In this article, we will look at the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria that anyone can start with small capital or big capital. These lucrative business ideas are very profitable. They have the capacity to make anyone successful if well handled. A lot of them are not well explored in Nigeria.
With the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, a lot of people are left without jobs. Living without a means of income is suicidal. But if you are smart, you can start your own business. In no time, if you know what you are doing, you will be generating your own income. And even employing others.
You do not need to be very rich to start a business. The business ideas we list on this page can be ventured into with small capital or big capital. It all depends on your capacity.
Advantages of starting a business in Nigeria
There are so many good sides to starting a business in Nigeria. First, you put your destiny in your own hands. No boss can walk up tomorrow and tell you “you are fired!” There is job security.
Another reason is the opportunity to grow and build a brand for yourself. When you run your own business, you are building a brand. The more you grow, the bigger your brand. Take a look at Dangote. Even after he is gone, his brand will remain.
Running your own business gives you a bigger opportunity to become rich. There is too much competition in the workplace. You find a lot of those who have worked for many years without promotion, but no one can deny you that in your own business.
You have the opportunity to impact the economy by creating jobs and providing a livelihood for other Nigerians. The joy of employing people and giving them a means to survive should be a big motivation for everyone with a good heart to venture into business.
There are a lot of lucrative businesses in Nigeria for Nigerians to do. But for some reason, Nigerians leave the country pursuing greener pastures without trying to tap into ideas back home. As a result, foreigners are seeing the opportunities that we fail to see and they are taking over!
Most lucrative business ideas in Nigeria
Here are the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria:
1. Oil and Gas business
The simple truth is that Nigeria and to a large extent, the world, still depend on oil and gas. As long as this trend continues, this business will continue to dominate. Oil and gas is definitely king among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
Look at it this way, we depend on gas or kerosene to cook. We depend on fuel to move around whether we are using cars, okada or Keke-napep. And because of the poor electricity supply, we depend on fuel for electricity. All the big and small companies in Nigeria depend on fuel or diesel to operate.
There is too much dependent on oil and gas. And Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of it. Anyone who taps into this business will be making a huge income.
Here are opportunities in the Oil and gas business:
This is one of the most lucrative parts of the oil and gas business. But you will need a high budget to get into it. Oil and gas distributors bring in refined petroleum products into the country for distribution to different sectors.
With a few million Naira, you can start a petrol station. There are so many cars in Nigeria that you will never run out of customers. Also, many people depend on petrol stations to power their generators.
Cooking gas business
This is an untapped business in Nigeria. Many people are so focused on Petrol that they overlook cooking gas. Recently, I was speaking with a friend who manages a mid-size petroleum company. They are into all petroleum products. He told me they make more money from cooking gas than any other business.
You can supply cooking gas to retailers or you become a retailer and refill gas for end users. Spice it up. This business is very lucrative, and it does not cost much to start. You can start small and grow!
A lot of Nigerians still depend on kerosene for various reasons. Even those with cooking gas use kerosene-powered stoves as a backup. This business is very lucrative. More lucrative because not so many people are into it anymore.
Oil and Gas Transportation
You can purchase tankers and get into the business of lifting petroleum products. It could be ships. Petroleum products is like any other commodity, they need to be lifted. There are also fleet management opportunities.
These are some opportunities in oil and gas business. There are more if you do your research. But one thing is certain, Oil and gas remains one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
2. Agriculture business
Apart from being one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria, the agriculture business is an evergreen business. It never gets old and never fades. As long as humanity exists, the agriculture business will continue to strive. This makes it a very important and strategic business.
One thing that makes this business so attractive is that there are lots of loans or financing options available for agriculture entrepreneurs in Nigeria. We have a dedicated Bank of Agriculture operated by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, and Ministry of Agriculture. You can read: How to get a loan from the Bank of Agriculture. Many business lenders give lots of preference to the agriculture sector.
And as the government is continually looking to diversify from oil, its major focus is on agriculture. It will trigger more incentives for this sector. There is huge profit and growth waiting for anyone who ventures into the Agriculture business.
Here are some opportunities in the Agriculture business:
This one involves the rearing of Snakes for commercial purposes. Because of the risky nature and low competition, this business is very lucrative! You can read more here: How to start a snake farming business
Beef meat is very popular in Nigeria. Cow milk is almost as treasured as oil in Nigeria. These factors make cattle farming one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. Read more here: How to start a cattle farming business in Nigeria.
Palm oil business
Palm oil is gold. Most of the things you use from cream to soup and many more are made from palm oil. There are many companies around the world that import palm oil from Nigeria. This business is very lucrative. Read more here: How to start palm oil business in Nigeria
The majority of Nigerians depend on Garri, fufu, and other products made from cassava. This business is very lucrative because the products are very much in demand. Read more here: How to start a cassava farming business in Nigeria
Chicken meat, Turkey meat, and others are very popular among Nigerians, especially during festive seasons. Poultry farming is a very profitable business that anyone can start with small capital. Read more here: How to start a poultry farming business in Nigeria
Snail farming is an untapped business in Nigeria. There are so many possibilities and potential in this business. You can read more here: How to start a snail farming business.
There are many other agriculture business ideas apart from the above listed. Do your research and go for the one that suits you, your location, and your budget.
3. Food business
There is no way the food business will not be among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. This is an evergreen business. People will always eat! No matter how hard the economy is, one thing people can never do without is food.
This is a business that, if you run well, can make you rich. It is also very easy to win loyal customers. As long as your food is delicious, people will always come back.
If you can find an excellent location, and acquire the right skills and personnel, you can run a successful food business. This is a business without season. It is in demand every day.
Here are some opportunities in the food business:
Nigerians love big brands like Mr. Bigg’s and co. Some of these brands are so popular that people are loyal to a particular brand. You can find a good location in any city, with no competition or minimal competition around, and establish a fast food franchise. Mr. Bigg’s is owned by United African Company of Nigeria (UAC), you can apply to them for a franchise opportunity.
Once approved, you can open your own Mr.Bigg’s fast food and make money. If you find a good location with minimal or no competition, you will make so much money. Apart from Mr. Bigg’s, you can open any franchise of your choice.
You can open a local restaurant that appeals to a particular set of food eaters. For example, you can open a “Calabar restaurant” where you serve the world-famous Edika-ikong and Affang soup. This will stand you out as people interested in these foods will look for you.
You can start an “amala restaurant” where you focus on the delicious amala dish.
When it comes to a local restaurant, having a specification can be a turning point.
Foreign and intercontinental restaurant
Foreign and intercontinental foods are becoming very popular in Nigeria. A restaurant that serves these kinds of meals attracts high-worth individuals, foreigners, and celebrities.
You can open a Chinese Restaurant, Italian restaurant, Indian restaurant, and so on. You can learn how to make dishes common in these restaurants or partner with someone who has a good understanding of it all.
Food supply business
This is a very lucrative business that you can do to make money. I know of a woman who runs this business. She supplies food at conferences, seminars, bank AGMs and so on.
The food supply business is lucrative. You need a have good cooking skills or employ someone who has. Then build a network of event planners and organizers. Also approach schools, companies, and so on. You will be amazed!
4. Blogging Business
Blogging business has definitely earned its place among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. More and more people prefer to read news online than in newspapers. Gradually news blogs are replacing newspapers for many people. This has opened enormous opportunities.
Bloggers make money through direct advertisement, ad networks, affiliate marketing, product sales, sponsored posts, partnerships, and many more. On average, high-end bloggers make over 20 million Naira every month in Nigeria.
Blogging is easy to start. With a very small capital. To start a self-hosted blog will cost you about N4, 000 for a domain name and N27, 000 for hosting for a year. You pay both for a year. That is just less than N35, 000 to start a business that can make you 20 million every month.
To start a blog or learn more, go to How to create a blog in less than 20 minutes.
5. Real Estate business
Real Estate business is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria and anywhere in the world. There is no doubt about it. People will always need a roof over their heads. As the population continues to increase, the real estate business will continue to boom. As people move to cities, this business keeps booming.
There are many opportunities in real estate business. You can work as an agent. Helping people find properties and an apartment for a fee or commission. Also helping property sellers and landlords find buyers or tenants for a fee.
You can develop properties in highly sought-after environments for sale or for rent. You can also invest in lands and either develop or sell when it appreciates.
6. Furniture business
The furniture business is deservedly among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. The market is huge and demand is high. People will always use furniture. People seat on furniture and sleep on the furniture. Kitchen – furniture, sitting room – furniture. Companies need furniture. We are surrounded by furniture. Furniture is an essential commodity.
You can start a carpentry shop where you make well-polished furniture for various purposes. Employ skilled carpenters. Supply furniture to showrooms, companies, and schools and sell to individuals.
If you are not interested in a carpentry shop, you can open a showroom and source for well-made furniture from good carpenters around. Display them and sell them. The market is huge and the profit margin is high.
7. Hotel business
Hotel business is very lucrative and cannot be overlooked among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. The population of Nigeria is huge and people move from one place to another either for pleasure or business. Hotel provides shelter for them. Also, people coming into the country patronize hotels.
To succeed in hotel business, you need to either look for a less competitive environment and start-up or offer better or cheaper services in a competitive area. To supplement your income, your hotels should have an event hall that people rent for events. A bar and restaurant.
8. Transportation business
Transportation makes this list of most lucrative businesses in Nigeria and deservedly so. This is one business that you cannot do without. People are always moving. Moving to work, moving to church or mosque, moving to visit, moving from city to city. There is always movement. With over 150 million people in Nigeria on the move, this business is lucrative.
You can start with small capital or big capital. You can drive Uber with your car for extra income. Buy buses, okada or keke-napep. Even planes. The market is huge and very much in demand. People are always moving!
9. Social media marketing
With so many people spending most of their time on social media, social media marketing has to be among the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
Social media marketing is all about using social media to find leads for businesses. You can work independently and help businesses make the best of social media or you can promote and sell product via social media.
10. Fashion business
There is no way fashion business will not make it to the list of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. Nigerians love parties, be it weddings, birthdays, or end-of-the-year gatherings. Even during funerals, we still find a way to throw a party – a burial ceremony! For all these events, there are uniforms.
The fashion business is very much in demand. People will always wear clothes. To go to work, school, or even to sleep, people need cloth. The demand is very high.
You can go into fashion design and make amazing clothes. You will have large patronize from different quarters. You can also open a boutique and sell imported and locally made fashion items. You can do printing services, print on t-shirts and caps.
There is also Okrika business. Read: How to start Okrika business in Nigeria. Remember, people will always wear cloth! The demand will always be there. You can also specialize in: children’s clothes, baby cloth, females, weddings, African print, and so on.
11. Online Video business
The truth is that people spend more time online than they spend watching TV. Gradually, consuming video online is becoming popular. Especially YouTube and Netflix.
If not for how expensive internet data is in Nigeria, a lot of people will have ignored their TV and watch almost everything online.
The market is big. You can start a video blog on YouTube and focus on your favourite subject. You make money from ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorship, and many more. Read: How to make money on YouTube.
If you have a big budget, you can start your own video or movie streaming platform.
12. Dry Cleaning business
This business is very lucrative in the city. Most busy workers rely on dry cleaners for their laundry needs. Companies and organizations make use of dry cleaning services very often. In this business, you will always have customers if you are in the right location.
Learn more here: How to Laundry business in Nigeria
13. Pure water business
If there is one thing humans can never do without, it is water. Because of the important nature of water, the pure water business makes this list of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
There are approximately 180 million people in Nigeria today and all of them drink water! That makes this business very profitable because you will always have buyers.
Read more: How to start pure water business in Nigeria
14. Dropshipping business
Dropshipping business is a very lucrative business. It gives you the opportunity to run your own online shop without a warehouse or need the need to have products.
All you have to do is open an online store, then copy inventory from manufacturers or suppliers and put them in your online shop. If anyone orders, the supplier will ship to them and you get your money!
You can start an online shop with WooCommerce, Shopify or any other platform. Read this guide: How to create an online shop very easily with Shopify
We will keep adding to and modifying this list. You can bookmark this page and check back in the future for the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Dropshipping is the most lucrative business in Nigeria with low capital. It involves selling various products online. But the good part is that you do not need to have a shop or an inventory. You sell what belongs to suppliers or big sellers and get commissions. It is very popular among young people in Nigeria. The tip is to find a niche that under-served
Digital businesses are the cheapest businesses to start in Nigeria as they usually do not require heavy capital. You can get started in most of them with just your access to the internet. Examples of digital businesses are dropshipping, blogging, Vblogging, skit-making, and so on.
There are a lot of businesses that you can do in Nigeria and make daily income. Most business that involves selling and buying brings daily income.