One of the major decisions to make when starting a business is the location. The right choice of location or point of sale has a great impact on the success of businesses. Nigeria, being the most populous African country and the seventh most populous country in the world, with over two hundred million people, is a lucrative place for Businesses – locally and internationally.
Nigeria is not only strong in terms of population, but also has a large economy – the largest in Africa, 26th largest in the world by nominal GDP, and 25th largest in the world by PPP. Nigeria is an emerging market, according to World Bank. There are about 82 cities in Nigeria including Lagos, Kano, Aba, Abuja, Enugu, Kaduna, Zaria, Anambra, Ibadan, etc.
1. GDP and per capita income
If you are looking to start a business in Nigeria, we have selected a list of the top 10 cities in Nigeria to do business, considering mostly the GDP and per capita income rankings. GDP – Gross Domestic Product, in a general sense is used to determine how well or poor the economy is doing. A booming GDP is healthy for growing businesses. Other factors considered are:
2. Population Density
A Business’s market potential in a location increases to the degree of the increase in the population density in that location. The higher the population, the more likely you will get consumers that would be interested in the type of your business. Also, a business is more likely to easily hire the best cohort of employees.
3. The level of security
The security of the city where a business is located contributes a whole lot to the success of that business. Most businesses in insecure cities usually have to close down because of low patronage and losses due to damages caused during the violence.
4. Public Infrastructural development
The presence of public infrastructures like a good road network, telecommunications, health system, etc makes doing business in a location easy and smooth. Public infrastructures reduce the cost and effort of running a business.
5. Business licensing and taxing laws
Business licensing and taxing are necessary obligations of all businesses. However, the requirements and procedures for licensing, and taxing laws should not be cumbersome or unbearable for businesses.
Top 10 cities in Nigeria to do business
Here are the top 10 cities in Nigeria to do business:
The metropolitan city of Lagos is home to about 14.8 million people, making it the most populous city in Nigeria. It is a major African financial center and the economic hub of the state of Lagos and Nigeria. It is regarded as one of the world’s fastest-growing communities having a GDP of $33.68 billion and per capita income of $4 335.
Lagos has a good number of good road networks – the same with ferries, rail systems, and airport terminals. It also has many remarkable hospitals and medical facilities. The general security challenge within the country is still at a minimal level. Therefore, Lagos is a city good for setting up businesses.
2. Port Harcourt
Port Harcourt is the largest city in Rivers state (has a GDP of $21.17 billion and per capita income of $3 966), and the fifth-largest city in Nigeria. The current estimated population is 3,171,000 people. One major element that has contributed to the modernization and infrastructural development of this city is the discovery of crude oil in 1956. Portharcourt is the major city for oil-refining in Nigeria.
Portharcourt city has an international airport (Port Harcourt International Airport) located at its periphery. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) base which is also located at the same place the only other airport used for Domestic flights is located. The airport is used by commercial airlines Aero Contractors, Caverton Helicopters, and Bristow Helicopters. The city also has two seaports – FOT Onne and Port Harcourt Wharf.
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Abuja is Nigeria’s capital located at the center of the country. The current population of the Abuja metropolitan area is estimated to be 3,464,000.
Abuja is the fastest growing city in Africa and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It’s known as one of the wealthiest Federal capitals in Africa.
Abuja has a major International Airport – Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and also has a highway linked to Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, and Northeast Nigeria.
Warri is the commercial capital city of Delta state (GDP of $16.75 billion), and one of the biggest cities in the state. Though it’s not the capital city of Delta, it is a more notable place than the capital city – Asaba. It is a central oil base in the South-South region, and the extension of the Government house is located in this city. The current population of Warri city is estimated to be 898,927 people.
It is one of the major hubs of petroleum activities and businesses in the Southern part of the country. It is classified as a modern metropolitan area with notable infrastructural development. It’s home to several major international and local companies in operation in Nigeria.
Ibadan city is located in Oyo state (GDP of $16.12 billion and per capita income of $2,665), and it is the capital city and most populous city in the state.
The current population of this city is estimated to be 3,649,000 people. Ibadan city houses several industries like Agro allied, Textile, Food processing, etc.
Owerri city is located in Imo state (GDP of $14.21 billion), and it is the capital city of the state. The current population of this city is estimated to be 908,000 people.
Owerri city has an International Airport and some strategic road links like Port Harcourt Rd., Aba Rd., Onitsha Rd., and Okigwe Rd. Roads within the city are; IKONSO WAY., Weathral Rd., Tetlow Rd., and Works Rd.
The city of Kano is located in Kano state (GDP of $12.39 billion), and it is the capital city and most populous city in the state. The current population of this city is estimated to be 4,103,000 people.
Kano has an international Airport – the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport. It also has a rail station linking to Lagos through Kaduna and Ibadan and also having the same access to the seaports at Lagos and Portharcourt.
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8. Benin city
Benin city is located in Edo state (GDP of $11.89 billion and $3,624 per capita income), and it is the capital city and the largest city in the state.
The current population of this city is estimated to be 1,782,000 people. Benin city is Nigeria’s rubber industry hub, and also has a large oil production industry. Benin city has a local airport with three commercial airlines.
The city of Abeokuta is located in Ogun state (GDP of $10.47 billion and per capita income of $2,744), and it is the capital and most populous city of the state.
The current population of this city is estimated to be 543,723 people. The city is home to the headquarter of the federal Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority and several local industries.
The city of Kaduna is located in Kaduna state (GDP of $10.3 billion and $1,666 per capita income), and it is the capital city of the state. The current population of this city is estimated to be 1,133,000 people.
Its rail and road junction makes the city a center of trade and a major transportation hub for surrounding agrarian areas. It is generally regarded as an industrial center of Northern Nigeria and the Middle Belt.