Country Profile – Nigeria

In the ExIm business relationships between vendors, suppliers, buyers and business owners are based on trust. These relationships are enhanced when importers and exporters possess invaluable knowledge about the countries involved in the trade and are able to offer attractive prices and deals on trades, as well as inside knowledge on which products are in demand and how much said products would sell for. Knowledge of the country’s ExIm laws and traditions and business practises of the locals goes far in helping traders make the right choices when it comes to his commodities and trades. Once knowledge is shared with related parties the trader can offer the right discount at the right time so as to present an attractive deal to the buyer. This goes far in building business relationships and can be relied upon to meet the demands of that country’s market ahead of an important shopping season or public holidays.

Today we look at Nigera, an ex British colony located in Western Africa bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon.

Capital – Abuja
Population – 135 million
Religions – Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
English speaking? Yes, used in constitution
Climate – tropical hot climate, rainfall with rainy season
Major holidays – National Day (Oct 1), Id el Fitr (July 28), Christmas and Boxing Day (Dec 25 & 26), Democracy Day (May 29)

Business Etiquette and Protocol:

Handshakes are the most common greeting.
Wait for a woman to extend her hand first.
Shake hands at the beginning and end of meetings.
To rush a greeting is extremely rude; spend time inquiring about the other person’s general well-being.
It is a good idea to lower your eyes when meeting someone who is older or more senior.
Titles are important. Use the honorific title plus any academic or professional title and the surname.
Wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis. This is not a first name culture, although that may be changing with people under the age of 35.
Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual.
Present and receive business cards with two hands or the right hand, never with the left.
It is a good idea to include any advanced university degree on your business card.
Make certain that your title is prominently displayed.
Never write on your business card. If the information has changed, have new cards printed.
Make a point of studying any business card you receive before putting it into a business card holder.
Nigerians prefer to develop personal relationships prior to conducting business
The first few meetings are somewhat formal as your Nigerian counterpart needs to be comfortable with you as a person.
GDP – real GDP growth stood at an estimated 6.5%, compared to 6.6% seen in 2012. Forecast for 2014 = 304.1 billion with a real GDP growth% of 6.7.
GDP in absolute terms – US$283.5 billion with GDP per capita at US$ 1624.6
Average rate of inflation – 8.5% in 2013

Natural resources – Petroleum, natural gas, iron-ore, limestone ,tin, zinc, coal.

Total arable land – 39.5% as of 2011 ( FAO stats)
Exports – estimated at US$ 93.7 billion in 2013 from US$ 95.7 in 2012. Mineral fuels cocoa, cocoa preparations, rubber, ships, boats and floating structures. Exported mainly to USA, India, Brazil, Netherlands and the UK.
Imports – tramway (18.7%), machinery and mechanical appliances (13.7%), cereals (9.6%), electrical and electronic equipment (9.1%), plastics and articles (4.2%). Origin of imports include China, USA, India, Brazil, UK and Belgium.
Country risk rating – Institutional Investor’s ranking of 179 countries in September 2013 placed Nigeria at the 81st position, an improvement of six places from the previous year. India placed at 50th in the same list.

Sources:
1. http://www.gnexid.org/country/Nigeria.pdf
2. http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/nigeria/
3. http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/nigeria.html

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