Nigeria Overview

Nigeria is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, with the largest re-emergent manufacturing sector on the continent. Its expanding financial, service, communications, technology, entertainment and manufacturing sectors has pushed its economic growth significantly.

The country has a low debt-to-GDP ratio of approximately 16%. The petroleum sector plays an important role and is heavily relied upon; however, it is becoming a smaller part of the country’s overall economy as the agriculture, telecommunications and services sectors have started to emerge.

Poverty and inadequate infrastructure and inefficient social systems remain a huge challenge for the country, however the government is working to develop stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture and power.

Up to 95% of the country’s exports are petroleum and petroleum products.

Global State of the Market Report

In 2020, the Advisory Board Centre mapped professionals currently serving on Advisory Boards.  This assessment identified a low number of professionals on Advisory Boards in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Advisory Board Landscape

The assessment has identified low numbers of Advisory Board professionals in Nigeria. Minimal participation in the market may indicate:

  • That Advisory Board structures engaged in the country are informal in nature;
  • Advisory Boards are referred to as a different name, such as committees, councils or think tanks;
  • Traditional sourcing of advice is more customary for Nigeria’s current business environment; or
  • There is a language barrier stemming from the search for Advisory Board professionals being in English.

Future Growth Opportunities

As an emerging sector in Nigeria, connection and collaboration with the global Advisor community will present strong future growth opportunities. Further, focusing on key market sectors – agriculture, telecommunications and services – as well as acknowledging start-up and emerging industries is essential. It will also be important for Advisory Board professionals in the market to be credentialed to best practice and ethics as this sector grows over time.

Key Statistics

Population 201m Labour Force by occupation
GDP  448.1bn (USD) Agriculture 70%
Industry 10%
GDP by sector Services 20%
Agriculture 21.1%
Industry 22.5% Global ease of doing business rank 131st
Services 56.4% Global ease of doing business score 86.2/100
Imports 32.67bn (USD)
Export 1.146bn (USD)


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