to justify the need to hire abroad or to engage 
understudies. 
Maintain the current BP/EQ scheme (including its understudy requirement) for allocation of 
additional EQ positions, but extend the BP requirement to all investment (including domestic) 
above $50,000 in order to assess the risk of the employer hiring unnecessary foreigners and not 
being able to cover for “immigration responsibility”.
At a later stage, move towards international best practice and introduce an open list of skills 
shortages to be reviewed annually and allow investors to recruit foreign employees with the 
and to commitment of the company to a training programme for the advancement of local 
staff.
Land
Eliminate the need for Governors’ approval of land transactions as it is a source for delays and 
rent-seeking. Governors should allocate new land lease titles, but title transfer and encumbrances 
should be simply registered by the deeds’ registry.
Remove the incentive for land expropriation intrinsic to the current regime by instituting full 
compensation at market value for land resumed by public authorities. 
Outsource land surveying and the administrative support to land registries to specialized 
commercial enterprises to reduce delays.
Encourage the transformation of free zones into multi-facility zones so as to provide ready-to-use 
plots of land for investment. While the need for a broader administrative reform is strong, this 
can offer a temporary palliative.
Technology transfer requirements
Complete the transition of NOTAP from a regulatory to a monitoring and promotion agency 
by removing it from registration and screening of technology transfer agreements and address 
regulatory concerns related to such agreements (tax avoidance, anticompetitive behaviour) in the 
appropriate tax and competition regimes.
Switch NOTAP’s focus to providing training to Nigerian SMEs on licence agreements 
negotiation.
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Competition policy
Competition Commission with minor mergers with no relevance to competition.
illegal. 
Sectoral regulations
In electricity, reconsider the proposed separation of generation and distribution in favour of a 
system of regional vertically integrated entities, served by a common grid. Power producers would 
directly access their customers and this is more likely to attract private investment in the short 
term. Later, more competitive options can be built in the system.
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III. FDI GENERATION AND DEVELOPMENT
A strategy of supported market forces
Nigeria’s broader development goals, as set out in NEEDS, must entail dynamic investment growth 
beyond the oil sector. In this context, this chapter is a strategic review of how FDI can contribute to this 
objective, with a focus on manufacturing, including the agro-allied industries. 
contribution to the development of a manufacturing sector able to compete regionally and globally. For the 
point for many industries is a role in sophisticated international value chains (section A). To reach this end 
along the development ladder. It comprises big picture issues of trade policy, infrastructure support, skills 
development and regulatory change supported by selected measures (section B). As a result of such strategy, 
the improving investment climate will attract more FDI for Nigeria’s large market even with the present low 
level of investment promotion activity. At that state, it will become important to make a special effort to 
from institutional re-organization and from establishing coordinated federal-State investment promotion 
relationships (section D).
A.  Nigeria on the TNCs development ladder
In the past 20 years, the nature of cross-border business has changed fundamentally. The worldwide 
trend to liberalized markets, allied to other globalization drivers such as the information and communications 
technology revolution, are leading to a new global economic transformation and division of labour. TNCs 
are at the forefront of this process, with the globalization/regionalization of production networks and the 
in many industries seek competitive advantages by dispersing activities in the supply chain around the globe 
where each activity can be performed most cost-effectively, and product quality can be increased. Successful 
from elsewhere in the TNC’s global supply chain.
The dispersion of production is more pronounced in some industries than in others. In this regard, 
bulky, highly perishable or commodity-type goods have less integrated global supply chains within TNCs. 
However, goods with high value added manufacturing content depend on specialization within regional or 
global networks. Against this background, an FDI strategy for manufacturing should have the long-term goal 
of helping to position Nigeria to participate successfully in the enormous opportunities that this international 
landscape represents.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria 
Chapter III
firms
 
d
Competitive
supplier 
emerge
m
 fro
ing
d
dd
s
ferre
Stage IV
mandate
f
ent
World product 
Globally integrate
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firm)
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 export
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 levels o
d
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ing
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ig
iate
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 investors
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uc
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aptation o
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evelopment
 
s
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 basic 
d
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d
 levels o
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UNCT
h
h
Hig
importe
materials an
 finis
Source:
Note:
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Chapter III
Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Figure III.1 presents a schematic representation of the evolutionary processes of a TNC subsidiary in an 
emerging economy along the development ladder. The progression highlighted essentially indicates increased 
moves from a sales/assembly function towards local manufacturing, thus increasing use of local supplies. 
To enhance a competitive position in the local and perhaps regional market, increased emphasis begins to 
be placed on securing more competitive supplies, including nurturing local suppliers. Another response to 
competitive opportunities and pressures of local manufacturing is to adapt products to local market needs 
and later to design new products for local and regional markets. Local and regional product adaptation is 
done through a local R&D capacity, including use of local science and technology institutions. The search 
for competitive local supplies and the development of local R&D capacity are both important outcomes for 
upgrading local industrial and technological capacity in the host economy.
selected components to the global supply chain of the TNC or even outsourcing particular functions such 
performance to that of having a role as a hub for regional/global operations will be determined by the TNC 
To attain advanced stages of manufacturing, the host country’s industrial and technological base has 
to exhibit competitive advantages over other locations. In this regard, a high-cost local market supported 
to progress to stage IV within the host economy, it is important to focus on a coherent application of a long-
term strategy to build competitive infrastructure, foster good governance and reduce import protection.
As highlighted in chapter I, there has been no transformational manufacturing development in Nigeria 
manufacturing sector. All except one have been operating in Nigeria for several decades. The results of the 
interviews are reported in table III.1.87
the volatility in the economy, the import substitution policies prevailing in the past, and the relatively recent 
arrival of regionalization/globalization pressures. Furthermore, existing concrete plans to progress to stage 
III or IV remain so far modest. In this regard, only company “C” saw itself evolving as a stage IV operation. 
bigger than that of South Africa. This would make it the largest business in Africa. The next level in the 
company’s regional structure is the Africa, Europe and Middle East area: here Nigeria is currently tied for the 
fourth largest operation with Ireland. A different case is that of company “B”, where pan-African integration 
is forecast to lead to the loss of marketing and R&D in Nigeria for one product area to the regional 
headquarters in South Africa. As company “E” noted, however, much depends upon the development of the 
87
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria 
Chapter III
Table III.1. Survey results based on company interviews on potential TNC
1
TNC 
Development by 2011
2
Stage II (primarily). Some exports as part of group 
“A”
regionalization (stage III) but no local development/
None
R&D (stage I)
Stage III (primarily) with regionalization and regional 
HQ in Nigeria, local R&D, exports to regional  Marketing and R&D for one product line will 
“B”
markets, and local suppliers providing higher  move from Nigeria to South Africa
technology intermediate products
HQ for West and Central Africa; prospects 
for exports beyond the region and for the 
“C”
Stage III/emerging Stage IV
emergence of regionally competitive supplier 
None, except emergence of regionally 
“D”
Stage II/III
competitive suppliers
“E”
Stage II
economy; in latter case, company will play a 
regional role
Some evolution to stage III with local R&D and 
“F”
Stage II (largely)
some exports
Source:
Notes

B.  Obtaining more developmental value from FDI
Help to bridge capital, management, skills and technology gaps where they are most severe;
Help to develop the competence of local companies and the workforce towards world 
standards;
Help them be dynamic and competitive in a world where TNC headquarters are under incessant 
Enable, within 20 years, Nigerian manufactures and service companies, foreign and national alike, 
to stand with the best in supplying local, regional and global markets.
In brief, the objective is for Nigeria to better utilize FDI to support the development of local productive 
capacities. To this end, a more systematic government strategy is required. This should work at two levels 
envelope of major issues of trade, infrastructure, skills and regulatory quality (section B.1) that both push 
far, there has been a distinct lack of success of such measures in Nigeria, but the country is by no means 
alone in this respect. Furthermore, these measures should not be limited to investors already established in 
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this programme should therefore be an effort to target world-class TNCs that have the ability to get their 
The government strategy as introduced above and detailed in the following sections should guide the 
formulation of an explicit and comprehensive National Investment Policy of Nigeria. This would spell out the 
policy thrust of Government in respect to investment attraction, and represent an investment-friendly guide 
that is implementable, predictable and promotes policy consistency. But it should also contain concrete 
objectives and targets for the improvement of Nigeria’s business competitiveness and formulate Nigeria’s 
expectations regarding the role and contribution of FDI towards achieving its development objectives. 
1. 
The competitive envelope – pressures and support to improve competitiveness
The competitive envelope in manufacturing is an interplay between the external pressures and external 
exerted by the degree of import protection while the competitive support is determined by the quality of 
infrastructure (both physical and human capital) and of the regulatory environment.
pressure to adapt products, develop quality suppliers or reach out to more competitive regional markets in 
order to remain in business.
Setting a strategy that in tandem increases competitive pressure and delivers support is easier said 
to evolve. In this regard, NEEDS sets out the position for Nigeria as follows:
“While the Government is reducing the cost of doing business in Nigeria, it will use restrictions 
on imports as part of a strategy to ensure orderly restructuring of the industrial sector. The 
Government will aggressively promote exports and general commercial policy to attract foreign 
direct investment and it will pursue export orientation as a deliberate policy.”88
This statement recognizes the relationship between competitive pressures and support. It needs, though, 
to be more forcefully and precisely linked. To this end, this report proposes the creation of an International 
compares to other countries on these key competitive envelope parameters. 
Figure III.2 provides a conceptual development path for Nigeria.89 It illustrates where Nigeria is and 
compares it to other economies, including the industrially-advanced countries that should be Nigeria’s long-
bottom two lines are indicators of the relative regulatory and infrastructure quality pertaining to business 
in the selected countries.
Among the selected countries, with the exception of Kenya and Brazil, Nigeria had the highest average 
tariffs and the poorest infrastructure and skills until the 2005 reform. Moreover, the tariff index does not 
take into account Nigeria’s extensive import bans. The adoption of the ECOWAS external tariff in 2005 
88 National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) (2004). National Planning Commission, Abuja: 54.
89 Annex II provides the details on the construction of the wedge.
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substantially reduced Nigeria’s average tariff, although the loss of protection has been heavily cushioned by 
import bans on around 200 sensitive products.
India closely rivals Nigeria in the extent of its trade protection and poor state of infrastructure. On 
the other hand, Nigeria imposes less of a regulatory burden on business than other large countries such as 
Brazil and Kenya. This might be surprising, but it is consistent with the improving story on the investment 
framework related in chapter II. Nevertheless, among the largest African economies, South Africa ranks well 
ahead of Nigeria, and Egypt is quickly improving. With respect to infrastructure and skills competitiveness, 
Nigeria is the least advanced compared with peer countries. This suggests where future strategic attention 
could have the highest payoffs.
In comparison, China, a leading manufacturing exporter, is well-advanced along the wedge. Strong 
competitive pressures through low tariff protection are coupled with relatively good infrastructure. The 
apparent regulatory burden is substantially mitigated by conditions offered to investors within China’s 
extensive free zones.
Figure III.2. Industrial development path of Nigeria and
comparator countries – the “wedge” 2005
ypt
nya
Nigeria 2000Nigeria 2005India
Eg
Ghana
Ke
Brazil
Indonesia Thailand South Africa
China OECD
20
10
0
100
100
Weighted average tariff, %
infrastructure and skills index
Regulatory index
Sources: UNCTAD, TRAINS database; World Bank WDI 2006 and UNCTAD’s Investment Compass Database 2006; World 
Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2005–2006. 
Notes: For each country, the infrastructure and skills index is measured by the distance between the horizontal axis and the 
respective index marker. The regulatory index is determined by the distance between the infrastructure and the regulatory 
due to lack of comparable data for 2002. Descending weighted average tariffs determine the countries’ order along the hori-
zontal axis. Annex II provides details on the construction of the wedge.
Brazil is arguably 20 years ahead of Nigeria in the scope and depth of foreign investment.90 Yet it 
struggles to turn that investment from serving a large and protected market to becoming an innovative and 
export-oriented force that is fully integrated into the global supply chain. The extent of protection and the 
lack of competitiveness of the regulatory environment militate against this objective. Egypt has more of 
the major TNCs than Nigeria, but faces similar strategic hurdles as Brazil. On the other hand, South Africa 
appears to be strategically well positioned, at least in the auto industry. The Egyptian auto industry (e.g. 
90 Eighty per cent of Fortune 500 companies have a presence in Brazil.
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General Motors) has small production runs for the domestic market (with some exports to neighbouring 
countries), while large segments of the South African auto industry are integrated into the global supply 
chain of their groups (e.g. BMW).
a. Nigeria’s competitiveness: views of investors
in the Nigerian environment (box III.1). As part of global groups, world class TNCs are routinely benchmarked 
The cost disadvantage of operating in Nigeria varied from 15 to 25 per cent in the companies surveyed.
Electrical power was singled out as the most challenging area, in particular cases adding up to 10 per cent to 
operating costs. Other cost impediments derived from corruption, poor transport infrastructure, arbitrary 
taxation and problems of security. Companies indicated that they are responding to these challenges in areas 
at least partially within their control, such as electrical power. The comments of company E are an explicit 
Through a strategy of supported market forces, the Government could have an opportunity to induce 
the way the competitive envelope is shaped. The key elements of the strategy should be:
Improving costs and quality of physical infrastructure and human capital in areas of most 
concern to business;
Achieving high standards in business regulation and taxation, and in regulatory 
administration; and
Designing a consistent and well-timed opening up of markets to trade that moves in 
step with cost and productivity improvements achieved through better infrastructure and 
regulation.
b. Improving infrastructure and human capital
Nigeria has an outstanding opportunity to make decisive improvements in infrastructure and human 
capital over at least the next decade. This arises from two sources:
The transformation in the outlook for public expenditures deriving from higher oil prices 
and the cancellation of the external debt; and
The liberalization of the regulated backbone services, which provides opportunities for 
private investment and management that were hitherto unavailable.
Both sources will be important, but public expenditures will make the biggest difference to the scale of 
–2010, compared with 
a decade earlier.91 Based on these estimates, public expenditures are expected to quintuple. This result 
is due to increased oil prices and also to debt relief and repayment (which have cut public external debt 
outstanding from $35 billion to $5 billion).
91 Projections are based on IMF (2008). Projections beyond 2010 are not available.
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Box III.1.  Cost structures and corporate benchmarking
Company A: 15 to 20 per cent below international competitiveness benchmarks, because of cost 
impediments derived from corruption, electricity, poor transport infrastructure, problems of law and order 
and of arbitrary taxation.  The Nigerian affiliate is also benchmarked on product quality which is adversely 
affected by an unsatisfactory road system. 
Company B: 20 per cent cost disadvantage compared with an average operation within the Africa, 
Middle East and Turkey region. This is in spite of the fact that manufacturing control costs are lower than 
in South Africa due to labour costs, and lower than in Egypt, where transaction costs are problematic. 
The company benchmarks its factory performance. Excluding power, Nigeria was reasonably competitive, 
but power was a major factor which added 10 per cent to costs. Plans are now afoot to outsource power 
completely and to install tri-generation power equipment which, on a like-for-like basis, will save 5 per cent 
on costs. 
Company C: Nigeria is benchmarked against other subsidiaries in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. 
The group operates global benchmarking in areas where best practice norms have been established for 
particular areas of activity.  The Managing Director/Chief Executive stated that the company operated an 
integrated business model and, therefore, its cost structure was better than those of local competitors 
(including TNCs). By international standards, power produced a significant cost disadvantage, although 
it was suggested that, with efficiency improvements, this could be brought under control. Unsatisfactory 
regulation was regarded as a key barrier, mention being made of multiple forms of taxation.  The company 
was locally traded, which was considered to help reducing corruption.
Company D: Successor to a 100 per cent foreign-owned company, following the indigenization 
decrees of the 1970s. Costs are estimated to be about 25 per cent higher than in India and East Asia, where 
labour costs are often lower and infrastructure is better.  Energy and logistics (e.g.  ports and warehousing) 
costs are much higher in Nigeria. Consideration is being given to investing in gas in the medium term 
(although gas prices have begun to rise).  The company is currently investing N10 million in energy-saving 
equipment.
Company E: This is the case of a company that has been protected by high tariff barriers. The 
company’s fortunes, since it started business in 1963, have been closely linked to government policy 
direction, prospering during periods of protected markets and suffering during times of open markets. 
The 40 per cent tariff on finished products was to be reduced to 20 per cent as part of the ECOWAS 
tariff reduction programme.  At this level, the company stated it could not compete against imports.
The Government apparently accepted this argument, and an exemption was obtained which provided 
for 50 per cent tariffs until the end of 2007. The company argued that its competitiveness problems also 
stemmed from 50 per cent average import tariffs on imported raw materials and intermediate products, 
tariff levels that have risen from 15 per cent in earlier years. Infrastructural difficulties led to a policy of 
“just-in-case” as opposed to “just-in-time”.  The company considered it could compete if the infrastructural 
deficiencies – power, water and security – were addressed.  At the time of the interview, the company was 
in the process of outsourcing many peripheral activities (including e.g. truck drivers), for estimated cost 
savings of 5 to 7.5 per cent.
Source: UNCTAD interviews.
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Chapter III
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70
60
50
age)
 aver 40
d
rio
e
p
 ( 30
n
illio
 B 20
$
10
0
1997-2000
2007-2010*
Oil revenue
Total revenue
Total consolidated expenditure
Source: IMF (2008) for original data in Naira and EIU country data (2008) for annual average exchange rates with $
(actual and 2008-2010 estimates).
Notes: * Nigerian authorities and IMF staff estimates and projections.
infrastructure upgrade which had been a theme of the 2005 federal budget (Federal Ministry of Finance, 
Building of Physical and Human Infrastructure for Job Creation and Poverty Eradication, Budget, 2005). 
From a business standpoint, giving priority to improving electricity supply is an appropriate decision
(box III.1) and should have a major economic payoff. In this regard, the Government had plans to invest $3.9 
billion in seven power plants and associated gas development in the Niger Delta. After the 2007 elections, 
large infrastructure projects were put on hold for review by the new administration. It is encouraging 
–2010 provides for an adequate spending 
envelope to begin addressing the infrastructure gap (IMF, 2008).
With respect to infrastructure services, the major strategic challenge in the next few years will be to 
correctly blend public and private investment. Private investors will not commit large amounts of money 
impressive reform efforts underway and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiatives 
on infrastructure (box III.2), this will take many years.
Given the scale of infrastructure rehabilitation needed, the Government should not wait for private 
investment to take the lead. It should, however, seek ways to partner with private investors so that public 
operations and asset maintenance). In a sense, Nigeria should be developing concepts in which private 
investors are initially minority investors but with secure management rights. Thus, it should develop concepts 
of reverse BOT projects (with initial funding principally from public investment and eventual sale of the 
initial private equity.
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Box III. 2  Bridging the infrastructure gap – the role of NEPAD
NEPAD is an African initiative designed to address the current challenges facing the continent. It
arose from a mandate of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to develop an integrated socio-economic 
development framework in Africa and was formally launched in July 2001.  Nigeria has taken a leading role 
as one of the five initiating States, together with Algeria, Egypt, Senegal and South Africa.
NEPAD’s main priority is the promotion of regional integration. This is to be achieved through a 
number of initiatives on agriculture, market access, human resources development, infrastructure and 
environment. In this regard, one of the most advanced projects of NEPAD is the infrastructure development 
initiative on energy, water, transport, and information and communication technologies.
In this regard, an infrastructure Short-Term Action Plan (STAP) was launched in 2002. STAP stresses 
the importance of creating a suitable environment to attract investment in infrastructure and thus the need 
for a sound legal and regulatory framework for PPPs. One concrete action of NEPAD through the STAP is 
to help African countries assess existing laws affecting PPPs and provide assistance in drafting new PPP laws, 
regulations and contracts. 
One of the key regional infrastructure initiatives being pursued by NEPAD is the West African Gas 
Pipeline (WAGP) project, which has received the financial assistance of the World Bank and of the African 
Development Bank. Others include electricity inter-connectors in West and Southern Africa, high-priority 
road networks and a number of feasibility studies. The amount committed to NEPAD infrastructure 
projects, including those in the pipeline, is more than $5 billion. NEPAD is assisting with solutions to the 
main commercial and contractual issues involved. 
Source: www.nepad.org.
As the largest country in Africa, Nigeria is endowed with an abundant supply of labour. However, to 
overcome the challenges of the education sector. In spite of the fact that Nigerian data on education are not 
complete or reliable, table III.2 shows distinct underperformance in enrolments at the secondary and tertiary 
levels. Furthermore, the legacy of the military era is a decline of quality of education in universities as well as 
a reduction of research output. This is concomitant to a declining real value of Government allocations for 
education and deteriorating facilities. The poor results achieved by the education sector were also highlighted 
during the interviews with TNC executives.
At the tertiary level, only a minority of students is enrolled on the basis of academic performance, while 
recruitment and retention, a consequence of low academic salaries and poor conditions. Furthermore, lack 
of availability of textbooks had led to abuse by staff, who sold their own notes as compulsory reading. This 
practice is now banned. In the meantime, criticism has been leveled at the weak governance of universities 
As a consequence of all these factors, Nigerian degrees lack recognition by overseas universities.
Responding to these challenges, the federal Government’s budget for universities has been substantially 
increased in recent years. For example, between 2002 and 2004, the budget for universities rose by almost 
40 per cent, to a level that represented over half of the total budget for the education sector. Figure III.4 
shows that the funding of universities has therefore tripled compared with a decade ago. As the very 
valuable Monday Memos from the National University Commission show, increased efforts are being 
made to evaluate the performance of universities, through assessment of the quality of teaching, research,
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graduate output, and corruption in respect of admission and grading.92 In  spite  of  recent  improvements 
on a number of measures, there is a huge catch-up process required following, for instance, the six-
month strike in 2003 and irregular payments to staff. Moreover, the quality of research remains poor.
South
Nigeria
Egypt
Ghana
Brazil
China
India
Indonesia
Africa
Literacy rate (>15 yrs)
..3
561
54.1
82
88
91
61
89
Gross enrolment 
ratio4
Primary
119
97
79
106
147
115
108
112
Secondary
36
85
39
89
110
70
53
61
Tertiary
8
29
3
15
21
16
12
16
Expenditure on 
n.a
n.a
4.1
5.3
4.22
2.1
4.1
1.2
education (%GDP)
School life expectancy
10
n.a
7
13
8
9
9
9
(ISCED 1 - 6)
Compulsory education 
9
8
9
9
15
11
10
11
(years)
Pupil teacher ratio 
42
n.a
31
34
24
21
41
20
(primary)
Source: 
Notes: (1) 1996; (2) 2001/2002; (3) Literacy rates data for Nigeria not reliable; (4) The number of pupils enrolled in a given level of 
education, regardless the age, expressed as a percentage of the population in the theoretical age group.
Figure III.4. Nigeria, total university grant in real terms
20,000
18,000
16,000
14,000
12,000
10,000
8,000
6,000
4,000
2,000
0
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Source: National Universities Commission
92   The term “sorting” is commonly used to describe the process of obtaining grade improvements in exchange for money, gifts or sexual
intercourse.
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term, wide-ranging reorganization, restructuring and upgrading of education in Nigeria. This will require 
top-to-bottom reform and a 15- to 20-year plan, along with massive investment. This chapter will further 
c. The tariff regime
Nigeria’s adoption in October 2005 of the ECOWAS tariff regime (with the exceptions as detailed in 
box III.11) has led to a substantial reduction in tariffs and an associated compression of tariffs escalation within 
the supply chain of all industries. Table III.3 shows both the weighted average applied tariff on agricultural 
and industrial goods. If Nigeria removed the exceptional rates of 50 per cent on sensitive products and 
adhered to the full ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET), there would be further reductions in average 
tariffs, especially on agricultural goods.
Table III.3. Nigeria tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods
(Weighted average applied tariff, %)
Goods
2002
2005
ECOWAS*
Agricultural
32.9
19.5
10.7
Industrial
15.3
9.1
8.0
Source: UNCTAD TRAINS database. Weights based on 2003 trade data.
* Projections based on the application of full ECOWAS Common External Tariff.
of protection within the supply chain puts increased competitive pressure on Nigerian suppliers of raw 
change from 2002 to 2005 and to the full ECOWAS CET. But the effect is evident in all the product lines 
vegetable processing.
The reduction of tariffs in Nigeria since 2005 was counterbalanced by bans imposed on importation 
exerted by the ECOWAS-led tariff regime. The import bans were due to be removed by January 2008. 
However, after carrying out an impact assessment of the affected industries, the authorities have decided 
to maintain the import ban, but reduce the number of items on the list (box III.11). No clear date is offered 
regarding the phasing out of these import bans.
The process by which the tariff strategy will evolve in the long term and the import bans are phased out in 
shorter term needs to be more adequately formalized. This would help investors to make the required changes 
over a determined horizon to adjust to the competitive landscape that they will face. Furthermore, the strategy 
needs to be linked to progress achieved in improving the competitiveness of infrastructure and regulatory 
environment affecting business. The ECOWAS process has, in recent years, driven long-term tariff strategy. 
industry will need to adjust to competitive pressure (Tsikata, 2000; and WTO, 2005).
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Figure III.5. Nigeria, tariff escalation in 2002, 2005 and projections to full ECOWAS CET
(selected products)
Metal (fully weighted)
Tobacco (fully weighted)
30
160 
140
25
Raw materials
120 
20
100
Semi -finished
15
80
Raw materials
manufactures
60
Finished manufactures
10
Finished manufactures
40
5
20
0
0
2002
2005
ECOWAS
2002
2005
ECOWAS
Fruits and vegetables (fully weighted)
Textiles (fully weighted)
120
  45
  40
100
Raw materials
  35
Raw materials
80
  30
Semi -finished
60
25
manufactures
Semi-finished
40
20
manufactures
Finished manufactures
15
Finished manufactures
20
5
0
0
2002
2005
ECOWAS
2002
2005
ECOWAS
Source: UNCTAD TRAINS database. 
In order to design and implement a systematic approach to move towards international levels of 
competitiveness, this report recommends that Nigeria establish an International Trade Commission. 
The commission should be charged with analyzing the long-term path of tariff reduction in line with 
improving competitive conditions for business and advising the government on the pace and strategy 
for liberalization. In proposing the timing and sequencing of the liberalization, the commission would 
also examine the merits of individual industry requests to depart for a time from the general regime so 
particularly important for local companies, which lack the support of internationally advanced parent 
groups (box III.3).
d. Internal competition
Improving business competitiveness is also a function of competition within the Nigerian market. It is 
recognized that a small number of TNCs substantially control manufacturing in some sectors and subsectors 
such as cement, beer, soft drinks, other beverages, motorcycles and tyres. Their market dominance is 
military Government, when competitors divested or simply ignored Nigeria. Furthermore, a number of local 
companies have similar market dominance. As an illustration, the Nigerian Dangote Group of Companies 
in which it operates (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2006). When markets are liberalized and stabilized, and 
policy consistency prevails, new domestic and foreign competitors will emerge to challenge the dominant 
position of the large existing players. Chapter II discusses the current gaps and proposals to upgrade the 
competition regime.
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Box III.3. The Nigerian International Trade Commission
The proposed commission would be an independent and expert body, set up by statute, that would 
advise the Government on three matters: 
•   The pace and strategy for liberalization of the import protection regime in line with national 
objectives for industrial development and taking into account progress made in improving 
competitive conditions for business;
•   Industry requests for protection that is above general norms or requests to pause the application 
of a general reduction in trade protection to a particular industry;  and
•   The application of safeguards, anti-dumping and countervailing measures. The professional 
application of safeguards is important throughout a process of liberalization.
The experience of other countries shows that a trade commission would not be a small undertaking. 
The commission must examine issues from an economy-wide perspective, not just the interests of a 
particular sector.  Its work should be professional and evidence-based, and its procedures transparent and 
fair to all parties.  The commission’s advice should be published and open to public comments.  To achieve 
this, the commission should have an independent status, and report to a ministry with a wide economic 
remit, such as, for example, the National Planning Commission or the Ministry of Finance.
The commission’s governing body can include part-time commissioners drawn from academia and 
industry.  To be credible, it would need enough full-time staff – a well-run commission can easily have 200 
staff.  In Nigeria, a start can be made with seconded economists, accountants and customs specialists from 
existing ministries.
Potential models for Nigeria are South Africa’s International Trade Administration Commission 
(established in 2003 to replace the former Board on Tariffs and Trade) and Australia’s Productivity 
Commission (established in 1996, originally the Tariff Board and thence the Industries Assistance 
Commission). The evolution of the names of these bodies reflects a broadening of their ambit, from 
examining specific industry requests to advice on enhancing productivity and international competitiveness 
of all industry. 
Source: UNCTAD
2.
Developmental affiliates programmes
towards world-class manufacturing. 
including efforts to stimulate local sourcing. Local content policies were operated during the late 1970s 
and early 1980s, but these were a constituent of the import substitution policies operated at the time, and 
Companies could not obtain import licences unless they showed evidence that they had tried to obtain 
supplies locally. Unilever, for example, launched a number of initiatives to comply with Government demands 
in the areas of packaging, the production of scourers, bleaching earth, oil mills and palm oil extraction.
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But a number of the ventures failed because of (a) working capital and management problems in the supplier 
demand outstripped supply. Problems experienced by other TNCs related to government failure to take an 
integrated approach to the local content programmes including tariff and tax policy: hence, some initiatives 
failed because of smuggling. With local content policies now banned under WTO rules, and the prevailing 
philosophy of liberalization, building a local supplier industry or local R&D is still feasible but only within the 
context of improving competitiveness.
experiences of other countries have shown. Issues of regional integration and market access, and the 
concerning R&D and product development and supplier linkages. 
a.  R&D and product development programme
While R&D has historically been highly centralized within TNCs’ headquarters, recent evidence reveals 
and research know-how, and create knowledge spillovers to domestic enterprises and other organizations. 
In addition, research skills and the quality of human resources are enhanced, and industrial upgrading is 
stimulated.
In developing countries, the early stages of R&D will, in most cases, take the form of local adaptation 
respect of R&D, using the example of General Motors in Brazil. The driving forces for these developments 
Brazilian government policy also played a role.
To date, Africa has been largely excluded from the process of internationalizing R&D centres (stage IV,
the most advanced stage in the development ladder), except for isolated cases in Morocco and South Africa. 
For example, Morocco has attracted R&D centres in software and electronics, while in South Africa there 
are state-of-the-art R&D facilities in autos, aerospace and healthcare (UNCTAD, 2005 and 2006). In the 
There are 54 research institutes comprising government research institutions, private sector research 
companies, international research centres and universities and colleges in Nigeria. There are also examples 
of ad hoc collaboration in R&D (box III.6). However, one study indicated that only 25 per cent of research 
usage. So, generally, R&D is largely divorced from commercial utilization, although there has been no 
empirical assessment of the effectiveness of past policies (Aju, 2003; and Oyewale, 2003). This might be 
partly due to the lack of reliable data on total expenditures on R&D in Nigeria and its split between the 
public and corporate sectors. Furthermore, it is also probable that the publicly funded R&D effort has been 
driven by an import substitution model (a search for local raw materials to replace imports) rather than 
for local materials and products that give competitive advantage to Nigerian producers. Apart from its 
funding of research institutes, the Government has also provided a plethora of tax incentives to encourage 
enterprise R&D (Chapter II and below).
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Box III.4. The evolution of R&D at General Motors in Brazil
General Motors (GM) has an important R&D centre at its São Caetano plant in southern Brazil. 
Established in the 1960s as a small unit to adapt GM autos and parts to Brazilian conditions, it became a large 
laboratory by the end of the 1980s, focusing on a variety of projects for the host country market (stage II
in the affiliate development ladder). 
The Brazilian Automotive Regime launched in 1995 was designed to attract FDI but also to upgrade 
products and manufacturing processes. In addition, a series of Information Technology Laws from 1991 
stated that, in order to be eligible for fiscal incentives, TNCs were required to undertake R&D investments 
and establish partnerships with local universities and research centres.
By the late 1990s, GM Brazil had accumulated technical expertise in designing local versions of GM 
models, and became involved in the development of a new GM model (stage III).  After 1996, GM changed 
the mandate of its Brazilian R&D centre from local to global: GM Brazil was allocated responsibility for 
designing a new vehicle – the Meriva minivan – for world markets (stage IV).  These increased responsibilities 
have meant expanded product and process development for both local and global applications. 
Approximately 1,000 employees are engaged in product development and 500 in process engineering 
work.
GM in Brazil currently competes with GM affiliates in the United States, Europe and Asia for mandates 
to design and build new vehicles and undertake other core projects for the global corporation.
Source: UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2005.
According to UNCTAD’s Innovation Capability Index,93 Nigeria was ranked 96th of 117 countries in 
2001 compared with the rankings of South Africa (48) and Egypt (56).
In respect of R&D activity by 
to date, this largely takes the form of adaptation 
(stage II in the development ladder) as suggested by the interviews reported in chapter 1 (box I.3).94 
Nevertheless, the potential for higher value added, new product R&D (stage III in the development ladder) 
is shown in the case of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc. (box III.5). This company was established through 
conclude that:
product adaptation or, in the past, to meeting local content obligations. There is little evidence of 
systematic new product design or of progression to participation in group R&D work;
There has been substantial Government support to local R&D in the form of publicly funded 
been misdirected towards a search for local substitutes rather than sources of competitive 
advantage;
93   Derived from measures of technological activity, including R&D personnel, patents and publications, and of human capital, represented by literacy 
rates and school and university/college enrolments.
94
conduct no R&D in Nigeria.
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Some Governments, including in Nigeria in the past, have sought to mandate R&D activity through 
performance requirements as a condition of FDI entry. There is little evidence that such forms of 
compulsion are successful and very few countries apply them now (UNCTAD, 2005); and
of well-conceived Government policy to support it.
Box III.5.  R&D in Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc.
Pre-1997 (date of management buy-out) R&D-related activity was mostly clinical work with 
researchers to evaluate the efficacy of new drugs.  However, since 1997 the company has had its own R&D 
department. This R&D operation has 12 people led by a medical doctor and has three roles:
(a)  
Improvements of existing products: product extension and adaptation to preferences of 
consumers;
(b)  
More fundamental R&D on natural products (of plant origin).  This is considered the company’s 
key competitive advantage. The principal product from this research to date is Ciklavit (Nutritional 
Supplement for Sicklers).  The company is now working on two or three other products derived 
from natural substances;
(c)  
Collaborative research (also part of (b)), where the company’s in-house team collaborates 
with other institutions in Nigeria.  An example quoted was work with a Nigerian biochemistry 
professor in the area of the management of anaemia, where R&D is progressing towards product 
completion and subsequently marketing. Neimeth is also working with the Nigerian Medical 
Research Council.
The group of products (Neimeth Products Group (NPG)) derived from in-house R&D comprises 30 
per cent of turnover.  The balance is made up of licenced products from Pfizer (Pfizer Products Group). 
Exports (mainly to Ghana, Sierra Leone and Gambia) from the NPG represent 10 per cent of turnover, 
as part of a strong commitment to the ECOWAS market. The managing director saw ECOWAS as “one 
country” potentially. In terms of business in ECOWAS, Neimeth products were not subject to the same 
competitive pressures, while the economic situation was considered to be improving.
Source: Company interviews.
In this context, a new approach to stimulate innovation activities by TNCs in Nigeria is required and 
should be based on three principles:
(a)  
Increasing competitive pressure
foreign investors with little capacity to innovate. The commercial imperative for innovation in 
product adaptation and design must be strengthened. Increased competitive pressures from imports 
and well-enforced openness to internal competition – elements of the competitive envelope – are 
environment encourages de minimis activity.
(b)  
Strengthening management to promote Nigeria’s production.
is a key change agent and should be supported. Local managers need to convince their global 
or regional headquarters that investing in product innovation in Nigeria is worthwhile, given the 
ability of HQ management to shift production elsewhere. Put another way, unless the products of 
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and pan-African market, the decision to produce in Nigeria rather than elsewhere becomes an 
regulatory improvements come through.
(c)  
Improving government support. The extent and kind of direct government support to R&D must 
How can these principles be put into effect?
The implementation of the ECOWAS common tariff, coupled with the removal of exceptional tariff 
rates and import bans on sensitive goods, sharply increase the commercial imperative for R&D in product 
innovation. A supportive trade strategy will exert longer-term competitive pressure (principle I). How can 
competitiveness (principles II and III)? Although basic R&D in product adaptation (stage II of the development 
support for R&D is warranted because spillovers and other externalities are extensive (OECD, 2002). 
research institutes so as to build their competence in commercially relevant skills. 
Box III.6.  Successful collaborations between research organizations
and enterprises in Nigeria
• 
 The Raw Materials Research and Development Council, in collaboration with universities and 
other research centres, developed small-scale dryer insecticide from local plant extracts as an 
anti-corrosion agent for cast-iron components, anti-ulcer and anti-snake bite remedies.

gone into fruitful collaboration with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) in Ibadan. 
The objective was to gradually replace maize (which is expensive and usually scarce) with 
cocoa husks, kola pod husks, sweet potatoes and cassava leaves in the production of livestock 
feeds. The R&D activities of CRIN have also yielded positive results in the production of cocoa 
wine, chocolate, cocoa bread and cocoa butter. These activities have also contributed to the 
fabrication of extraction machine for a cottage cashew juice factory.
• 
 The Federal Institute of Industrial Research fabricated the equipment for yam processing into 
has also contributed to technology for high-protein garri and baby food formulation from local 
materials, among others.
Source: Company interviews.
Whilst government support for corporate R&D is warranted, there is no settled opinion on how best 
to deliver it. Among the OECD countries (which have the most experience of supporting corporate R&D) 
do both. Fiscal incentives are easier for Government to administer and are more market-driven in their 
application. However, the lower corporate taxation is, the less impact these incentives would have. Direct 
target expected spillovers, it can also lead to a “picking winners” approach (OECD, 2002).
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However, it is recognized that effective interactions among key stakeholders are crucial for the 
effectiveness of the National Innovation System. In Nigeria, as in most African countries, weak interactions 
exist among universities, research institutes and enterprises. For instance, as discussed above, this is the 
research institutes.
It is suggested th
collaboration with public sector research institutes, has been weak so far. Key features of the programme 
design are set out in box III.7.
Box III.7.  Proposed collaborative R&D programme for foreign affiliates
The objectives of the collaborative R&D programme should be to:
• Localize/regionalize the product range of participating TNC’s;
•  Increase use of competitive raw materials in manufacturing; and
•   Encourage greater private sector orientation and funding by public sector research institutes.
The features of the programme should include:
(a) Moving up the development ladder:
•   Each participating TNC should aim, in the short run, to move one step up (e.g. II to III) and two steps 
up within 10 years (e.g. III to IV);
(b) Joint funding approach:
• Government grants will be provided on a joint funding basis with participating affiliates;
(c) Operating in a competitive environment:
•   Affiliate participation is voluntary and projects will be proposed by the affiliates. However, 
participants must be operating within the general tariff regime, without exceptional rates or import 
bans, or moving in that direction.  This ensures that competitive pressures are in place; 
(d) Maximizing spillovers:
•   Appropriate public sector partners (from the range of universities and research institutions in 
the country) should be involved to maximize spillovers. These should be selected by the affiliates 
on the basis of their research specialization and evidence of previous success with private sector 
partners;
(e) Favouring public–private interaction:
•   Evidence from India and elsewhere indicates that interaction of public research institutes with the 
private sector can be increased by limiting the public financing of research institutions and 
setting targets for the generation of returns from selling research and other services to industry. 
This principle should be considered in Nigeria;
(f)      Management role for the NIPC:
•   The programme should be managed by the NIPC as part of a specialized foreign affiliates 
development unit. Some staff could be transferred in from NOTAP as part of its reorientation from 
a regulator of technology transfer to a promoter of local R&D.
Source: UNCTAD.
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b. Supplier linkages programme
International experience reveals a wide range of policy initiatives to stimulate local sourcing and 
promote the local supply base. These include information and match-making, technology upgrading of local 
an era of globalization because of TNC demands for globally competitive suppliers. On the other hand, the 
involvement of TNCs enables local supplier cost and quality to be benchmarked internationally and thus 
provides targets for linkage programmes.
The experience of previous Nigerian local sourcing initiatives highlights problems relating to suppliers’ 
gaps among customer TNCs, and to maintain stable relationships in areas such as pricing policies. Past 
and table III.4).
Table III.4. World and Africa ranking of suppliers in Nigeria and comparator countries
Rank in world
South
Nigeria
Egypt
Ghana
Brazil China
India Indonesia
Thailand
(in Africa)
Africa
Local supplier quantity
67 (6)
75 (9)
70 (8)
21 (1)
27
37
5
81
32
Local supplier quality
89 (11)
85 (9)
73 (6)
25 (1)
36
68
27
83
32
Source: World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Reports 2005–2006.
Notes: Total countries ranked: 117. Total African countries ranked: 23. 
For Nigeria, the emphasis should therefore be upon developing an effective linkage programme, which 
means learning from past experiences within the country and from best practice elsewhere. Box III.8 presents 
successful examples from Ireland and Malaysia, where the selection of suppliers and their training/mentoring 
is stressed. South Africa’s introduction of a systematic benchmarking programme to assist the upgrade 
of local suppliers to world-class manufacturing standard in the auto industry is also a useful case study. 
However, it is important to note that Nigerian manufacturing is less a restructuring story (as suggested by 
NEEDS) than a development one.
The proposed Nigerian programme is therefore critically important to the successful rebuilding of 
the manufacturing sector and especially the food and agro-business value chain. But there will be other 
opportunities derived from the large prospective infrastructure spending. The outline of the features of a 
partnership linkage programme are set out in box III.9.
3. Regional 
integration
Nigeria’s large internal market is and will remain its primary asset to attract FDI. The strategic aim 
for pan-African sourcing and/or integration within the global supply chains of TNCs. Figure I.5 in chapter 1 
showed that, over the last 40 years, Nigeria’s manufactured exports have stagnated in absolute terms and 
dynamic contribution; thus, this is a long-term aim given Nigeria’s starting point.
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Box III.8.  Successful supplier linkage programmes
Ireland’s National Linkage Programme
The current National Linkage Programme (NLP) was introduced in 1998. It was focused primarily upon 
potential suppliers to TNCs in the electronics, engineering and – more recently – healthcare industries. 
The NLP cooperates with foreign affiliates and their parent companies to identify specific parts and 
components that may be supplied domestically, and to identify domestic firms showing the best potential. 
Realistic supply opportunities were identified in metal and plastic components.   A key criterion for selection 
of local supplier companies is a forward-looking, ambitious and dynamic attitude.  The NLP then works with 
its selected firms on an individual basis to deliver tailored solutions. Lessons to be drawn are that:
•   Matchmaking requires accompanying measures to upgrade the capabilities of potential and actual 
suppliers;
•   Supplier development efforts should be selective;
•   Close collaboration with foreign affiliates and their parent TNCs is crucial;  and
•   Close coordination amongst the various government agencies involved in assisting local suppliers is 
important.
National and regional linkages in Malaysia
The Small and Medium Industries Corporation (SMIC) launched a Global Supplier Programme in 
1999, aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Malaysian SMEs. The objective was for local SMEs 
to become suppliers to foreign affiliates of TNCs, and also potentially to evolve into global suppliers.
The programme has two initiatives – training in critical skills and building linkages with TNCs. The training 
initiative focuses on helping participants acquire competencies to adopt and use new technologies. 
Under the linkage initiative, foreign affiliates “adopt” local companies and guide them for upgrading in 
leadership skills and technology. In most cases, there would be a long-term commitment with regular 
reviews between affiliates and suppliers.
In a related programme, the Industrial Linkages Programme of SMIC offers a number of incentives. 
Large companies participating can claim tax deductions for supplier-related support activities – e.g. training, 
product development and testing, or quality assurance of vendors’ products.  Approved suppliers are eligible 
for a full tax exemption at statutory income tax levels for a period of five years under the pioneer status or 
an investment tax allowance of 60 per cent on qualifying capital expenditure incurred within a period of five 
years.
Firm-level upgrading in South Africa
At the beginning of the 1990s, the South African auto industry appeared to be in terminal decline 
with low volumes and proliferation of models. Within a decade, it became a strong performer and has 
made significant strides as an exporter of both autos and components.  A number of factors drove this 
restructuring, including the Government’s Motor Industry Development Programme, and the demands 
of the foreign-owned assemblers for quality improvement and cost reduction.  An important contributing 
factor in the sector’s growing competitiveness was the formation of Benchmarking Clubs in which suppliers 
initially benchmarked against each other and then against the world’s best.  Through its Sector Partnership 
Fund, the Government provided two-thirds of the cost of starting and running this learning network. 
Combining a benchmarking programme with structured activities for continuous improvement assisted 
firms to make spectacular progress in upgrading their performance.  As a side effect, the consulting group 
that set-up the Benchmarking Clubs has developed skills that have led to their providing benchmarking 
services to other industries.
Source: UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2001. UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Kenya (2005).
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Box III.9.  Proposed Partnership Linkage Programme for Nigeria
(a)  
Specific objectives: to move participating TNC affiliates one step up the development ladder in
5 years (stage I to II) and two steps up in 10 years (stage II to III).
(b)  
Programme components will include elements of technology transfer and upgrading, provision 
and sharing of information, financial support, training and benchmarking. TNCs will take the leading 
role in delivery with outside consultancy support.
(c)  
Selection of industries should be determined by country priorities (the agro-business value chain 
should be the first priority) and the potential to achieve local supply. The latter depends upon 
factors such as the actual or potential supplier base, technological capability required of suppliers, 
and actual or potential quantity and quality of raw material supply. 
(d)  
The selection of foreign affiliates should be voluntary and based on their willingness and potential 
to establish valuable linkages, and to work with and mentor partner suppliers. Preliminary 
discussions with companies showed a significant level of interest. 
(e)  
Supplier selection should be determined by suppliers’ commitment and capabilities to meet 
the requirements of TNCs and their motivation. Criteria to be used include self-improvement 
requirements, technological and skill audits, production capabilities, ISO certification and 
commitment of the CEO and key managers. 
(f)  
Foreign affiliates and suppliers must be committed to adherence to the ECOWAS tariff regime
(i.e. without exceptional rates or continued import bans).
(g)  
It should be managed by the proposed affiliate development unit of NIPC and involve interested 
parties such as the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, 
industrial development centres and research institutes.
(h)  It should be funded by the Government but also be financially supported by TNCs and suppliers.
(i)  
A supportive set of policy measures must be considered, particularly concerning tariff measures 
for raw materials and finished products. In addition, their impact upon related industries and 
suppliers, as well as taxation provisions (e.g. tax credits or tax reductions for provision of funds to 
suppliers) and financial support (e.g. direct support to suppliers, incentives for R&D cooperation 
with Nigerian institutions/universities and affiliates) should be taken into account. Ready access to 
visas for industry training specialists should be included. 
Source: UNCTAD.
Nigeria has preferential trade access to the North American market under the AGOA agreement. It
is also negotiating, as part of ECOWAS, a new economic partnership agreement with the European Union 
to replace the Cotonou agreement, which came to an end on December 31, 2007.95 However, an important 
intermediary step to reach the goal set above is to focus initially upon the export opportunities within 
ECOWAS since this will be the objective of TNCs’ integration strategies.
95   Economic partnership agreement negotiations are set to conclude by mid-2009. Discussions are ongoing on sensitive issues such as excluded sectors 
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by their parent TNCs, as part of regionalization within Africa as a whole. What is also important is that 
– for example, product development to cater to different customer tastes and requirements in the wider 
ECOWAS market. ECOWAS is thus important in beginning the process of mindset change and creativity, 
which is necessary for successful export orientation. Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc. (box III.5) is a good 
example of what can be achieved within ECOWAS. The competitive stimulus from participating within 
ECOWAS will, however, be constrained by the relatively low levels of economic and presumably corporate 
development. Nevertheless, Ghana is a competitive threat, particularly as a headquarters location for pan-
presented in table III.5. Also, Côte d’Ivoire, not shown in the table, accounts for a higher share of ECOWAS 
manufacturing value added than Nigeria.
Table III.5. Competitiveness rankings in ECOWAS
Competitiveness rankings
Nigeria
Ghana
Mali
Gambia
Benin
Growth competitiveness index 2005
88
59
90
94
114
(Growth competitiveness index 2004)
(93)
(68)
(88)
(75)
(n.a.)
Macroeconomic environment index
76
66
97
107
101
Public institutions index
98
51
72
77
110
Technology index
90
69
103
97
116
Source: World Economic Forum 2005.
Notes: Growth competitiveness rankings shown are the overall rankings for 2005 (with 2004 comparisons in brackets) and the
constituent rankings for the macroeconomic environment, public institutions, and technology. The ranking is over 117,
where 1 is best, 117 is worst.
Because of small populations and limited purchasing power, infrastructure problems, such as poor road 
systems and both tariff and non-tariff barriers to market access, there is little evidence to date of new FDI
having been attracted to Nigeria to supply the wider ECOWAS market. However, there is evidence among 
existing TNCs of early commitment to regional integration and the establishment of regional supply chains, 
and to ECOWAS’ market opportunities. In this regard, a number of TNCs have now begun to take cautious 
steps to implement regional integration policies and regional supply chains (box III.10). One investor even 
suggested that “regionalization will gather pace and momentum”.
policies and the creation of a single monetary zone, has been painfully slow (box III.10). Adoption of the 
Common External Tariff (CET) was due to be completed by end-2007. However, by June 2007, it became 
clear that Nigeria would not agree to eliminate its exceptions to the ECOWAS CET (box III.10). Early in 2008, 
as possible, be harmonized with the ECOWAS CET, while at the same time protecting the interests of the 
manufacturing sector in particular and the Nigerian economy in general”.96 Aside from tariff structures, non-
tariff barriers (NTBs) continue to represent major obstacles to trade. NTBs include poor communications 
infrastructure, bureaucracy and corruption in customs, numerous road blocks and general harassment, and 
more closely integrated amongst themselves. 
96   Address by Dr. Shamsudden Usman at the sectoral hearing of the ECOWAS tariff 2008–2012, held at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, in 
Lagos as reported in Vanguard, 3 April 2008. 
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Box III.10.  Regional integration and regional supply chains
among world-class TNCs
Company A:  The group operates global supply chains as part of a worldwide integration strategy, 
with China, India and Indonesia representing important supply locations.  An ECOWAS-based regionalization 
strategy, with Nigeria as its hub, was initiated in 2004 and hence is still in its early stages, with exports 
representing about 10 per cent of turnover. The recognized advantages include economies of scale from 
larger factory size and in machinery and utility design and utilization, speed in the transfer of technology and 
know-how to one rather than several locations. Conversely, logistics and customs clearance are very real 
and large challenges.  The first pan-regional decision was to transfer responsibility for one entire product 
line to Ghana, which now exports to Nigeria.  The decision was taken in part because of the need to access 
one basic input of production at competitive prices.  The three factories in Nigeria facilities have a role in 
supplying to specific household products for regional markets. 
Company B:  At the global group level, the entire supply chain is globalized, but this has yet to occur 
in West Africa because of tariff structures which hamper multi-country supply chains.  However, supply chain 
integration is planned for West Africa going forward, with particular locations specializing in specific products, 
and some factories being closed.  Recently, production of one of the group’s product has ceased in Ghana and 
has been concentrated in Nigeria to achieve consistency across the region. Marketing strategy for the region 
is developed from the hub centre in Lagos. Exports are valued at $16m per annum, 7 per cent of revenues. 
Imports represent 50–60 per cent of input costs by value (including high-value items) and 30–35 per cent 
by volume. Challenges for the company’s regional integration strategy include the insularity of the Franco-
phone block (although opportunities in some small outlay products had been identified); tariffs, especially in 
Nigeria, given that an integrated ECOWAS required free movement of goods and people; and problems of 
corruption at the border posts.  The last is being circumvented by the use of sea freight.
Company C:  While this company espouses the notion of an integrated ECOWAS market, it is still 
at the stage of  “looking for opportunities”.  No proactive policies have yet been pursued to implement 
regional supply chains, although there appear to be good possibilities given that the company has eight 
factories in ECOWAS. In Nigeria, the company manufactures a full product line, with the exception of 
one product which is imported from the plant in Côte d’Ivoire.  The new CET regime means that the 
tariff on one of the specific imported inputs will be raised from zero to 20 per cent which may lead to 
a cessation of importing. The company does not export at present. Barriers to regionalization to date 
include lack of capacity, reflecting the rapid expansion of domestic sales in Nigeria, and fluctuations in laws 
which will necessitate back-up plants. There is a West African management structure in this company, with 
headquarters in Ghana (formerly in Côte d’Ivoire). Ghana is considered to be the most stable and safest 
place to locate a headquarters, as security in Nigeria is still considered problematic.
Source: Company interviews.
Because of such factors, Nigeria’s trade with ECOWAS countries represents a very small share of 
total trade. In 2003, for example, ECOWAS accounted for only 2.7 per cent of Nigerian non-oil imports 
and 5.5 per cent of Nigerian non-oil exports. Nevertheless, ECOWAS was Nigeria’s fourth-largest export 
destination. 
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Box III.11.  Nigeria and ECOWAS
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), established in 1975, is composed of
15 West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Nigeria is the largest member of 
ECOWAS, accounting for 60 per cent of the population and 47 per cent of GDP (but only 24 per cent of 
manufacturing value added, smaller than that of Côte d’Ivoire at 26 per cent).  ECOWAS’ mission is to promote 
cooperation and integration within the West African subregion through the removal of customs duties and
taxes having equivalent effect, the establishment of a common external tariff, the harmonization of economic 
and financial policies and the creation of a single monetary zone.  Some efforts are also being made to develop a 
West African Common Industrial Policy (WACIP).
ECOWAS members have been implementing a trade liberalization scheme since 1990, with the objective 
of establishing a free-trade area by 1 January 2000. By 2001, eight countries had lifted tariff barriers in respect 
of unprocessed products under the scheme. Furthermore, only Benin had removed tariff barriers to trade in 
industrial products.  As of December 2004, the free-trade area component was being implemented fully by only
7 of the 15 members (i.e. Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal and Togo). Nigeria has
lagged behind: as of December 2004, it had only removed tariffs applying to unprocessed goods, but had 
maintained import prohibitions on some products, including those originating from ECOWAS member States. 
A common external tariff (CET) was to be accepted by 1 January 2004, but due to implementation 
delays, adoption of the CET was rescheduled to start on 1 January 2005 and to be completed by 1 January 
2008. However, this objective was further postponed, as national exceptions to the common tariff continue, 
as is the case for Nigeria.  The ECOWAS CET consists of four bands (0, 5, 10 and 20 per cent), similar to those 
already being applied by West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) member States (WAEMU 
comprises the francophone countries which already shared a common currency). During the transition period
(2005–2007), non-WAEMU ECOWAS countries should therefore gradually align their tariffs on the
WAEMU CET. In October 2005, Nigeria introduced the ECOWAS CET, the main changes being as follows: 
(a)  
Nigeria’s tariff bands are reduced from 19 to 4 (0 per cent on necessities, e.g. anti-retroviral drugs, 
industrial machinery and equipment; 5 per cent on raw materials and other capital goods; 10 per cent 
on intermediate goods; and 20 per cent on consumer goods);
(b)  
A 50 per cent band applies to strategically designated products, e.g. tobacco and rice.  The Government 
has, however, indicated that this “fifth band” will be reduced to 30 or 35 per cent by the end of 2009;
(c)  
The import ban list is still in effect; 2006 data indicated 59 items on the prohibition list;  and
(d)  
A wide range of exceptions to the CET rates are applicable.  Where the Nigerian duty rate is higher 
than the CET rate (commonly a rate of 50 per cent applies), the reasons put forward to explain the 
discrepancy are support to: domestic industries or domestic assembly plants or FDI: agriculture or 
local packaging industry: or because of excess capacity.  By contrast, for example, the Nigerian duty rate 
is 5 per cent for juices and concentrates, compared with the CET rate of 20 per cent, to encourage 
the local packaging industry.
In a bid to further accelerate subregional integration towards common market status, Nigeria and six 
other ECOWAS member States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo) are engaged in a programme, 
launched in 2002, which seeks, inter alia, to remove all physical and non-physical trade barriers (including 
remaining tariffs), eradicate rigid border formalities, enforce the application of ECOWAS prescribed customs 
procedures and adopt a common ECOWAS passport. 
WACIP was launched in 1994 (following a series of earlier initiatives) to promote accelerated 
industrialization. Ten strategic focuses have been defined, including the promotion of private investment, 
development of entrepreneurship, development of microenterprises and SMEs, patents and R&D, technology 
transfer and innovation, export funding, promotion of intra-community trade, infrastructure development, 
information and communication technology, export promotion and market research, and integration into the 
multilateral trading system (WTO, AGOA, EU/ACP).  Progress appears to have been limited so far.
Sources: WTO 2005;  ECOWAS 2008; Nigeria Customs Service; UNCTAD.
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Improving the workings of ECOWAS is a stated priority of Nigerian government policy, although this
is often couched in terms of Nigeria contributing to regional development and stability. This review
This suggests that, at the strategic level, there should be a more concerted drive to accelerate regional 
integration within ECOWAS. At the implementation level, improvements in trade facilitation to assist TNC 
export and supply chain operations within the West African region take on greater priority.
Regional integration has not necessarily been high on the agenda of successive Nigerian Governments. This 
is understandable given the political and economic problems throughout the region. The time, however, is now 
right to give regionalization much higher priority at top levels in Government. The principle is recognized in 
the NEEDS Report, which asserts that the Government will “aggressively work” towards the attainment of 
time-scales for the short, medium and long term in respect of the free trade area, customs union and common 
market (progress towards free movement of factors of production). 
On trade facilitation, the NEEDS Report speaks generally of removal of all NTBs to trade. One major 
NTB concerns impediments to the free movement of goods, especially at border posts. Measures to improve 
trade facilitation for FDI supply chains (as well as for trade more generally) are thus essential. One TNC 
suggested that it could take a truck up to two weeks to drive to Ghana from Nigeria, whereas the CEO 
himself could drive the route in 12 hours. Efforts must thus be made to reduce delays and arbitrary taxation 
at the borders. The United States Agency for International Development in Ghana is taking the lead in a 
should be expanded and widened to include Nigeria and other countries. In addition, the volume of trade 
is quite limited at present, and it should be possible to provide greater security to truck movements and 
particularly truck convoys. 
4.
Free zones integration
Free zones have multiplied around the world to achieve various objectives, including increased attraction 
of FDI, promotion of linkages with local suppliers, promotion of export-oriented production, employment 
creation and income generation. Recent studies on their worldwide impact indicate that zones have played 
an important role in the export performance of many countries, while their impact on employment has 
generally been marginal, although exceptions exist.97 As for the promotion of linkages, experience is also 
mixed. International evidence points to a number of clear lessons relating to their success or failure (World 
Bank, FIAS (2004a); BearingPoint, 2004). In respect of success, the following lessons have been learned: 
Zones need to be integrated within host economies, as the static and dynamic impacts are very 
limited when zones are operated as enclaves;
Zones should not be viewed as a substitute for a country’s larger trade and investment efforts;
The regulatory framework should provide streamlined procedures for business registration; and
Private rather than public development of zones increases the chances of success and zones 
operation should be undertaken by private sector groups on a commercial basis.
97   In Taiwan Province of China and the Republic of Korea, for example, essentially all manufactured exports were either produced in a zone or used 
duty exemption/drawback schemes. In countries such as China, the Dominican Republic and Mauritius, a very high share of manufactured exports 
are produced in the free zones. In countries such as Mauritius, the Dominican Republic and the United Arab Emirates, zones are a major source of 
employment.
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incentives, subsidized rent and other services, poor locations (e.g. in remote locations), and inadequate 
coordination between private developers and Governments in infrastructure provision.
The key objective in Nigeria’s zone development is to broaden their integration into the economy 
rather than treat them as export-processing enclaves.
The act establishing the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) came into effect in 
and commissioned in 2001. The history of free zones in Nigeria is therefore very recent. Ostensibly, 
growth progression has been rapid, since there are now are 22 free zones. However, only nine of them are 
operational (including three in the oil sector).98 Of the operational non-oil zones, three are owned by the 
federal Government, four are private, while the others are sponsored by State Governments. There are also 
plans to privatize the zones, leaving NEPZA to handle marketing and regulation activities.
To date, growth within the non-oil zones has been moderate because Nigeria has not been able to 
provide three of the conditions needed for these zones to succeed:
A staple of export processing zones is assembly and further processing for re-export of imported 
raw materials and components. Excellent shipping and customs clearance of imports and exports 
(especially those that are time-sensitive) are essential. The Nigerian non-oil zones are not located 
at sea ports and do not have dedicated trade facilitation arrangements.99 Given the present 
state of trade facilitation services, and of transport infrastructure, it is not reasonable to expect 
inland zones to succeed as export platforms. An exception to this general rule is zones that are 
dedicated to the processing of local raw materials for export and which are best located near 
the raw material source. The NEPZA gives the Maigatari zone as an example;
telecommunications services are dependent on unreliable national providers; and
Zones have not been convincing as portraying themselves exempt of red tape and corruption 
problems associated with doing business in Nigeria.
zones (free zones). In this context, free zone producers will no longer be required to export 75 per cent 
of output. They will be able to sell either locally (up to 100 per cent of their output) or abroad. Export 
income will be subject to zero corporate tax (as at present) and domestic sales income subject to standard 
taxation.100
promotion will now be on the basis of high quality infrastructure, reduced bureaucracy and elimination of 
corruption. In addition, investors can be attracted without being limited in accessing the local market.
Reports indicate that the Calabar Zone – located in the south-east of Nigeria, 2 km from a container 
port and 20 minutes drive from Calabar Airport – is modern, with excellent facilities in a small, clean and 
modern town. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) concluded that this 
98   Some reports suggest that a new category of export-processing factories has been established in which individual factories can qualify as private or 
virtual zones, provided the 75 per cent export requirement is met. Such entities are used in many other countries. However, the Federal Revenue 
Service states that such factories have never been permitted in Nigeria.
99
facilities and a large hinterland for industry and settlement, e.g. the Islamic Republic of Iran’s free trade industrial zones on the islands of Kish and 
Qesm.
100 The corporate tax change is subject to adoption of proposed legislation. See the review of taxation in chapter 2.
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and other zones could provide the basis for establishing an export-oriented ready-made garments industry
(box III.12). Costs in Calabar, for example, were estimated to be 20 per cent lower than for an equivalent 
ready-made garments plant in Lagos. 
Box III.12. Ready-made garments industry in Nigeria:
some recommendations
•  Introduce new policies to reduce smuggling;
•  Introduce anti-dumping protection against import competition of yarns and fabrics;
• Establish export incentives for 10 years that are not subject to any change;
•   Develop further the zones, with regulations designed to meet the needs of dynamic, export-
oriented companies and to satisfy the demand of buyers for quality products supplied with short 
delivery times;
•   Address the education needs of the industry for trained,  skilled workers and effective management; 
and
•   Develop a marketing/promotional programme to attract foreign investors, focusing upon China, 
the Republic of Korea, Taiwan Province of China, and the United States.  Special incentives should be 
offered to initial investors.
Sources: UNIDO/Federal Ministry of Industry, FGN (2003).
From international evidence and the experiences with free zones in Nigeria to date, a number of 
recommendations are proposed to enhance their effectiveness and potential development impact:
Reorient the zones to Free Zones with unlimited domestic market access.
Move to private development of zone facilities and privatize existing zones. Private developers 
are more likely to take a realistic view of the prospects for attracting investors. Also, they have 
a commercial incentive to build appropriate facilities in favourable locations and to promote the 
zones to investors. There may sometimes be a case for public subsidy for zone development, 
under public–private partnership (PPP) arrangements. However, the commercial disciplines should 
be paramount. NEPZA should concentrate on assisting private zone developers to secure good 
locations, to obtain development permits and to provide excellent administrative services to zone 
industries.
Consider adopting policy measures to encourage investors in free zones to assist value chain 
integration in target sectors. In principle, well-conceived free zones could provide a short- to 
medium-term stimulus to the attraction of foreign-owned SMEs in manufacturing industry (where 
the costs associated with poor infrastructure are a particularly important inhibiting factor).
Target investors in agro-processing. It is consistent with development objectives and current 
constraints in Nigeria. It has export potential and is less dependent than other manufacturing on 
imported inputs and thus on the quality of import facilitation services.
Encourage supplier development by a deemed export scheme. Suppliers of processed inputs which 
enter into zone manufactures would have the same incentives as the manufacturers themselves 
(including zero corporate tax on export-related income). 
Alongside these overall objectives, the Calabar Zone should continue to be developed and expanded 
as an exemplar for zone strategy in Nigeria.
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5.
People quality programme
Restoration of education standards to improve Nigeria’s position within the competitive envelope will 
require heavy investment over a long period. At the tertiary level, there have recently been substantial rises 
in federal budget expenditures on universities and measures taken to improve quality (section B above). 
Problems with low educational standards apply at the tertiary level as well as at the school and technician 
levels (Moja, 2000). These are mirrored almost exactly in the responses of TNCs interviewed, all of which 
commented on the declining skill levels at the tertiary level. Several pointed out that the problems began at 
the primary school level, and were also critical of technician level training (as compared with, for example, 
South Africa).
Some companies resolved the problems of education standards through increased investment in 
training. Others began to look at ways of obtaining managerial and professional staff by recruiting from the 
Diaspora (box III.13).
Box III.13. TNCs’ responses to the decline in education standards
Company A: There had been an observable decline in the level of skills, especially at the tertiary 
level and to a lesser extent at the technician level.  The company had around 6,000 applicants for the 
10 management trainee positions offered annually. Because of the education deficiencies of even these
high-level staff, this large manufacturing company put them through a redesigned training programme which 
started with a six-month “finishing school” (mini MBA) after which they had to pass an exam. It was only 
after this that the conventional two-year management training programme was implemented.
Company B: This service provider was faced with the challenge of labour shortages during its 
start-up and growth phase, when it required hiring experienced staff.  One solution was to recruit “repats” 
(as they are termed) from the Diaspora.  As part of a planned approach, the company visited the United 
Kingdom, Continental Europe and the United States to head-hunt staff from various sectors.  A meeting of 
repats was held in 2004.  Only 25 to 30 people turned up, a relatively small number for a company employing 
2,000 people. However, the company is encouraging repats to use their networks to recruit more. 
Among some of the difficulties raised by the company are the need for motivated staff (some repats want a 
more luxurious lifestyle and return) and some discrimination of repatriates by local Nigerians (which may 
partly be due to salary differentials).  However, the main advantage to the company remains the experience 
gained elsewhere that repats bring with them.
Other experiences: Some other companies had begun to experiment with Diaspora recruitment 
by participating, for example, in job fairs in the United Kingdom.  The need for commitment was a common 
theme.
Source: Company interviews.
The Government has the capacity to boost long-term public investment in education as part of driving 
the supply of executive talent in the medium term and reduce the transactions and training costs for TNCs. 
the establishment of world-class business schools, and supporting Diaspora recruitment. The aim of these 
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a. Establish a joint venture world-class business school
Management education is globalizing rapidly, although the expected growth, for example, from e-
learning has not been realized to date. The senior executive education business is dominated by a small 
group of elite business schools from the United States and Europe, while in the next tier of entry- and 
middle-level management education providers, providers from the United Kingdom and Australia are also 
prominent. Some emerging market universities are beginning to expand abroad. In respect of modes of 
entry into global markets, there are a variety of models of management education (table III.6) with differing 
advantages and disadvantages. 
The Government should enable Nigeria to participate more forcefully in international management 
education. In addition, the country should address criticisms about the marketing of a global product, when 
developed country market conditions. Although there have been developments within the country itself, 
infrastructural weaknesses are a major barrier at present to the foreign provision of distance learning. In this 
sense, a report for the World Bank (Col International, 2001) indicated that only two (Abuja and Lagos) of 
the 30 federal universities offered dedicated distance learning courses at the degree level. However, the 
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), established in 1983 but then suspended a year later, was 
relaunched in April 2001. Presently, NOUN has 32,400 students enrolled on a variety of degree and diploma 
programmes, including business education, with 20 study centres around the country.
In respect of collaborative modes, IESE (a well-known Spanish Business School) has an association 
agreement with the Lagos Business School.
Concerning business education provision from within Nigeria itself, the best-known institution is the 
formed Pan-African University. It launched executive and full-time MBA programmes in 2002 and 2003. In
the National Universities Commission 2004 rankings of universities in Nigeria, the Lagos Business School 
foreign staff, and for student/personal computer ratio; fourth for the percentage of foreign students (still 
(IFC) has launched an initiative called the Global Business School Network to enhance management skills 
in emerging markets by partnering with leading international business schools to build local capacity. The 
Lagos Business School was involved in designing and organizing one of four Global Business School Network 
African pilot programmes on teaching the practice of management in 2005. 
Given the Nigerian context, there is an urgent requirement to improve the quantity and quality of 
management education to support FDI attraction and development over the short-to-medium term. 
However, accessing the distance learning programmes of foreign universities is a long-term objective because 
goal. Lagos Business School shows what can be done in building a highly reputable business school using 
private funding and – despite an expansion in the number of private universities – additional capacity is 
undoubtedly needed at the leading edge of management education. 
This report proposes to establish a new privately-funded world-class business school with competitive 
entry, in collaboration with an internationally-renowned overseas partner. As is the case with the current 
private university system, the new business school can operate outside the constraints imposed by the 
present structures and regulations for public universities. The key issue is the selection of a partner 
institution: an obvious target is one of the elite United States or European business schools, a number of 
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which are active globally, and should at least be considered. There is, however, an argument for evaluating a 
world-class business school based in an emerging country as the desired target for collaboration, given the 
greater familiarity with business practices in the Nigerian context. 
Table III.6. Management education modes of entry into global markets
by foreign universities*
Entry mode by 
Nature of education activity
foreign university
Distance learning products differentiated:

Variability in quality of foreign providers
by:

Potential for corruption as in existing 

Provision of learning materials – hard 
university education system 
copy, e-learning

Introduces new knowledge and thinking, 
learning methods, books and materials
Export modes

Lecturer/tutor support – none, local 

Opportunities for fairly large-scale
support, staff support from foreign 
universities
demand for higher education

Inadequacy of essential services and 

Degree award – host country university, 
infrastructure
foreign university, joint degree

Many different types of arrangements
Range of association/partnership 

Strong commitment by foreign universities, 
agreements, of greater or lesser 
desirable, combined with training of local 
commitment. Greater commitment 
staff
associated with stronger contribution 

Introduction of interactive teaching methods 
Collaborative modes by foreign universities, e.g. classes taught 
important
by foreign professors, similar curricula 

Greater localization desirable, e.g. local case 
and books, degrees awarded by overseas 
studies
partner or jointly

Joint degrees and dual country study offer 
Differentiated from collaborative modes by 
establishment of campuses in host country. 
Plus greater degree of commitment, 

Similar advantages as advanced 
extending to, for example, training of host 
collaboration
country faculty abroad; and writing of case 
Joint venture and 
studies for the host country market

Resident foreign staff may increase spillover 
wholly-owned 
subsidiary modes

Some joint ventures established by 
intergovernmental agreements e.g. between  •
May lead to opportunities for student
foreign university (acting on behalf of the 
(and staff) exchanges 
foreign Government) and host country 
Government
Source: UNCTAD.
* Relates primarily to MBAs and management masters’ degrees (full-time, part-time and executive (EMBA)) mainly in Western
universities.
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Various options should be investigated. One possibility is the National University of Singapore (NUS) 
Business School. It has been teaching business since 1961 and has a faculty of 160. Furthermore, it is ranked 
in the top 100 MBA programmes worldwide by various organizations and in the top 30 for its Executive MBA 
(EIU and Financial Times rankings). NUS has extensive experience in international collaboration through its 
dual degree programmes with the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA, United States) and Beijing 
University (China). The former is the UCLA–NUS Executive MBA taught by faculty from both business 
schools, with classes held in Singapore, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Bangalore. With regard to the NUS–PKU 
(Beijing University) International MBA, students spend approximately half of their time and study an equal 
number of courses in both institutions. If this model were to be replicated in Nigeria, it would require a 
Nigerian partner, where Lagos Business School is the obvious candidate.
Another possibility is the attraction of an Indian business school. The Indian Institutes of Management 
(IIMs) are the top-rated business schools in India, with IIM-Ahmedabad ranked number 1. Established in 1961 
with Indian Government funding, IIM-A collaborated with Harvard to launch the case study teaching method 
in India. It has the highest ratio of applicants to enrolments of any business school in the world, and an 
impressive array of global alumni. Nevertheless, factors such as the low proportion of international faculty 
and international student base, as well as low staff salaries and starting salaries for graduates, mean that IIM-
A is not listed in the top 100 business schools globally. Its internationalization was limited historically because 
of Indian Government restrictions, but permission to internationalize has been granted as of 2006.
Such a large cooperation project with Nigeria would be premature for IIM-A, at least on its own. 
However, in February 2006, IIM-A and Ecole supérieure des Sciences économiques et commerciales 
(ESSEC) Business School–Paris signed a strategic partnership arrangement, after 20 years of less formal 
collaboration. This relates to double-degree programmes for MBAs, exchanges of students and faculty, and 
common research projects. Furthermore, in May 2006, ESSEC (a major player in international management 
education) established an Asian Centre in Singapore, and executive programmes involving both IIM-A and 
ESSEC faculty. Therefore, an ESSEC–IIM-A campus in Nigeria might be feasible, with the support of both 
French and Indian Governments (as with the strategic partnership).
A further approach is to consider the foreign business schools currently running programmes 
with leading universities in China. In this respect, American universities are particularly prominent, 
including MIT’s IMBA with Tsinghua University in Beijing, Rutgers University’s EMBA with Shanghai Jiao 
Tong University, and Washington University’s EMBA with Fudan University in Shanghai. Further study 
is thus recommended, but approaches should be made to the institutions highlighted above, beginning 
with NUS and ESSEC–IIM-A.
The business school would be a joint venture between a leading Nigerian university and an international 
business school. It would be run as a private venture and would require Government seed funding. It might 
also be a candidate for an aid programme in the context of developing closer ties with a country such as 
India.
b. Support for Diaspora recruitment
The efforts within the Nigeria in the Diaspora Organization (NIDO) to develop a network of talented 
and entrepreneurial Nigerians willing to invest in the country were highlighted above. Explicit links should be 
forged between NIDO and companies seeking to recruit Diaspora staff. These efforts could be supported 
by two sets of measures: pre-departure orientation programmes and tax support. The aim is to facilitate 
Diaspora recruitment by reducing its costs and risks to employers and by assisting the individuals to make 
an easier transition.
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1. Pre-departure 
orientation
Employers are keen to recruit members of the Diaspora, but there is a need to support them to overcome 
the problems currently experienced with Diaspora employees. These include a lack of understanding of the 
challenging Nigerian environment, and also cultural and management skills issues (box III.13). In conjunction 
with NIDO, pre-departure orientation programmes could be established in key source countries such 
telecommunications, where skill shortages are most acute. 
2. Tax 
support
In order to keep up with schemes adopted in other countries to encourage Diaspora recruitment, the 
Nigerian tax code should be examined to ensure that, at the very least, it does not discourage Diaspora 
recruitment from the standpoint of both the employer and the employee. Some countries go even further 
and provide incentives to encourage such recruitment. The issues to be considered in Nigeria are set out 
in box III.14.
Currently, passive income (such as dividends and interest) derived overseas is fully tax-exempt in 
the hands of a Nigerian resident. This is favourable treatment. A useful incentive (provided that it could 
foreign source passive income for a period (say 10 years) would not apply to the designated Diaspora 
recruit.
All these measures would be designed to simplify the choice and ease the transition of the Diaspora 
back to Nigeria for productive employment. Some additional public cost is involved (by way of funding 
publicly funded education and by the potential long-term relocation of skills and their diffusion within the 
economy.
C.  Generating FDI with development potential
Nigeria has underperformed in FDI attraction (chapter I). This relates to the challenging investment 
climate, the background of military rule and the country’s image problem. With the reform agenda progressing, 
Nigeria will attract more FDI in non-extractive industries, drawn principally by a large and growing market. 
facilitate its entry. What, then, is the appropriate role for active investment promotion, including investor 
targeting and image raising?
Currently, investment promotion comprises a mixture of overseas missions to selected countries, 
together with business forums abroad. These and related activities are designed to rebuild Nigeria’s image 
in the outside world as an investment destination. Efforts are also being made to attract investment from 
Nigeria’s substantial Diaspora.
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Box III.14.  Issues in the taxation of returning Nigerian Diaspora
For the employer
•  
Specified costs of recruitment and relocation. The Diaspora employees could be entitled to more 
than 100 per cent deductibility. Singapore, for example, allows a double deduction.
•  
A Nigerian employer could continue to make contributions to an existing overseas pension 
fund held by a Diaspora recruit and have these fully deductible on the same basis as for domestic 
schemes. Continued active participation in an overseas pension fund would be the choice of 
the employee. (In some cases the advantages of a continued contribution would fall away if the 
Nigerian becomes non-resident in the source country). 
For the employee
•  
The cost of passage back to Nigeria continues to be treated as a fringe benefit and thus subject 
to personal taxation.  This seems an undue handicap and no countries that actively encourage the 
return of the Diaspora apply this approach.
•  
Annuities from foreign pension funds have the same exemption from personal tax as has applied 
to Nigerian source annuities since 1996.  This treatment extends to capital withdrawals. 
•  
The tax treatment of employee stock options is favourable. Stock options help to mitigate the 
“tax shock” of moving from a developed country where the higher marginal tax rates on personal 
income apply at much higher income thresholds.
•  
There is scope for higher personal allowances and for favourable import duty treatment of 
personal effects for the Diaspora.  Some countries (e.g. Mauritius) have such schemes to en-
courage returning Diaspora investors in specified high-priority industries. However, this is likely
to be cumbersome and more open to abuse in a large country such as Nigeria.
Source: UNCTAD.
There is room, without undue budget cost, to further shape Nigeria’s FDI stimulation programmes, 
Targeting of world-class TNCs aimed at notable divestors and absentees;
Targeting of investors in two key development niches – the agriculture/food value chain 
and in the building supplies and services industry;
Supporting FDI by Chinese, Indian, South African and other non-traditional investors;
Attracting Diaspora investment; and
Raising long-term positive awareness.
Element 1:  Targeting of world-class TNCs
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in Nigeria. To this end, a well-researched and implemented attraction programme is essential and is the 
objective of element 1.
Divestees: Many well-known TNCs divested from Nigeria during the years of military rule. These 
include world-class TNCs in power and infrastructure development (e.g. General Electric), pharmaceuticals 
but there are still gaps in areas of higher technology packaging. Some TNCs, such as General Electric, have 
re-entered Nigeria on a project basis or with sales subsidiaries, as is the case for some of big pharmaceutical 
companies.
Absentees:
industry has changed dramatically with globalization. In the current context, small-scale completely knocked 
down/assembly operations are no longer likely to be considered by the global automakers. This is due in 
part to their low volume and high-cost output, which derives from such activities. Nigeria’s interests are 
therefore to establish whether it can attract FDI into segments of the auto industry, including suppliers, 
where such investment will represent a step onto the development ladder.
For other TNCs, their African strategy is well established, and the companies may simply establish 
to NAFDAC’s effective attack on dumping and counterfeiting, as well as tax and tariff reform (chapter II). In
response, a number of TNCs have either expanded existing manufacturing (GlaxoSmithKline) or replaced 
importing by local manufacture (Reckett Benckiser Ltd., Tura International).
Element 2:  Targeting of investors in selected manufacturing sectors
Sectoral investment targeting can be expensive and requires specialized expertise. The choice of 
developmental payoff. In that regard, two areas of manufacturing stand out:
The agro-allied industries; and
The building supplies and services industries.
Of course, there are likely to be potential niche markets in other areas of manufacturing. Considering 
opportunities for targeted FDI, textiles and clothing is an intensely competitive global industry, and 
increasingly so since the ending of the Multi-Fibre Agreement. There may thus be some limited prospects 
for FDI in clothing. But here and in a miscellany of fairly small-scale manufacturing industries, opportunities 
in Nigeria can be highlighted in country-investment missions and forums, leaving manufacturers abroad to 
The same is broadly true in services. For example, it is likely that the commercial bank recapitalization 
programme will lead to the entry of more foreign banks, probably through acquisitions. Greater foreign 
no pressing need to accelerate this process through an active FDI generation campaign. In other services, 
especially information technology and tourism, it would be premature to establish active FDI generation 
programmes, since specialized infrastructure needs are not in place. On the other hand, FDI opportunities 
in general business and professional services will grow organically with the rise in overall business activity 
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and improvements in the investment climate. In all these cases, the investment promotion activity should 
focus on investor facilitation rather than active investor targeting.
capabilities. The importance of agricultural investment in Nigeria is manifold: it has strong social implications 
in terms of rural poverty reduction and employment, but it can also be a powerful engine for economic 
growth. Possibilities exist throughout the agro-business supply chain, from commercial farming through to 
processing for home and export markets and in support sectors such as fertilizers. Targets should include 
private farming interests (where the investment activities of a number of Zimbabwean farmers can provide a 
model for the future), large-scale commercial agricultural investments and big agro-processors. Agriculture 
is a NEEDS priority, and FDI should be sought to help underpin it.
Vegetable oils and seeds. In 1970, Nigeria was the world’s largest producer of palm oil seeds, 
fats and products. Historically, Unilever processed palm oil in Nigeria. But since then, the decline 
offer better opportunities. In this sector, FDI may take the form of estate agriculture or contract 
farming involving TNCs.
Cocoa and products. In the 1970s, Nigeria produced more than 20 per cent of world production, 
101 Some limited processing continues 
to take place, including TNC involvement. In 2004, Cadbury Nigeria Plc. reported making a major 
investment to establish a cocoa processing facility.
Fruit and vegetable products. A wide range of fruits is grown, but losses through spoilage 
are considerable. Nigerian exports of these products remain very limited, in contrast to other 
African countries, including Kenya, Morocco and South Africa. Opportunities may exist for 
collaboration with major developed country TNCs in respect of contract production, processing 
and marketing.
Leather and leather products. Nigeria has the third-largest livestock population in Africa. 
However, quality levels of products are low, and the industry is poorly organized and integrated 
institutions such as the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology.
Rubber and products. This is also an industry in decline due to supply constraints.
In all of these cases, the focus has to be upon the further processing of basic agricultural products 
and/or their utilization as inputs into processed foods. In 2000, for example, Nigeria exported nearly $30 
million of seeds for vegetable oil. In comparison, it exported only $1.1 million of vegetable oil itself, because 
of the necessity to rebuild the capabilities of vegetable oil processing companies (Albaladejo, 2003). Building 
competitive industry value chains also requires a strengthening of agro-related engineering industries. Hence, 
FDI targets should include processing machinery and equipment as well as agricultural-related equipment for 
production, irrigation, storage and transportation. 
The building supplies and services industries are the other priority. Nigeria has both the need and 
resources for a major upgrade of public infrastructure, including transportation, education, health, backbone 
business services in electricity and telecommunications, and other areas. This will create demand for:
Building materials – cement, steel, other metals, timber and glass among others; and
Building services – construction and allied building industry services.
101 UNCTAD, based on the data from International Cocoa Organization, quarterly bulletin of cocoa statistics, 2006.
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Historically, strategic building materials industries were State-owned. This has changed and, recently, 
many more such industries have been privatized. Active targeting of new FDI is warranted to help build 
capacity and maintain competition in these industries as the infrastructure upgrade accelerates.
Some of the sectoral baseline information on potential manufacturing sectors has been developed 
from the partnership work of UNIDO to plan joint projects. Based on this information, it is clear that 
an integrated approach involving relevant ministries, agencies and organizations is essential for a holistic, 
coordinated approach, in which FDI is a crucial but not the sole driver. However, further study is required 
Finally, to ensure an effective implementation of the approach selected, it will also require a buildup in the 
capacity of the NIPC. 
Element 3:  Supporting FDI by non-traditional investors
The trickle of FDI into Nigeria in the recent past has mainly comprised second-tier and non-conventional 
TNCs from countries such as China, India, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea, Egypt and Lebanon. 
These companies are used to operating in challenging and volatile environments. Many such enterprises have 
been primarily attracted in the past by the prospects of rent-seeking offered by the vagaries of government 
policy, with investments being opportunistic and short-term oriented. As the prospects for rent-seeking 
diminish, Nigeria will see less of such investment. 
For several reasons, there could now be an opportunity to take a more formal approach and attract 
higher quality corporate investors from non-traditional sources. Outward FDI from larger developing 
countries is expanding rapidly. With the rapid economic growth observed in China and India in particular, 
indicates 450 Chinese FDI projects in Africa in 2001, and perhaps as many as 700 in 2004. Of these projects, 
46 per cent are estimated to be in manufacturing and engineering to utilize low wage labour, and 9 per 
cent in natural resources. In respect of India, the FDI presence is smaller, but the above source suggests 
growth since 2002 with greater sectoral diversity, including information technology, autos, energy, steel, 
medium-quality goods, as well as resource-seeking export-oriented investment. In this regard, the Nigerian 
free zones may be attractive to many of the medium-sized Chinese companies. In respect to India, there 
are also likely to be a variety of potential investors. NIPC data on the pioneer status offered to investors 
over the period 2002–2005 indicates that 25 per cent of projects involved Indian investors, mostly in joint 
ventures. Metals processing and food/agriculture were the most prominent sectors. 
Nigeria has signed several cooperation agreements with China and is in discussion with India. China 
and Nigeria have signed bilateral investment treaties and double tax treaties, and parallel agreements are 
under discussion with India. It would, however, be premature to try to evolve these important relationships 
into formal economic integration agreements. On the trade side, presumably both China and India would 
not be willing to grant non-reciprocal market access. On the investment side, Nigeria already has an open 
regime for FDI entry and is willing to enter into BITs for the mutual good treatment and protection of 
FDI. Nevertheless, there could be value in formalizing and energizing these relationships in the following 
manner:
Appointing of a high-level steering body to progress the relationships;
organized visits by investors or special VIP channel for business visitors;
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Devising an enabling work permit programme for Chinese and Indian skilled personnel;
multi-facility zone for Chinese investors, while for India it could take the form of support for the 
establishment of an Indian management school.
within Africa. One database indicates 921 investment projects in Africa by 287 South African companies 
information technology/telecoms 14 per cent, mining 15 per cent, agriculture 3 per cent, manufacturing 13 
per cent, infrastructure/construction 16 per cent, tourism and hospitality 9 per cent, and trade and other 
services 13 per cent. With respect to host countries, 17 per cent of projects are in West Africa.
Element 4:  Attracting Diaspora investment
Many countries have now recognized the potential of their overseas Diaspora. A major objective 
investment, including joint ventures between host-country SMEs and Diaspora-owned enterprises abroad, 
It is estimated that there are between 2 million and 5 million Nigerians in the Diaspora worldwide, a 
in the United States and United Kingdom, and to a lesser extent in countries such as France and Germany. 
NIDO represents a highly innovative approach to capitalizing upon the wealth, talent and entrepreneurial 
potential of this group. NIDO is in the early stages of building a network of Diaspora organizations in 
countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
A starting point for most of these organizations is to develop an accurate database of the Diaspora 
population and its characteristics. The aim is also to identify business backgrounds and investment/
entrepreneurial potential. Allied to this are the establishment of online and in-country services to promote 
country. As noted, NIDO is still in its very early stages. In this sense, building a database of overseas 
Nigerians in the private sector (and particularly those owning and running businesses) should be an early 
The efforts of NIDO should be supported by a careful examination of taxation issues that affect the 
decisions of the Diaspora to start businesses in the mother country, especially where they have an active 
role in the business and thus become tax residents of Nigeria. Section V (“People quality programme”) 
discusses these in the context of Diaspora staff recruitment, but similar issues apply to investors who 
become residents in Nigeria.
Element 5: Raising long-term positive awareness
The NIPC had begun to take steps to raise awareness on the basis of “come and see for yourselves”. 
However, the efforts have been small-scale and ad hoc. Most expenditure has been directed at media 
campaigns and advertisements in local and international print and electronic media. These were designed 
data indicate that close to 13 per cent of the 2004 budget – approximately $275,000 – was spent on image-
building. As a share of the total budget, this is broadly similar to Sweden and Costa Rica, and well above 
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countries such as Ethiopia and Lesotho (although as noted above, comparisons depend upon how image 
Nigeria’s improving fundamentals, and poor current perceptions, justify an enhanced awareness-raising 
programme. The programme must be professionally executed. It should be targeted at business and political 
In other words, it should be an expansion of the “come and see for yourself programme”. Expensive paid 
advertising is less appropriate at this particular stage of development of Nigeria.
Industry experts suggest that an annual expenditure of at least $1 million is required to make an impact, 
campaigns in other countries stop after a year or so, and for Nigeria a sustained approach is vital: this means 
D.  Strengthening FDI-related institutions
The functions of strategy setting, policy advocacy, country marketing and investor support (aftercare) 
are generally accepted as important constituents of FDI policy. The establishment of NIPC in 1995 was 
an early recognition of the importance of these investment-related activities. Following the restoration of 
democracy in 1999, the need to attract FDI took on an added urgency. Recommendations to strengthen 
the investment environment by reducing the obstacles to doing business were developed in studies at the 
beginning of the millennium.
In its desire both to improve consultation with the private sector and overcome barriers to FDI, a 
Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investor Problem-Solving was also inaugurated in May 2005. 
Special advisers to the President (e.g. the Special Adviser to the President on Manufacturing and the Private 
Sector) were appointed as troubleshooters.
As a result of the growing importance of FDI in government strategy, NIPC has undergone a number 
of internal reforms in the recent past, including a reengineering of the management team through a vigorous 
selection process by private consultants. In March 2005, the Governing Council of the NIPC was established 
was established within NIPC. The locus of NIPC within Government, including its reporting channels and 
its coordination with other agencies dealing with investment promotion at the federal and State level, has 
also been object to much attention in recent years. Originally reporting to the Ministry of Commerce and 
of President Obasanjo. It has been relocated under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry by the current 
Government.
The internal reorganization of NIPC has contributed to streamlining the way the agency works. 
Additional functions are proposed in this section which would enable NIPC to better target its investment 
the institutional setting for investment promotion be revised to ensure synergy among the agencies involved 
in investment promotion at all levels of Government, supported by a specialist ministry with a policy and 
strategic coordination role.
With respect to the institutional setting for investment promotion, there are two key and related issues 
for consideration: (a) the role and functions of NIPC; and (b) the overall institutional structure for foreign 
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and the importance of maximizing the contribution of FDI to industrial development require a heavyweight 
political and operational response. The current arrangements do not add up to this. Why not?
of contact for investors. Also, prospective investors may go initially to the Special Adviser on 
Manufacturing and the Private Sector instead of NIPC to resolve potential blockages. Similarly 
ambiguous is the relationship between NIPC and NEPZA: the two collaborate and compete 
for FDI. On occasions, they undertake joint missions abroad, and on others, they promote FDI
independently. 
The role of the federal agencies (NIPC and NEPZA) in relation to State government efforts to 
promote and facilitate investment is not up to the formal standard needed in a large federal system. 
Relationships are cordial, notwithstanding some overlapping of effort in investment promotion. But 
the working relationships are not systematic to the extent needed to promote FDI as positive 
force for regional development within the country. Moreover, there is ample opportunity for the 
States to compete with each other to attract investment. This can lead to undue incentives (as 
Nevertheless, the lack of clear relationships is not too alarming due to the fact that the overall 
investment promotion effort remains low for now. When FDI attraction moves into higher gear, 
however, a seamless professional promotion effort to the international investment community 
will be needed.
With regard to the operations of NIPC, the organization has been in an almost constant state of 
(October 2005) revealed an institution with shortages of funding, weak managerial capacity and 
uncertainties about the future. Since then, there have been changes at the management level, 
designed to strengthen the organization. However, NIPC would need further strengthening and 
resources to take on the additional programmes proposed in this report. For example, it is 
and high-level activity that is central to improving the dynamic impact of FDI in Nigeria.
With respect to the overall institutional structure for FDI, interviews revealed concerns with 
the feudalism of government ministries and authorities. In a sense, this is inevitable, since FDI
policy is so wide ranging. And the solutions involving the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investor 
Problem-Solving and the Special Advisers, while valuable and investor-friendly, can only be short-
term palliatives because of their ad hoc nature.
1. 
Strengthening investment-related institutions
The strategic focus of this report does not include a thorough assessment of the institutions dealing 
with investment, both at the policy and promotion levels. However, it is considered necessary that Nigeria 
proposed in this report.
mechanism to ensure effective coordination of the different government agencies with an investment mandate. 
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Under the proposed new setting, the head of the entity responsible for investment policy advocacy and 
coordination would be a member of the Cabinet and of the economic reform team. This would ensure that 
he/she had adequate clout in dealing with cross-ministerial investment issues. In addition, this new entity 
would take on the responsibilities of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Problems of Investors in Nigeria.
The entity should control BPE, NEPZA, the Small-Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria 
(SMEDAN) and NIPC, as all these agencies have a direct investment mandate. It should have a relatively 
small but high-level team that would be responsible for advocacy and policy reforms, and for monitoring 
progress in respect of the business climate improvement objectives set forth in the proposed National 
Investment Policy. The aim is to ensure powerful advocacy for investment in Nigeria, and one head that 
would have respect from all investors – small and large, domestic and foreign-owned. In this context, NIPC 
would no longer have a regulatory or advocacy function. Its principal role would be operational – to handle 
Against this background and based on international experience, this report therefore proposes three 
alternative options for the new entity:
Establishing a Ministry of investment;
Empowering the Vice-president as the main investment policy advocate; and
Extending the mandate of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President to include investment 
policy advocacy or creating a new post of Senior Advisor to the President with responsibilities 
for investment.
While the creation of a Ministry of Investment could entail, in the particular case of Nigeria, important 
administrative reform, the two other options are seen as potentially easier to put in place. Box III.15 sets 
out experiences elsewhere that can be drawn upon.
2. 
Continued transformation of NIPC
NIPC is a relatively large investment promotion agency, with about 120 staff and an annual budget of 
about $2 million. It is organized conventionally, with three key operating departments, namely Investment 
Promotion, Policy Advocacy, and External and Investor Relations. It handles both national and foreign 
investment. In March 2006, Investor Relations was strengthened by the inauguration of the OSIC. Regional 
departments. Its current structure is designed to transform the NIPC from “a controlling organ to a 
marketing one” (NIPC, 2004). This will also require a corresponding change in attitudes and skills of staff. The 
private sector is represented in the governing council of NIPC. In October 2004, the President initiated an 
Investment Advisory Council of international business and political leaders to advise on improving Nigeria’s 
A detailed review of the mandate, structure and performance of NIPC is not a task of this report. So 
be many implications for NIPC. These are in line with its declared aim of becoming more prominent as an 
investment promoter and facilitator. The key implications are:
a.  
Its regulatory role
prior approval;
b.  
Its  investor support
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within NIPC;
c.  
Its investment promotion function should extend to some more active investor targeting in niche areas 
as described and to an expanded awareness-raising programme;
d.  
The excellent OSIC initiative should be progressed to an e-enabled centre;
e.  
The new entity responsible for investment policy advocacy and coordination should take over 
primary responsibility for the advocacy function with NIPC, providing a supporting role of channelling 
investors concerns to Government based on its day-to-day interaction with them;
f.  
In the event that NIPC does limit its regulatory role, it may consider changing the name of NIPC to 
Box III.15.  Experiences with IPA reporting
Having investment promotion agencies (IPAs) reporting directly to the office of the President or 
Prime Minister was once highly favoured and is still often recommended by experts (OECD, 2005). It is 
seen as a means of obtaining high-level decision-making to resolve the cross-sectoral issues that bedevil 
the investment climate (investment policy advocacy). Direct reporting to the Head of Government is an 
option selected by Ghana and others. While it may increase the status of the agency, it can also have certain 
disadvantages. Some experiences in South America suggest that the Head of Government is just too busy 
to give sufficient attention to private investment. In response, direct reporting to a Head of Government 
seems to be less in vogue today.
IPAs more often report to ministers or ministries – typically ministries of economy, commerce or 
trade and industry – as is currently the case in Nigeria. It is still rare to have a minister dedicated solely 
to investment. However, in Algeria, Benin and Egypt, there is a dedicated investment minister. Since 2004, 
there has been a Minister of Investment in Egypt (who also has privatization responsibility). The IPA reports 
directly to this minister and the minister also has a small ministry of policy experts. The minister has
cabinet rank and has been active in supporting investment-related policy reform, appointing key persons 
in the IPA, receiving VIP investors and delegations, and promoting Egypt’s profile in high-visibility events 
abroad.
In several cases, including leading IPAs, there is a middle ground. In Thailand, there is a dedicated 
minister, attached to the Office of the Prime Minister, while in El Salvador the head of the IPA is the
Vice-President. In other cases, there is a Vice Minister in charge of Investment within a larger ministry.
For example, in China the IPA reports directly to a senior vice minister.
The Office of the Investment Ombudsman of the Republic of Korea constitutes an example of an 
institutional entity in charge of investment policy advocacy with access to the highest level of Government. 
Appointed by the President, the Investment Ombudsman is an integral part of KOTRA, the national IPA, 
and works in close cooperation with the investment promotion team of the agency. The ombudsman 
encourages reinvestment through grievance resolution (aftercare) and investment climate improvement 
(policy advocacy).
Having a dedicated Minister of Investment has the obvious merit that the minister has the specific 
mandate to devote his or her time to investment issues, meet investors and lead important promotional 
events. There are also conceptual merits in having a dedicated Minister and Ministry of Investment. 
Furthermore, the minister is well positioned to engage with his or her ministerial colleagues on key
cross-cutting or key issues (infrastructure, skills, taxation, red tape problems, etc.) that affect the investment 
climate.
Source: UNCTAD.
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It is important to note that the R&D and supplier linkages programmes require a totally different strategic 
and developmental approach to TNC support within NIPC. Until now, the FDI aftercare function has been, 
at best, a routinized, troubleshooting activity, in a situation where NIPC has little detailed knowledge or 
understanding of the stock of investors in Nigeria. By contrast, in some other countries (e.g. Ireland), this 
Strong emphasis is placed upon the need to build close relationships with and detailed strategic information 
but also with parent TNCs. The latter have a major role in permitting and facilitating quasi-autonomous 
global strategies, this is a decision to be taken by TNC headquarters. 
evolution and upgrading. This will require the establishment of an appropriate structure and capacity-
building for its staff. The team must be skilled and knowledgeable if they are to be credible with TNCs, and, 
contribution to the country will be very substantial.
In the context of the proposed increased responsibilities of NIPC, it is key for Nigeria to review the 
deliver on its mandate.
3. 
Establishing coordinated federal–State investment promotion relationships
Sooner or later, a model will need to be agreed between the federal and State levels on their roles in 
foreign investment promotion and facilitation. The choices are between a decentralized model (such as in 
Brazil and the United States), where States take the lead, and a collaborative model (such as in Australia 
example, a decentralized model makes best use of local dynamis102 but runs the risk that poorer States will 
is combined with local facilitation can be more cost-effective and less confusing to foreign investors faced 
with multiple, competing approaches. An important corollary to this is helping States to establish ground 
rules among themselves to avoid excessive competition in the granting of incentives to foreign investors who 
have already made the country-level decision.
do not tackle the fundamental matters described above. Helping the federal and State levels to arrive at 
mutually satisfactory roles and ground rules in FDI attraction and facilitation should be on the agenda of the 
proposed new entity responsible for investment. Once the choice is made between the decentralized and 
the collaborative model, the details of the federal–State cooperation need to be formalized. This requires 
the federal and State agencies to work out protocols of cooperation as to the contribution of each to 
achieving positive investor decisions (the United Kingdom is one example). Meanwhile, experience could be 
gained by NIPC through engaging in some pilot projects with selected States. A good place to start would 
be in the promotion of foreign investment in agriculture/food chain industry as this naturally lends itself to 
stimulating investment outside of the major population centres.
102 The State-level initiative to attract Zimbabwean farmers illustrates this.
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IV. WORKING TOWARDS AN EFFECTIVE 
FDI 
STRATEGY:
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In recent years, Nigeria has attracted increasing levels of FDI, essentially concentrated in the oil 
development. As articulated in its home-grown strategy, the Government of Nigeria is promoting a private 
sector-led approach to achieving its national development objectives. In this regard, NEEDS emphasizes 
the central role of broad-based investment and focuses on the need to attract FDI in a variety of economic 
activities. Based on the philosophy presented in NEEDS, the role of the Government is therefore evolving 
towards one of regulation and facilitation of investment rather than direct involvement in business. This was 
reiterated by the current Administration. Against this background, the authorities have removed virtually 
all restrictions to FDI entry and are currently extending the scope of FDI by inviting private investment 
into areas such as public infrastructure and utilities. As economic fundamentals further strengthen and new 
measures are put in place to improve the investment environment, greater volumes of FDI will undoubtedly 
enter Nigeria.
In this context, the investment policy review of Nigeria prepared by UNCTAD considers what needs 
to be done to enable FDI, outside the oil sector, to make its full contribution to the orientation set by the 
Government. According to the analysis presented in this report, the conclusions call for the adoption of a 
National Investment Policy based on an FDI strategy that would lead to dynamic investment growth with 
a focus on a strong manufacturing sector, including the agro-allied industries. In this regard, Nigeria should 
need to improve the overall environment for doing business and to adopt an effective investment promotion 
approach. Against this background, the report makes the following recommendations:
a.  Designing and implementing a strategy to attract non-oil FDI
The proposed FDI strategy needs to be consistent and coherent with the economic and social objectives 
set out by the Nigerian Government in its national development strategy. To meet these objectives, Nigeria 
should tap its comparative advantages, including its abundant oil resources. Thus, the revenues generated 
demonstrated in recent years persists, Nigeria is well positioned to implement an ambitious programme 
to fully develop its economy. This would entail the reconstruction and modernization of key infrastructure, 
including transport, electricity and telecommunications. This in turn will contribute to enhance the 
competitiveness of Nigerian enterprises and increase their ability to take advantage of the larger market 
opportunities provided by ECOWAS.
The worldwide trend towards liberalized markets has enabled TNCs to lead a process of globalization 
and regionalization of production networks. As a result, country-level operations within global/regional 
supply chains are now a key dimension of corporate strategy. Components of the supply chain are thus 
located in the country where their activities can be performed best. On the basis of the analysis of this 
and new ones, to be able compete regionally and globally in activities with high domestic value addition.
Increased competition will most likely increase the need to place more emphasis on securing more 
competitive supplies, including nurturing local suppliers. To this end, free zones could be converted into 
economic development zones where businesses will have access to excellent facilities, including high quality 
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services. These zones could then be used as incubators for the development of local industrial capacity and 
insertion into the global value chain.
Against this background, the proposed strategy is articulated around a set of key measures which aim at:
Improving the regulatory framework;
Investing in physical and human capital;
Taking advantage of regional integration and reviewing external tariffs;
Fostering linkages and local industrial capacity; and
Strengthening institutions dealing with investment and related issues.
b.  Improving the regulatory framework
dealings with the country’s rules and administrative processes. While in some areas reforms have been 
remarkable, challenges remain. Some of the proposed measures to address them include:
Enhancing foreign investor legal protection. Nigeria has negotiated many bilateral investment 
In addition, double tax treaties should be energetically pursued to support inward and outward 
investment in ECOWAS.
Streamlining procedures for business visas and entry of foreign workers. The 
working permit regulations are discretionary and discriminate against foreign investors, especially 
small sized investors and start-ups. It is proposed to streamline the procedures to make them 
Reforming land policy and administration. The problems affecting the land system in Nigeria 
include (a) lack of adequate occupancy protection; (b) undue incentives for public expropriation 
and limited compensation; (c) Governors’ approval for all title transfer procedures, including 
straightforward ones; and (d) a backlog of unresolved land disputes. To remedy them, the report 
proposes to compensate expropriated land at market value and remove State Governors’ 
approval for certain types of land transactions that could be registered by the deeds’ registry. 
The measures also include the outsourcing of land surveying and administrative support to land 
registries to specialized commercial enterprises.
Speeding up and deepening tax reforms. Several aspects of the taxation system would 
require attention. For example, VAT arrangements act in part as a sales tax and disadvantage 
exporters. Also, the tax system is characterized by high corporate tax rates together with overly 
generous incentives. Therefore, the zero rating of exports for VAT should proceed along with a 
restructuring of the VAT. More fundamental reform should also be considered, in particular the 
introduction of a lower corporate tax rate compensated by the elimination of over generous and 
selective pioneer industry scheme.
Improving the administration of environmental protection. Though the legislation seems 
to be adequate, its enforcement remains an issue. The creation of a special agency to oversee 
required.
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Enacting the proposed new labour law. While Nigeria already has a liberal labour regime, 
the new act will fully modernize it by codifying fundamental principals and minimum standards of 
treatment that comply with internationally agreed labour standards. For example, it will bring to 
best practice standard the dispute resolution mechanism.
Adopting the proposed new competition law. This law is long overdue. However, the 
proposed text appears overly cumbersome and bureaucratic. UNCTAD, following a request made 
by the Government, stands ready to provide assistance to revise it before its presentation to 
Parliament.
c.  Investing in physical and human capital
of improvement in infrastructure, particularly within the power sector. As indicated above, the improved 
investment in infrastructure.
private sector discipline. Therefore, in promoting public–private partnerships in critical infrastructure, the 
Government should:
Lead initial construction with public expenditures; and
Seek private investment in management and operations to impart commercial discipline.
Firms operating in Nigeria face an acute human capital
For policymakers, the challenge is to address this immediate shortfall, while making improvements to the 
overall education system. Against this background, the budget priority set by the Government on education 
should be maintained. At the same time, some additional measures should be envisaged and these comprise, 
among others:
Establishing joint ventures with renowned international business schools; and
Supporting measures to attract skills from the Diaspora by notably providing tax support and 
pre-departure orientation programmes.
d. Taking advantage of regional integration and reviewing external tariffs
To fully tap the potential of its regional market, Nigeria should aim at becoming a base for pan-African 
this regard, the country needs to play a more prominent role in moving forward the ECOWAS agenda, with a 
view to accelerating integration in the region. In this regard, the Government should deal, among other things, 
with the existing tariff structure, including import protection policies. This would promote the evolution of 
aim at becoming a regional hub to attract domestic and foreign investors in sectors other than oil. To this end, 
with respect to free trade area, customs union and common market;
to exert competitive pressures on businesses; and
Reviewing individual industry needs for temporary departure from the general tariff regime.
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e.  Fostering linkages and local industrial capacity
operations have had little interaction with local enterprises. Previous Nigerian local sourcing initiatives 
highlight problems relating to suppliers’ inability to meet cost and quality standards, to be able to supply in 
areas such as pricing policies. Special consideration should therefore be given to policy measures aimed at 
encouraging foreign investors to assist value chain integration and linkages with the local productive sector. 
In particular, this report recommends to:
Convert free zones from export-oriented facilities to multi-facility zones (or economic development 
zones). The key objective is to broaden their integration into the economy rather than letting 
them operate in closed circles. To this end, the Government should grant them unlimited 
domestic market access (with domestic sales income subjected to standard taxation), upgrade 
the infrastructure facilities made available, allocate permits and provide state-of-the-art business 
facilitation services. In addition, it should encourage industrial clustering and supplier development 
Design a supplier linkages programme to stimulate and promote local sourcing and the local 
supply base. Programme components will include elements of technology transfer and upgrading, 
best practices show that selection, training and mentoring of potential local suppliers are key to 
motivating them to attain world-class manufacturing standards. The programme should be carried 
out by NIPC.
f. Strengthening institutions dealing with investment and related issues
A solid institutional framework is a necessary condition for achieving the ambitious development 
framework in charge of issues related to investment, including promotion. Among those are problems of 
funding, weak managerial capacity, lack of coordination mechanisms as well as unclear division of labour 
between institutions dealing with investment, in particular FDI. The report recommends changes to existing 
institutions and the creation of new ones. Furthermore, these institutions, to be fully effective, will need 
to rely on adequately trained staff members who have the capacity to deal with the broad issues related to 
investment, including FDI. The report therefore recommends to:
Establish a new entity responsible for investment policy advocacy and coordination.
The entity should be supported by a small policy team and have responsibility for policy advocacy. 
It could take the form of a Ministry of Investment, or a policy team reporting to the Vice-
President or to a Senior Policy Advisor to the President. It should oversee key investment related 
institutions, including NIPC, BPE, NEPZA and SMEDAN.
Further strengthen NIPC. The primary role of NIPC would be to attract and support 
investment. In this sense, the promotion function should be more active at targeting investors in 
of FDI. Furthermore, its investor support function should administer the supplier development 
and the aftercare programmes.
Create an independent international trade commission. Its role would be to advise the 
Government on (a) the pace and strategy for liberalization of the import protection regime; 
(b) extraordinary requests for protection from selected industries; and (c) the application of 
safeguards, anti-dumping and countervailing measures.
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Revise the mandate of NOTAP. NOTAP is currently involved in regulating the entry of foreign 
technology in Nigeria while the international practice has evolved from regulation to facilitation in 
this domain. Therefore, the report recommends that the mandate of NOTAP focus on providing 
training to Nigerian businesses, especially SMEs, in accessing foreign technology, including the 
negotiation of favourable terms. The regulatory matters would be better handled by the tax and 
competition authorities.
Establish coordinated federal–State investment promotion relationships. At  the 
moment, though interaction is cordial, the relationships between the various entities dealing with 
the attraction and facilitation of investment at the State and federal levels are not systematically 
messages are consistent, information asymmetries are addressed and prospective investors get 
the same quality of treatment. This exercise should be coordinated by the proposed Ministry of 
Investment.
consistent approach to implementing the recommendations is key. This requires the commitment of the 
Nigerian Government at the highest level, the involvement of the private sector and the support of the 
international community. As the report recognizes the needs for capacity-building on various issues related 
to investment and FDI in particular, the Government of Nigeria may call upon the expertise of UNCTAD 
to develop a joint follow-up programme to assist in the implementation of selected recommendations. In
preparation of an action plan – the Blue Book – which will contain practical investment-related measures 
that can be implemented within a 12-month period. In addition, the follow-up programme may, upon the 
Government’s request, include capacity-building and institution-strengthening activities.
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ANNEX I: FDI STATISTICS IN NIGERIA
The need for reliable data
impact on host and home economies, and formulate sound FDI policies. However, measurement of FDI still 
constitutes a problem in many countries, particularly in the developing world. In the case of Nigeria, the 
analysis of FDI trends is seriously handicapped by the quality and availability of data. 
An example of the lack of reliability of statistics is illustrated by the following example. While total FDI
of Payments Manual (BPM 5) methodology of the IMF, data on the sectoral distribution of FDI within the 
country or its origin though available are not reliable. For the year 2003, for instance, the share of non-
2500
700
600
2000
500
1500
400
1000
300
200
500
100
0
0
2
2
/1
0
94
96
98
00
04
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
199
199
19
19
19
20
200
20
Oil FDI
Non-oil FDI
Oil & Gas
Non-oil/gas
Other issues include the lack of systematic data collection on other aspects of TNCs’ activities in 
the country (such as employment, R&D and tax payments). This is due in part to the lack of cooperation 
of the international private sector with the CBN’s surveys, and also to the lack of coordination between 
inability to produce accurate FDI statistics.103 In addition, the CBN reports that FDI announcements are 
frequently over-hyped, and not only by the companies themselves. This contributes to an undercurrent of 
dissatisfaction with foreign investors on this score which is one more reason to produce reliable statistics.
The Nigerian authorities, aware of these problems, have started to take corrective measures. An inter-
agency committee including representatives of NIPC, CBN, the Bureau of Statistics and other agencies was 
recently set up, and CBN is receiving technical support from the IMF to carry out annual FDI surveys.
International experience can be very helpful in this respect. UNCTAD has supported a number 
of countries in strengthening their FDI data collection systems. In Algeria, for example, UNCTAD has 
established an “Investor Tracking System” and trained the investment promotion agency on its use. The 
same system could be readily implemented in Nigeria.
103 NIPC, Annual Report 2004, available online at www.nipc.gov.ng.
119

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria

 
e (i.e
8
orld 
10
98
68.7
99.4
35
6.4
0.8
0.1
7
24
veloping 
OECD
OECD
550.9
562.7
769.8
93,660.8
OECD
indicators 
ocedur
vailable data 
ust be noted,
pr
 The 
9
38
6.
92.7
41
85
19.2
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0.7
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9
35
ecent a
 It m
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109.5
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1,868.6
e to obtain a w
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand
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t 2005-200
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African and other de
8
, the most r
42
90.4
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62
137.9
434.1
vestment Compass 
Indonesia
Indonesia
WEF pr
Indonesia
s In
y education le
ed to large 
tiar
eness Repor
AD’
30
..
90.9
15.4
77
30
6.5
2.9
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wing the 
55
241.1
72.5
258.3
or each county
China
China
8,188.2
China
 F
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nd its ter
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wing UNCT
ators).
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ork a
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23.5
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356.7
wth Competitiv
regated f
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ormance compar
Brazil
Brazil
1,499.5
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Brazil
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e agg
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87
9.9
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50
. Africa
. Africa
82.4
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42.7
105.2
78.4
428.5
930.5
. Africa
S
S
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unications netw
a
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orum (WEF) Gr
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73.6
62
13.6
19.4
8.9
44.8
76.1
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e
90
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193.5
 The indicators ar
K
THE NIGERIA 
verage of the normalized indic
“infrastructur
ppearing belo

, the telecomm
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71
..
11
37
OF
57.9
3.14
0.39
Ghana
Ghana
12.42
14.46
16.99
78.24
16.63
0.203
17.92
orld Economic F
Ghana
t a business”.
 Nigeria’
W
 
.
e:
ypt
50
ypt
..
ypt
28.5
98
23.6
11.7
53.7
1.5
248
0.2
78
54
Eg
Eg
130.3
105.2
om the 
ed to star
Eg
WDI indicators a
y infrastructur
edge ar
e:
equir
UCTION
e obtained via a simple a
eliability issues.
1
58
6
86
22
1.2
57
49
India
India
11.5
27.1
40.7
32.4
43.8
689.4
N.A.
or the w
India
orld Bank 
“time r
W
egates ar
e index” ar
eria
76
eria
..
60
8
eria
1.5
0.2
31
70
espect to the energ
(05)
(05)
10.2
10.9
33.4
13.8
71.1
10.1
y aggr
Nig
Nig
Nig
CONSTR
om a subset of indicators fr
e so in r
eria
“Infrastructur
eria
..
t a business” and 
(02)
84
(02)
8.2
60
12.6
37.8
5.8
3.5
13.4
7.1
8.7
0.2
31
ed fr
verage of its high-income members’ rankings
 not included because of r
ved since 2002.
o
Nig
Nig
re
e
esulting rankings utilized f
 but mor
 impr
)
es to star
edge is a composite of the 
ve
ve
ea)
. The r
edge is deriv
ocedur
edge
y computing the a
ANNEX II:
in the w
or Nigeria w
x” 
oss)
. with access)
 in the w
velopment Indicators 2006.
x”
inde
or the construction of the 
y in the w
. losses  (% of output)

or most indicators,
y all indicators ha
y (% gr
umber of pr
ork in km surface ar
oads)
inde
 “n
tuall
tiar
 ratio of kwh/GDP (PPP)
orld De

e normalized to a 0–100 scale and countr
ce (% of pop
 & distr
vident f
 netw
 ter
 W
eight (million tons per km)
 call to United States ($/ 3 min.)
, adult total (% of ages 15 and abo
oduction,
or each countr
 Data on literacy rates f
r, that vir
e and skills Index
er trans.
t, fr
ork (tot.
ve
ollment,
w
y Index
e
ved (% of total r
orld Bank,
v. cost,
w
The indicators used f
ved water sour
 pa
 W
ect of taxation”,
o
 the OECD ranking was obtained b
The “Infrastructur
all indicators ar
is used.
countries is e
ho
The “Regulator
eff
ranking f
A)
Indicator
Infrastructur
Indicator
Literacy rate
School enr
Impr
Electricity pr
Electric po
Telephone mainlines (per 1,000 people)
Internet users (per 1,000 people)
Mobile phones (per 1,000 people)
Phone a
Air transpor
Roads netw
Roads,
Source:
B)
Indicator
Regulator
Note:
120

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
ANNEX III:  METHODOLOGY OF INTERNATIONAL
TAX COMPARISONS
The Comparative Taxation Survey compares taxation on investment in several sectors in Nigeria with 
taxation in other selected countries – neighbours and countries elsewhere that have succeeded in attracting 
FDI to the industries concerned. These comparisons enable Nigeria to assess the competitiveness of its 
taxation.
investor depends on a number of factors and their interaction, including expenses allowed, rates of capital 
allowances (tax depreciation), the availability of tax credits, investment allowances and tax holidays, the loss-
carry-forward provisions and the taxation of dividends, among other things. 
Comparative tax modelling is a method of taking into account the most important of these variables 
the analysis are:
Corporate income tax;
Rate of tax, including tax holidays, if any;
Loss-carry-forward provisions;
Capital allowances, investment allowances and investment credits; and
Tax on dividends (withholding rate on dividends paid abroad).
business in each industry. These are based on typical costs and revenues experienced in such businesses in 
a developing economy. A standard set of costs and revenues is employed so that the impact of taxation on 
investor return can be isolated. The business models cover a selected business within each industry.
tax (100 per cent dividend pay out) and that the investor gains the residual value of the company, which is sold 
after 10 years for an amount equal to its balance sheet value.
tax per cent is the total of taxes and duties collected by Government over the 10 years as a percentage of 
rate of 10 per cent per annum. PV tax per cent thus measures how much of an investor’s potential project 
investors and reduces the incentive to invest.
121


Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
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Asouzu AA (2001). International Commercial Arbitration and African States. Cambridge University Press.
BearingPoint (2004), Free Zones: Performance, Lessons Learned and Implications for Zone Development.
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Business in Africa (2005). Nigeria woos S.A. investors. 30 August.
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Central Bank of Nigeria (2004b). Annual Report and Statement of Accounts. Abuja.
Central Bank of Nigeria (2005). Annual Report. December, Abuja.
Col International (2001). Building Capacity to Deliver Distance Education in Nigeria’s Federal University System.
Report prepared for the World Bank, Vancouver, Canada, August.
Deininger K and Binswanger H (1999). The evolution of the World Bank’s land policy: principles, experience 
and future challenges. The World Bank Research Observer . Vol. 14, #2: 247–76.
Dung-Gwom Y (2004). Recent developments in EIA, environmental assessment in Nigeria. In
No. 12, EIA Centre.
Echefu N and Akpofure E (2002). Environmental impact assessment in Nigeria: regulatory background and procedural 
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The Economist (2006). Nollywood dreams. 27 July.
Economist Intelligence Unit (2006). Country Commerce Nigeria. New York: EIU, March. 
Edge Institute and University of Witswatersrand (2006). South–South FDI: an African perspective. 
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Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs of Nigeria (2004), Handbook on Expatriate Quota Administration. Citizenship 
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Gelb S (2006). South–South FDI: an African perspectivePresentation to World Bank/IFC PSD Forum 2006. 
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Tsikata YM (2000). Globalization, Poverty and Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Political Economy Appraisal.
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the Special Round Table on TNCs, SMEs and Development. UNCTAD X. 15 February 2000. Bangkok.
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UNCTAD (2005a). International Practice in Regulating the Entry of Foreigners to the Workforce. Report to the 
Government of Botswana, May.
UNCTAD (2005b), 
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UNCTAD (2005c). The Locations Most Favoured by the Largest TNCs. UNCTAD Investment Brief, No. 4.
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UNCTAD (2005d). World Investment Report 2005: Transnational Corporations and the Internationalization of 
R&D
. New York and Geneva.
UNCTAD (2006). Globalization of R&D and Developing Countries. New York and Geneva.
UNCTAD (2007). World Investment Report: Transnational Corporation, Extractive Industries and Development.
New York and Geneva.
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the Improvement of the Textile and Clothing Industry in Nigeria
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World Bank (1996). Restoring urban infrastructure and services in Nigeria. In “Findings”. Africa Region
No. 62, May.
World Bank (2002), An Assessment of the Private Sector in Nigeria. Pilot Investment Climate Assessment. 
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Washington DC. September.
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World Bank (2008). Doing Business in 2008. New York. 
World Bank, FIAS (2000). Nigeria: Joining the Race for Non-Oil Foreign Investment.
World Economic Forum (2006). Global Competitiveness Report 2005–2006. Oxford University Press.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
SELECTED UNCTAD PUBLICATIONS ON
TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS AND FDI
A. Serial publications
World Investment Reports
http://www.unctad.org/wir
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2008. Transnational Corporations and the Infrastructure Challenge 
(New York and Geneva, 2008). 294 pages. Sales No. E.08.II.D.23. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2007. Transnational Corporations, Extractive Industries and 
Development (New York and Geneva, 2007). 294 pages. Sales No. E.07.II.D.9. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2007. Transnational Corporations, Extractive Industries and 
Development. Overview. 50 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2007 (Overview). 
Available free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2006. FDI from Developing and Transition Economies: Implications 
for Development (New York and Geneva, 2006). 340 pages. Sales No. E.06.II.D.11. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2006. FDI from Developing and Transition Economies: Implications for 
Development. Overview. 50 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2006 (Overview). 
Available free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2005. Transnational Corporations and the Internationalization of 
R&D (New York and Geneva, 2005). 332 pages. Sales No. E.05.II.D.10. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2005. Transnational Corporations and the Internationalization of 
R&D. Overview. 44 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2005 (Overview). Available 
free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2004. The Shift Towards Services (New York and Geneva, 2004).
468 pages. Sales No. E.04.II.D.36.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2004. The Shift Towards Services. Overview. 54 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). 
Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2004 (Overview). Available free to charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2003. FDI Policies for Development: National and International 
Perspectives (New York and Geneva, 2003). 303 pages. Sales No. E.03.II.D.8. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2003. FDI Policies for Development: National and International 
Perspectives. Overview. 42 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2003 (Overview). 
Available free to charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2002: Transnational Corporations and Export Competitiveness (New 
York and Geneva, 2002). 350 pages. Sales No. E.02.II.D.4.
127

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2002: Transnational Corporations and Export Competitiveness. 
Overview. 66 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2002 (Overview). Available free 
of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2001: Promoting Linkages (New York and Geneva, 2001). 354 pages. 
Sales No. E.01.II.D.12. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2001: Promoting Linkages. Overview. 63 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). 
Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2001 (Overview). Available free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2000: Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions and Development 
(New York and Geneva, 2000). 337 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.20.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2000: Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions and Development. 
Overview. 65 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/2000 (Overview). Available free 
of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1999: Foreign Direct Investment and the Challenge of Development 
(New York and Geneva, 1999). 541 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.3. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1999: Foreign Direct Investment and the Challenge of Development. 
Overview. 75 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/1999 (Overview). Available free 
of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1998: Trends and Determinants (New York and Geneva, 1998).
463 pages. Sales No. E.98.II.D.5. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1998: Trends and Determinants. Overview. 72 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). 
Document symbol: UNCTAD/WIR/1998 (Overview). Available free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1997: Transnational Corporations, Market Structure and Competition 
Policy (New York and Geneva, 1997). 416 pages. Sales No. E.97.II.D. 10. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1997: Transnational Corporations, Market Structure and Competition 
Policy. Overview. 76 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/ITE/IIT/5 (Overview). Available 
free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1996: Investment, Trade and International Policy Arrangements (New 
York and Geneva, 1996). 364 pages. Sales No. E.96.11.A. 14. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1996: Investment, Trade and International Policy Arrangements. 
Overview. 22 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/DTCI/32 (Overview). Available free of 
charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1995: Transnational Corporations and Competitiveness (New York 
and Geneva, 1995). 491 pages. Sales No. E.95.II.A.9. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1995: Transnational Corporations and Competitiveness. Overview.
68 pages (A, C, E, F, R, S). Document symbol: UNCTAD/DTCI/26 (Overview). Available free of charge.
128

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1994: Transnational Corporations, Employment and the Workplace 
(New York and Geneva, 1994). 482 pages. Sales No.E.94.11.A.14. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1994: Transnational Corporations, Employment and the Workplace. 
An Executive Summary. 34 pages (C, E, also available in Japanese). Document symbol: UNCTAD/DTCI/10 
(Overview). Available free of charge.
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1993: Transnational Corporations and Integrated International 
Production (New York and Geneva, 1993). 290 pages. Sales No. E.93.II.A.14. 
UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1993: Transnational Corporations and Integrated International 
Production. An Executive Summary. 31 pages (C, E). Document symbol: ST/CTC/159 (Executive Summary). 
Available free of charge.
DESD/TCMD, World Investment Report 1992: Transnational Corporations as Engines of Growth (New 
York, 1992). 356 pages. Sales No. E.92.II.A.24. 
DESD/TCMD, World Investment Report 1992: Transnational Corporations as Engines of Growth: An 
Executive Summary. 26 pages. Document symbol: ST/CTC/143 (Executive Summary). Available free of 
charge.
UNCTC, World Investment Report 1991: The Triad in Foreign Direct Investment (New York, 1991).
108 pages. Sales No. E.9 1.II.A. 12. $25.
World Investment Directories
World Investment Directory: Vol. VIII: Central and Eastern Europe, 2003. 86 p. (Overview)+CD-ROM 
II.D.21. $80.
World Investment Directory, Vol. VI: West Asia, 1996. 138 p. Sales No. E.97.II.A.2. $35. 
World Investment Directory, Vol. V: Africa, 1996. 461 p. Sales No. E.97.II.A.1. $75. 
World Investment Directory, Vol. IV: Latin America and the Caribbean, 1994. 478 p. Sales No. E.94.II.A.10. 
$65.
World Investment Directory, Vol. III: Developed Countries, 1992. 532 p. Sales No. E.93.II.A.9. $75.
World Investment Directory, Vol. II: Central and Eastern Europe, 1992. 432 p. Sales No. E.93.II.A.1. $65. 
(Joint publication with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.)
129

Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
Investment Policy Reviews
http://www.unctad.org/ipr
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of the Dominican Republic (Geneva, 2009). 116 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/
IPC/2007/09.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Vietnam (Geneva, 2008). 158 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2007/10.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Morocco (Geneva, 2008). 142 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2006/15.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Zambia (Geneva, 2007). 76 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2006/14.
UNCTAD,  Report  on  the  Implementation  of  the  Investment  Policy  Review  of  Uganda  (Geneva,  2007)
30 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2006/15.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Rwanda (Geneva, 2006). 136 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2006/11.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Colombia (Geneva, 2006). 86 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2005/11.
UNCTAD, Report on the Implementation of the Investment Policy Review of Egypt (Geneva, 2005).
18 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2005/7.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Kenya (Geneva, 2005). 114 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2005/8.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Benin (Geneva, 2005). 126 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2004/4.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Algeria (Geneva, 2004). 110 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2003/9.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Sri Lanka (Geneva, 2003). 89 pages.UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/2003/8
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Lesotho (Geneva, 2003). 105 pages. Sales No. E.03.II.D.18. 
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Nepal. (Geneva, 2003). 89 pages. Sales No.E.03.II.D.17.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Ghana (Geneva, 2002). 103 pages. Sales No. E.02.II.D.20.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Botswana (Geneva, 2003). 107 pages. Sales No. E.03.II.D.1. 
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of the United Republic of Tanzania (Geneva, 2002). 109 pages. Sales 
No. E.02.II.D.6. $ 20.
UNCTAD, Investment and Innovation Policy Review of Ethiopia (Geneva, 2001). 130 pages. Sales No. E.01.
II.D.5.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Ecuador. (Geneva, 2001). 136 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.31. Also 
available in Spanish.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Mauritius (Geneva, 2000). 92 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.11.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Peru (Geneva, 2000). 109 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.7.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Uganda (Geneva, 1999). 71 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.24.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Uzbekistan (Geneva, 1999). 5 pages. UNCTAD/ITE/IIP/Misc.13.
UNCTAD, Investment Policy Review of Egypt (Geneva, 1999). 119 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.20.
Blue Books on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Facilitation
UNCTAD, Blue Book on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Faciliation: Kenya (Geneva, 2005).
UNCTAD, Blue Book on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Faciliation: United Republic of Tanzania 
(Geneva, 2005).
UNCTAD, Blue Book on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Faciliation: Uganda (Geneva, 2005).
UNCTAD, Blue Book on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Faciliation: Cambodia (Geneva, 
2004).
UNCTAD, Blue Book on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Faciliation: Lao People’s Democratic 
Republic (Geneva, 2004).
Investment Guides
http://www.unctad.org/investmentguides
UNCTAD. An Investment Guide to Rwanda: Opportunities and Conditions (Geneva, 2006). Document 
symbol: UNCTAD/ITE/IIA/2006/3. Free of charge.
UNCTAD. An Investment Guide to Mali: Opportunities and Conditions (Geneva, 2006). Document symbol: 
UNCTAD/ITE/IIA/2006/2. Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to East Africa (Geneva, 2005). Document symbol: UNCTAD/
IIA/2005/4. Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to the United Republic of Tanzania (Geneva, 2005). Document 
symbol: UNCTAD/IIA/2005/3. Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Kenya (Geneva, 2005). Document symbol: UNCTAD/IIA/2005/2. 
Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Mauritania (Geneva, 2004). Document symbol: UNCTAD/
IIA/2004/4. Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Cambodia (Geneva, 2003). 89 pages. Document symbol: 
UNCTAD/IIA/2003/6. Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Nepal (Geneva, 2003). 97 pages. Document symbol: UNCTAD/
IIA/2003/2. Free of charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Mozambique (Geneva, 2002). 109 pages. Document symbol: 
UNCTAD/IIA/4. Free of charge.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Uganda (Geneva, 2001). 76 pages. Document symbol: UNCTAD/
ITE/IIT/Misc.30. Publication updated in 2004. New document symbol UNCTAD/ITE/IIA/2004/3. Free of 
charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Mali (Geneva, 2001). 105 pages. Document symbol: UNCTAD/
ITE/IIT/Misc.24. Publication updated in 2004. New document symbol UNCTAD/ITE/IIA/2004/1. Free of 
charge.
UNCTAD and ICC. An Investment Guide to Ethiopia (Geneva, 2000). 68 pages. Document symbol: 
UNCTAD/ITE/IIT/Misc.19. Publication updated in 2004. New document symbol UNCTAD/ITE/IIA/2004/2. 
Free of charge.
  UNCTAD  and  ICC.  An  Investment  Guide  to  Bangladesh  (Geneva,  2000).  66  pages.  Document  symbol: 
UNCTAD/ITE/IIT/Misc.29. Free of charge.
Issues in International Investment Agreements
http://www.unctad.org/iia
UNCTAD. Bilateral Investment Treaties 1995–2006: Trends in Investment Rulemaking (New York and 
Geneva, 2006).
UNCTAD. Investment Provisions in Economic Integration Agreements (New York and Geneva, 2006).
UNCTAD. Glossary of Key Concepts Used in IIAs. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment 
Agreements (New York and Geneva, 2003).
UNCTAD. Incentives UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements (New York and 
Geneva, 2003). Sales No. E.04.II.D.6. $15.
UNCTAD. Transparency. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements (New York 
and Geneva, 2003). Sales No. E.03.II.D.7. $15.
UNCTAD. Dispute Settlement: Investor-State. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment 
Agreements (New York and Geneva, 2003). 128 pages. Sales No. E.03.II.D.5. $15.
UNCTAD. Dispute Settlement: State-State. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment 
Agreements (New York and Geneva, 2003). 109 pages. Sales No. E.03.II.D.6 $16.
UNCTAD. Transfer of Technology. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements 
(New York and Geneva, 2001). 135 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.33. $16.
UNCTAD. Illicit Payments. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New York 
and Geneva, 2001). 112 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.20. $13.
UNCTAD. Home Country Measures. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements 
(New York and Geneva, 2001). 95 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.19. $12.
UNCTAD. Host Country Operational Measures. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment 
Agreements (New York and Geneva, 2001). 105 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.18. $18.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTAD. Social Responsibility. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New 
York and Geneva, 2001). 87 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.4.$15.
UNCTAD. Environment. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New York 
and Geneva 2001). 106 pages. Sales No. E.01.II.D.3. $15.
UNCTAD. Transfer of Funds. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New 
York and Geneva 2000). 79 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.38. $10.
UNCTAD. Flexibility for Development. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements 
(New York and Geneva 2000). 185 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.6. $15.
UNCTAD. Employment. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New York 
and Geneva, 2000). 64 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.15. $12.
UNCTAD. Taxation. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New York and 
Geneva, 2000). 111 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.5. $15.
UNCTAD, Taking of Property. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements (New 
York and Geneva, 2000). 78 pages. Sales No. E.00.II.D.4. $12.
UNCTAD. Trends in International investment Agreements: An Overview. UNCTAD Series on Issues on 
International Investment Agreements (New York and Geneva, 1999). 133 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.23. 
$12.
UNCTAD. Lessons from the MAI. UNCTAD Series on Issues on International Investment Agreements 
(New York and Geneva 1999). 52 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.26. $10.
UNCTAD. National Treatment. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements (New 
York and Geneva, 1999). 88 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D. 16. $12.
UNCTAD. Fair and Equitable Treatment. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements 
(New York and Geneva, 1999). 80 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.15. $12.
UNCTAD. Investment-Related Trade Measures. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment 
Agreements (New York and Geneva, 1999). 64 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.12.$12.
UNCTAD. Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment 
Agreements (New York and Geneva, 1999). 72 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.11. $12.
UNCTAD. Admission and Establishment. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements 
(New York and Geneva, 1999). 72 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.10. $12.
York and Geneva, 1999). 96 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.9. $12.
UNCTAD. Transfer Pricing. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements (New York 
and Geneva, 1999). 72 pages. Sales No. E.99.II.D.8. $12.
UNCTAD. Foreign Direct Investment and Development. UNCTAD Series on Issues in International 
Investment Agreements (New York and Geneva, 1999). 88 pages. Sales No. E.98.1I.D.15A12.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
International Investment Instruments
UNCTAD’s Work Programme on International Investment Agreements: From UNCTAD IX to
UNCTAD X. Document symbol: UNCTAD/ITE/IIT/Misc.26. Available free of charge.
UNCTAD. Progress Report. Work undertaken within UNCTAD’s work programme on International 
Investment Agreements between the 10th Conference of UNCTAD 10th Conference of UNCTAD, 
Bangkok, February 2000, and July 2002 (New York and Geneva, 2002). UNCTAD/ITE/Misc.58. Available 
free of charge.
UNCTAD. Bilateral Investment Treaties in the Mid-1990s (New York and Geneva, 1998). 322 pages. Sales 
No. E.98.II.D.8. $46.
UNCTAD. Bilateral Investment Treaties: 1959-1999 (Geneva and New York, 2000) Sales No. E.92.II.A.16. 
$22.
UNCTAD. International Investment Instruments: A Compendium (New York and Geneva, 1996 to 2003).
12 volumes. Vol. I: Sales No. E.96.A.II.A.9. Vol. II: Sales No. E.96.II.A.10. Vol. III: Sales No. E.96.II.A.11. Vol. IV:
Sales No. E.00.II.D.13. Vol. V: Sales No. E.00.II.A.14. Vol. VI: Sales No. E.01.II.D.34. Vol. VII: Sales No. E.02.
II.D.14. Vol. VIII: Sales No. E.02.II.D.15. Vol. IX: Sales No. E.02.II.D.16. Vol. X: Sales No. E.02.II.D.21. Vol. XI:
Sales No. E.04.II.D.9. Vol. XII: Sales No. E.04.II.D.10. $60.
UNCTC and ICC. Bilateral Investment Treaties. A joint publication by the United Nations Centre on 
Transnational Corporations and the International Chamber of Commerce (New York, 1992). 46 pages. 
Sales No. E.92.II.A. 16. $22.
UNCTC. The New Code Environment. Current Studies, Series A, No. 16. (New York, 1990). 54 pages. 
UNCTC. Key Concepts in International Investment Arrangements and Their Relevance to Negotiations on 
International Transactions in Services. Current Studies, Series A, No. 13. (New York, 1990). 66 pages. Sales 
No. E.90.II.A.3. $9.
UNCTC. Bilateral Investment Treaties (New York, 1988). (Also published by Graham and Trotman, London/
Dordrecht/Boston, 1988). 188 pages. Sales No. E.88.II.A. 1. $20.
UNCTC. The United Nations Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations. Current Studies, Series A, 
Vagts, Detlev F., The Question of a Reference to International Obligations in the United Nations Code of 
Conduct on Transnational Corporations: A Different View. Current Studies,
Robinson, Patrick, The Question of a Reference to International Law in the United Nations Code of 
Conduct on Transnational Corporations. Current Studies, Series A, No.1. (New York, 1986). 22 pages.
Sales No. E.86.II.A.5. $4.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTC, Transnational Corporations: Material Relevant to the Formulation of a Code of Conduct
(New York, 1977). 114 pages (E, F, S). UN Document Symbol: EX. 10/ 10 and Corr. 1. $7.
UNCTC, Transnational Corporations: Issues Involved in the Formulation of a Code of Conduct
ASIT Advisory Studies
http://www.unctad.org/asit
No. 17. The World of Investment Promotion at a Glance: A Survey of Investment Promotion Practices. 
UNCTAD/ITE/IPC/3. Free of charge. 
No. 16. Tax Incentives and Foreign Direct Investment: A Global Survey. 180 p. Sales No. E.01.II.D.5.
No. 15. Investment Regimes in the Arab World: Issues and Policies. 232 p. Sales No. E/F.00.II.D.32. 
No. 14. Handbook on Outward Investment Promotion Agencies and Institutions. 50 p. Sales No. E.99.
II.D.22. 
No. 13. Survey of Best Practices in Investment Promotion. 71 p. Sales No. E.97.II.D.11. 
B. Individual Studies
UNCTAD. Investment and Technology Policies for Competitiveness: Review of Successful Country Experiences
(Geneva, 2003). Document symbol: UNCTAD/ITE/ICP/2003/2.
UNCTAD. The Development Dimension of FDI: Policy and Rule-Making Perspectives (Geneva, 2003). Sales 
No. E.03.II.D.22. $35.
UNCTAD. FDI and Performance Requirements: New Evidence from Selected Countries (Geneva, 2003). Sales 
No. E.03.II.D.32. 318 pages. $ 35.
UNCTAD. Measures of the Transnationalization of Economic Activity (New York and Geneva, 2001). Document 
symbol: UNCTAD/ITE/IIA/1. Sales No. E.01.II.D.2.
UNCTAD. FDI Determinants and TNC Strategies: The Case of Brazil (Geneva, 2000). Sales No. E.00:II.D.2.
UNCTAD. The Competitiveness Challenge: Transnational Corporations and Industrial Restructuring in 
Developing Countries (Geneva, 2000). Sales No. E.00.II.D.35.
UNCTAD. Foreign Direct Investment in Africa: Performance and Potential (Geneva, 1999). Document symbol: 
UNCTAD/ITE/IIT/Misc.15. Available free of charge.
UNCTAD. The Financial Crisis in Asia and Foreign Direct Investment An Assessment (Geneva, 1998). 110 pages.
Sales No. GV.E.98.0.29. $20.
UNCTAD. Handbook on Foreign Direct Investment by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Lessons from 
Asia (New York and Geneva, 1998). 202 pages. Sales No. E.98.II.D.4. $48.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTAD. Handbook on Foreign Direct Investment by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Lessons from 
Asia. Executive Summary and Report on the Kunming Conference. 70 pages. Document symbol: UNCTAD/
ITE/IIT/6 (Summary). Available free of charge.
UNCTAD. Survey of Best Practices in Investment Promotion (New York and Geneva, 1997). 81 pages. Sales 
No. E.97.II.D.11. $35.
UNCTAD. Incentives and Foreign Direct Investment (New York and Geneva, 1996). Current Studies, Series 
A, No. 30. 98 pages. Sales No. E.96.II.A.6. $25.
UNCTC. Foreign Direct Investment in the People’s Republic of China (New York, 1988). 110 pages. Sales 
UNCTAD. Foreign Direct Investment, Trade, Aid and Migration Current Studies, Series A, No. 29. (A joint 
publication with the International Organization for Migration, Geneva, 1996). 90 pages. Sales No. E.96M.
A.8. $25.
UNCTAD. Explaining and Forecasting Regional Flows of Foreign Direct Investment (New York, 1993). 
Current Studies, Series A, No. 26. 58 pages. Sales No. E.94.II.A.5. $25.
UNCTAD. Small and Medium-sized Transnational Corporations: Role, Impact and Policy Implications (New 
York and Geneva, 1993). 242 pages. Sales No. E.93.II.A. 15. $35.
UNCTAD. Small and Medium-sized Transnational Corporations: Executive Summary and Report of the 
Osaka Conference (Geneva, 1994). 60 pages. Available free of charge.
DESD/TCMD.  From  the  Common  Market  to  EC  92:  Regional Economic Integration in the European 
Community and Transnational Corporations (New York, 1993). 134 pages. Sales No. E.93.1l.A.2. $25.
DESD/TCMD. Debt-Equity Swaps and Development (New York, 1993). 150 pages. Sales No. E.93.1l.A.7. 
$35.
DESD/TCMD. Transnational Corporations from Developing Countries: Impact on Their Home Countries 
(New York, 1993). 116 pages. Sales No. E.93.1l.A.8. $15.
DESD/TCMD. Foreign Investment and Trade Linkages in Developing Countries (New York, 1993). 108 
pages. Sales No. E.93.II.A. 12. Out of print.
UNCTC. Foreign Direct Investment and Industrial Restructuring in Mexico. Current Studies, Series A,
No. 18. (New York, 1992). 114 pages. Sales No. E.92.1l.A.9. $12.50.
UNCTC. The Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment: A Survey of the Evidence (New York, 1992).
84 pages. Sales No. E.92.1l.A.2. $12.50.
UNCTC and UNCTAD. The Impact of Trade-Related Investment Measures on Trade and Development 
(Geneva and New York, 1991). 104 pages. Sales No. E.91 II.A. 19. $17.50.
UNCTC. The Challenge of Free Economic Zones in Central and Eastern Europe: International Perspective 
(New York, 1991). 442 pages. Sales No. E.90.1l.A.27. $75.
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Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
UNCTC. The Role of Free Economic Zones in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Current Studies, Series A, No. 
14. (New York, 1990). 84 pages. Sales No. E.90.1l.A.5. $10.
+
UNCTC. Foreign Direct Investment, Debt and Home Country Policies. Current Studies, Series A, No. 20. 
(New York, 1990). 50 pages. Sales No. E.90.II.A. 16. $12.50.
UNCTC. News Issues in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Current Studies, Series A, 
No. 19. (New York, 1990). 52 pages. Sales No. E.90.II.A. 15. $12.50.
UNCTC. Regional Economic Integration and Transnational Corporations in the 1990s: Europe 1992, North 
America, and Developing Countries. Current Studies, Series A, No. 15. (New York, 1990). 52 pages. Sales 
No. E.90.II.A. 14. $12.50.
UNCTC. Transnational Corporations and International Economic Relations: Recent Developments and 
Selected Issues. Current Studies, Series A, No. 11. (New York, 1989). 50 pages. Sales No. E.89.1l.A.15. Out 
UNCTC. The Process of Transnationalization and Transnational Mergers. Current Studies, Series A, No. 8. 
UNCTC and ILO. Economic and Social Effects of Multinational Enterprises in Export Processing Zones 
UNCTC. Measures Strengthening the Negotiating Capacity of Governments in Their Relations with 
Transnational Corporations: Regional Integration cum/versus Corporate Integration. A Technical Paper 
C. Journals
Transnational Corporations Journal (formerly The CTC Reporter). Published three times a year. Annual 
subscription price: $45; individual issues $20. 
http://www.unctad.org/tnc
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READERSHIP SURVEY
Investment Policy Review of the Nigeria
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140

The Investment Policy Review of Nigeria
is the latest in a series of investment policy reviews undertaken by UNCTAD
at the request of countries interested in improving their investment framework and climate.
The countries included in this series are:
Egypt (1999)
Uzbekistan (1999)
Uganda (2000)
Peru (2000)
Mauritius (2001)
Ecuador (2001)
Ethiopia (2002)

United Republic of Tanzania (2002)
Botswana (2003)
Ghana (2003) 
Lesotho (2003)
Nepal (2003)
Sri Lanka (2004)
Algeria (2004)
Benin (2005)
Kenya (2005)
Colombia (2006)
Rwanda (2006)
Zambia (2007)
Morocco (2008)
Viet Nam (2008)
Dominican Republic (2009)
Mauritania (2009)
Visit the website on IPRs
www.unctad.org/ipr