Nigeria’s petroleum reserves are its economic foundation, but growth in non-oil sectors outpaces that of the petroleum industry, which has been hampered by operational shutdowns and market fluctuations. Even as the industry stagnates, oil still underlies about a quarter of this African country’s economy, providing about 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of government revenue. The oil industry also remains a key driver for business travel to and from the country.
Business travel industry insight
Security is a top priority for business travelers to Nigeria, and using experienced suppliers for in-country travel by air or car is essential. Transportation infrastructure is below par. Bookings are complicated by the fact that most transactions are done in cash, rather than via credit card.
- GDP was growing at 6.5% toward the end of 2012. The economy is projected to exceed that growth in 2013, and the government also is expected to reach its target of getting inflation under 10%.
- The country’s abundant oil and gas resources attract multinational corporations and international investment.
- Nigeria is diversifying its economy to be less reliant on oil, and economic growth is coming from wholesale and retail trade, telecommunications, construction, the hotel and restaurant sectors and business services.
- Economic growth has not reduced poverty or created enough jobs. About two thirds of the population lives on less than US$1 per day, and the average unemployment rate is above 20%. Unemployment is more than 35% among people age 15 to 24.
- The dilapidated state of infrastructure and poor education hamper business growth.
- Corruption and crime are prevalent and pose significant security risks for travelers.