Nigeria is the most populous black nation and the giant of the Africa continent. Our culture is rich and diverse. We have over 300 ethnic groups in this great nation.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was allegedly coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Baron Frederick Lugard, a British colonial administrator. The origin of the name Niger, which originally applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is likely an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
Nigeria today is marked by the emergence in various epochs of civilisations, kingdoms, states and empires, as well as a caliphate and colonial rule, before the founding of the Nigeria Nation-State in 1914 and its subsequent independence in 1960. Archaeological evidence from various parts of Nigeria suggests that parts of the country were occupied by man since the Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age period (500,000-9000 B.C.) and that such populations seem to have been physically and culturally contiguous with the present-day inhabitants. In the north, the most populous groups comprised the Hausa, the Kanuri, the Bolawa, the Ngizim, the Menga, the Margi, the Buduma, the Kotoko, and the Fulani who joined in the 19th Century through trade, Jihad and conquest. Of all these peoples, the Kanuri, the Hausa and the Fulani engaged in state formation and empire building process. The Kanuri people were closely connected with the people of Kanem in eastern part of Lake Chad, in which a kingdom comprising several small states emerged in about 9th Century. In AD 774, there emerged the Sefawa, who eventually came to dominate the whole Lake Chad area. The beginning of this empire coincided with the rise of Mali and Al-Kawkaw or Songhai, and with the period of Ghana’s greatness. For many years, what came to be known as the Kanuri Empire was made up of two parts, separated by the Lake: Kanem (in present-day Chad) and Borno (in Nigeria).
The Hausa people are by far the most numerous and occupy the greater part of northern Nigerian territory. They were made up of two major groups of seven states each. The first group of states included Biram, Daura, Katsina, Zaria, Kano, Rano, and Gobir, while the second group included Kebbi, Zamfara, Nupe, Gwari, Yauri, Ilorin and Kwararafa. Political and religious themes constituted the development of Hausa states up to the beginning of the 19th Century. The search for larger and more secure political entities stood out as the dominant theme of Hausa political life. Thus, from about the 15th Century, there had been intense rivalry and conflict between Katsina, Kano, and Zazzau (Zaria). Between 1500 and 1800 Century, there had been unsuccessful attempts to build lasting empires by welding together many of the numerous Hausa states. Consequently, during various phases, one power rose to pre-eminence only to be supplanted by another. During the 15th Century, Zazzau, under the legendary Queen Amina, established what the first Hausa Empire was, in effect, Zazzau dominion is said to have extended over territories as far as the Benue and the Niger and in some form over Bauchi, Kano, and Daura. Amina’s epoch was succeeded by the imposition of Borno overlordship on the Hausa states. Following the 19th Century Jihad of Uthman dan Fodio, the Fulani occupied northern Nigeria, dominated the Hausa states and established the Sokoto Caliphate. The Hausa/Fulani territory was renowned for leather works and exported shoes to Spain through trans-saharan trade routes.
Central Nigerian Kingdoms and Empires
To the south of Hausa land and Borno, the number of ethnic groups was legion. Ethnic heterogeneity reached its peak in the region of Bauchi Plateau, Adamawa province. The vast majority of the ethnic groups south of Hausa land and Borno seem not to have organized themselves into closely integrated states. In this politically fragmented region, the Jukuns (Kwararafa) of the Gongola Benue valleys, the Igala, the Igbira-Panda, Nupe, the Oyo Yoruba of the savanna belt, as well as the Borgawa and the Edo were organized into comparatively powerful kingdoms and empires.
Yoruba Kingdoms and Empires
The Yoruba kingdoms started in about the eleventh century. The various kingdoms shared the belief that their several founders originated from Ife. The kingdom was the unit of political power. But cultural identity went beyond the kingdom to include sub-ethnic groups speaking the same dialect. Of these sub-ethnic groups, the principal ones were Oyo, Egba, Egbado, Ijebu, Ijesa, Ekiti, Ondo, Akoko, and Owo. The most successful of the Yoruba kingdoms in building up its power was the Oyo Kingdom. Taking advantage of its location, it built up a cavalry force which gave it dominance not only throughout the Oyo area, but also over the neighbouring parts of Borgu and Nupe, over Egbaland and Egbado, as well as over Dahomey and Porto Novo. By the end of the 18thCentury, Oyo Empire had gone long way in disintegrating due to challenges to the authority of the Alaafin in the second half of the 18th century by leading civil and military chiefs. In about 1837, it collapsed completely due to civil wars and effects of the Fulani jihad.
Benin Kingdoms and Empires
The heartlands of the Benin Kingdom belong to the Edo group. The kingdom has almost certainly been in existence for less than a millennium. The traditions preserved by the monarchy itself traced with a fair degree of conviction to an origin around the 13th Century. Some thirty rulers are reckoned to have reigned in that span of time. Beyond that, we encounter much vaguer accounts of an earlier monarchy extending back over another thirty reigns to the supposed first settlement of the Edo in that area. Tradition insists that the hereditary order of Uzama chiefs existed in Benin before the present line of kings was established and that theirs are the oldest of all the Benin chieftaincy titles. It is also possible that there evolved from within this Edo community a paramount chieftaincy of either an hereditary or elective character which would have given Benin an early experience of kingship.
Kingdoms and Autonomous Communities of the Delta region and Eastern Nigeria
To the south of the Edo and the Yoruba are the people of the Delta region and the Igbo in the east of the Niger. Several types of social and political institutions are found among the peoples of the Delta region. They include the kingdoms of Aboh and Itsekiri, and the fragmented societies of the Ukwuani, Urhobo, Isoko and Ijo. The Itsekiri kingdom appears to have already developed by the middle of the 16th century. The Kingdom, ruled by an Olu and a Council of Ojoye, is very compact; it comprises the capital of Ode- Itsekiri and a few settlements scattered along the Forcados, Escravos and Benin Rivers. The Ijo, also settled in this region over several Centuries have scattered kingdoms, including the Egbema, Gbaramatu and Ogbe-Ijo around the Escravos river in present day Delta State, Nembe in Bayelsa State, etc. Although the development of Aboh kingdom was uncertain, it was apparently powerful enough to have influence over most of the riverine clans as well as some upland clans. Intelligence Report compiled by the British in the 1930s lists Ogume, Ashaka, Amai, Ossissa, Afo, Adiai, Aso, Umuolu, Okpai, Utuoku, Akarai and Onya as some of the clans which recognized the authority of the Obi of Aboh.
The Igbo are often categorised among the non-centralised societies. This categorisation is due to the fact that the Igbo did not come under the umbrella of a single state or evolve state system of any great size. However, in spite of this, Igbo society and culture enjoyed a basic uniformity of pattern and of cosmological and social ideas. But through their military dominance, and their position as spokesmen of the Oracle, the Aro established what amounted to a theocratic state over eastern Nigeria.
The Lagos Colony came into existence in 1861 following the conquest of Lagos by the British. The colony was administered by a Governor with a legislative council.
External Influences up to 1861
The first external influence came from trading activities of the Muslim merchants from North Africa and Arabia. The Muslim merchants carried with them to Nigeria the Koran, and converted people. These Arabs traded in gold, ivory, iron, hides, kola nuts, slaves, and gum. Two out of the four trans-Saharan trade routes connected directly to northern Nigeria. From Tunis the third route passed through Ghadames, Ghat, and the country of Aïr, down to Agades and Hausa land. Parallel to this, to the east, was the fourth route from Tripoli to Murzuk in Fezzan, through Bilma and on the territories of Kanem and Borno in the Lake Chad region.
The Atlantic slave trade, which began in the 15th Century, was the largest intercontinental migration in world history before the nineteenth century. For 300 years, more Africans than Europeans crossed the Atlantic each year. The evolution of western-controlled plantation slavery, the revolution in maritime technology, and the movement of Mediterranean plantation agriculture out into the Atlantic basin worked together in creating the Atlantic slave trade. The economic complex sometimes called the South Atlantic System, centered on the production of tropical staples in Brazil, the Caribbean, and southern North America. The Portuguese, the Spaniard, the Dutch, the French and the English were all involved in the slave trade.
After the abolition of the Slave trade in Britain in 1807 and in south of Equator in 1834, there followed the growth of legitimate trade stimulated by the penetration of European merchant capital into Nigeria, essential to the development of capitalism. Export of cocoa, groundnuts, rubber, palm oil, etc. to the world market was a means by which the resources of natural economy of pre-colonial Nigeria hitherto slumbering in dormant inaction were released into the sphere of circulation and utilised for the further augmentation or expansion of capital – a worldwide process of “accumulation of capital”. The result of this was a shift from European settlement on the coast to European penetration into the hinterland. This was facilitated by the exploration of the River Niger and was followed by missionary activities, conquest and colonisation.
The Nigerian Nation-state in Gestation: Conquests, Treaties and Amalgamations, 1861-1914
Chronologically, the conquest of Nigeria through military campaign was inaugurated by the annexation of Lagos in 1861. In 1878, Onitsha was sacked and Asaba bombarded. Similarly, by 1884, the National African Company had concluded about thirty seven treaties at the Niger territories including Atani, Onitsha, Abo, Osomala, Ndoni, Oko, Odekpe. Internal wars among the Yoruba, caused mainly by the decline of Oyo Empire and rivalry over the control of trade, gave the British the opportunities to gain political control further inside. In 1886, through efforts of British Prince of Peace Mission, led by Rev. Samuel Johnson, a treaty was signed to conclude the Ibadan/Ekiti Parapo War. With the exile of Jaja of Opobo in 1887 his territory became part of Niger Protectorate.
In 1892, the United African Company fought Aguleri. On 18 January 1893, the Governor of Lagos Gilbert Thomas Carter signed, at Abeokuta, a “Treaty of Friendship and Commerce” with Oba Osokalu, the Alake of Egbaland. Again, on 3 February 1893, Carter concluded a similar treaty with Oba Adeyemi, the Alafin of Oyo. These treaties opened up the Yoruba country to European penetration. In 1894, Ebrohimi, the strong- hold of Nana the Itsekiri was bombarded and Nana exiled on the accusation of slave trade and interference with free market. In 1896, an expedition was sent against Brass and the community was sacked.
The British discovery of the use of rubber for the production of pneumatic tyre made entry into Benin forest imperative. In a major expedition mounted against Benin in 1897, the city was sacked and its treasury looted. Shortly after the revocation of the Charter of the United African Company, and shortly after his appointment as a British High Commissioner to establish British control over Northern Nigeria, Lugard, at an impressive ceremony in Lokoja, 1st January 1900, hoisted the union Jack and declared the Sokoto Caliphate a British protectorate. Although this declaration was greeted with fierce battle, by 1906 most of the North had fallen to the British imperial forces. Resistance to alien rule gradually receded as one moved from coastal areas and the banks of major inland waterways to less easily accessible areas. Hence, new political arrangements were sought by those in control of affairs. The Salbourn Committee on amalgamation recommended in August 1898 that the British “Niger Territories” be ultimately Amalgamated. In May 1906, the Lagos Colony and Protectorate were amalgamated with the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to form the new Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. The second installment took place in 1914 when these territories (in the South) were administratively combined with the protectorate of Northern Nigeria, giving birth to the geo-political entity that was to be named “Nigeria” (in evocation of “River Niger” and the “Area” it flows through).
The history of Nigeria show cases a rich Cultural heritage. The earliest of this heritage is the Nok culture, which flourished extensively in the western part of Jos Plateau in Northern part of Nigeria between 900 BC and AD 200. Nok Culture also extended as far as Katsina, Ala, Ankiring, Kagara, Taruga and Yelwa. It was characterized by distinctive ways of making terracotta figurines mostly head of human beings. Other Nok artefacts included round stone axes, iron axe blades, small stone arrow points and barbs, quantities of pottery, among others. Not far from the Nok Culture area was the Daima culture with its simple clay animal bronze figures which were by the 6th Century BC being made by a population of Neolithic herdsmen. At the settlement mound of Diama, in north-western Borno, south of Lake Chad, the people began to build circular huts of mud which had floors made of potsherd pavements. These fired clay figures included a humped cow, sheep or goats, wild animals and human beings.
Terracotta sculptures have also been recovered from Ile-Ife. They included the naturalistic sculpture in brass and pottery which were being produced sometime between AD 1110 and 1450. The subject matter of their work of arts included human and animal figures. Ife sculptures were made of copper alloyed with zinc and with relatively high quality of lead. Few of the objects were made of copper. The Ife sculptures have been placed around the 12th and 14th Century AD.
Benin royal art consisted of bronze objects cast by the lost- wax process such as statuettes, stylized heads, some of which served as supports for carved elephant tusks and bas-reliefs representing historical events. Besides, the art of casting bronze, terracotta modeling also existed. Ivory was also worked with outstanding virtuosity; among the varied objects produced were complete elephant tusks decorated either with basketry, weaving or matting. By and large, Benin had a large number of objects (over 2000) most of which strictly speaking should be referred to as brass objects. The few early Benin objects have been dated to about the 13th Century AD.
Igbo-ukwu culture consisted of a large collection of objects and regalia of an important personality and objects from shrines. The manufacturing techniques fall into two categories Perdue or lost wax technique and smiting/chasing method. The Igbo-Ukwu culture which dated from 9th century AD contained both chased copper objects and elaborate castings of lead bronze. The earliest artistic casting from black Africa, these pieces consist of ritual vessels and other ceremonial objects with intricate surface decoration.
Nigeria is blessed with several tourist locations.
Nigeria offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such as extended and roomy rivers, beaches ideal for swimming as well as other water sports. The country also has attractions ranging from the unique wildlife, vast tracts of unspoiled nature ranging from tropical forests, magnificent waterfalls, to new rapidly growing cities, and climatic conditions that are particularly conducive for holidaying. Other attractions include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs.
Also available are rich and varied handicrafts and other colorful products depictive or illustrative of native arts and lifestyle, as well as the authentic unsophisticated but friendly attitude of many in the Nigerian population. Many of these attractions are however still largely untapped. Visitors in search of fun, exotic, or adventurous experiences are encouraged to visit to enjoy and benefit from these wonderful offers.
Investment opportunities within Nigeria’s tourism industry
A deterrent for many potential Nigeria bound tourists is the lack of required modern infrastructural facilities and acute conditions of underdevelopment as well as poverty in some parts of the country. The new administration, since the assumption of office, has been tackling these impediments to tourism. Local and foreign investors are therefore called upon to come and invest in the abundant tourism potentials in the country. The richness and diversity of Nigeria’s tourism resources coupled with economic liberalization policies will provide investment opportunities in areas such as:
- Development of Heritage and cultural tourism resources, such as the slave trade relics.
- Establishment of museums and preservation of monuments.
- Development of eco-tourism, including wildlife tourism resources.
- Development of hiking trails and Jeep tracks in the national parks.
- Development of picnic and camping sites at strategic locations within the trail circuit system in the national parks.
- The building of tourist lodges.
- The building of reception centres in various touristic sites
- Provision of cable bus systems for touring the very rugged but scenic terrain of the mountains especially in Kanyang, Obudu, and Mambila Plateau.
- Construction of lodging cabins for expedition tourists and rangers.
- Establishment of hotels and resorts near waterfalls, springs, caves, and temperate climate areas such as Obudu, Jos, and Mambila Plateau.
- Establishment of sports and fishing facilities in and around beaches
- Development of water transportation and the provision of educational facilities for water skiing and swimming.
- Establishment of holiday resorts along the coasts.
- Development of amusement parks, entertainment facilities, and shopping services.
- Development of arts and crafts which constitute symbols of the people’s cultural values and love of nature.
INVEST IN NIGERIA
Nigeria was proclaimed Africa’s largest economy in 2014, following the rebased calculation of its Gross Domestic Products – GDP to capture hitherto undervalued or neglected sectors such as its flourishing entertainment industry (Nollywood and Nigerian Music) and Information and Communications Technology – ICT. Nigeria’s GDP then totaled over 510 billion dollars. The GDP has also been registering an impressive growth rate in recent years, exceeding 6% annually. Nigeria is one of Africa’s most attractive destinations for investors. Besides the diverse natural resources it is endowed with, Nigeria disposes of a huge human capital, with trained and qualified professionals readily available at competitive costs in the employment market. Investors would also be impressed by the array of investment incentives they can take advantage of in various sectors. Nigeria, investors would quickly discover, is a market characterised by the high return on investment it offers. Nigeria’s investment environment is supported by strong and reliable financial institutions and government agencies.
NIGERIAN INVESTMENT PROMOTION COMMISSION
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) is a Federal Agency charged, among others, with coordinating, monitoring and providing necessary assistance and guidance for the establishment and operation of enterprises in Nigeria. It is not only the gateway to investment in Nigeria for foreign investors and Nigerian investors seeking to engage in value-added activities in their country, but also Nigeria’s window to the international investment world. It is a Federal Agency with a perpetual succession and a common seal. NIPC collects, collates, analyze and disseminates information and data on investment opportunities and sources of capital. It advises on business partnership and identifies specific projects in which potential investors can be solicited to participate.
The NIPC registers and keeps records of all companies to which the NIPC Act applies. It maintains the interaction between investors and ministries, government departments and agencies, financial institutions and other authorities concerned with investments. It anchors the One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) which interfaces with companies on incorporation and registration matters. www.nipc.gov.ng
ONE STOP INVESTMENT CENTRE-OSIC
Established in 2006 within the framework of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), as its name indicates, is an organ set up to facilitate investment in all sectors of Nigeria’s economy. It provides a single portal or contact point for sourcing information and carrying out the necessary formalities with a view to obtaining all the required approvals before the operation of a business. OSIC brings together the divers services normally provided separately by various government agencies involved in company registration and operations formalities. It is a point of convergence for coordinated and streamlined action. The centre also assists existing and prospective investors with statistical data and information on the Nigerian economy, investment climate, legal and regulatory framework, as well as sector and industry- specific information, to facilitate the making of informed business decisions.
Services offered by OSIC include:
• Providing general information and data on Nigeria’s economy, as well as advisory services on investment opportunities;
•Granting of business entry approvals, permits and authorisations;
•Assisting with company incorporation and registration;
•Facilitating post-entry approvals, licences and other sector-specific permits with statutory government agencies with extant mandate;
• Assisting with tax registration and clearance;
• Assisting with work permit, expatriate quota and other immigration formalities;
• Facilitating Customs clearance for investment projects. OSIC brings together, for speedy service delivery, several agencies and ministries, among others.
BUSINESS INCORPORATION AND REGISTRATION: A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT
All businesses in Nigeria must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission before going formally into operation. Registration can take various forms as follows, depending on the type of business:
•Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd)
•Public Limited Company (PLC)
•Company Limited by Guarantee
•Subsidiary or Branch of a foreign company
•Partnership or Joint Venture
•Incorporated Trustees (religious, charitable, philanthropic or cultural)
• Representative Office (in special cases)
A minimum share capital of Ten Thousand Naira (N10 000) is required to set up a private company (Limited Liability). For a Public Company (PLC) the required minimum share capital is five hundred thousand naira, (500,000 Naira). A minimum subscription of 25% of the authorised capital is also required at the point of incorporation.
Company Registration Process
Company Registration process has been streamlined and simplified to enhance efficiency and rapidity, with the establishment of the One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), located in the premises of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Through the services of OSIC, companies can now be registered in a matter of days. However, companies which so wish can engage the services of a legal counsel to perform the registration formalities, although this may attract a substantial fee. The following are the main steps in the process of company registration:
• Prepare the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the proposed company.
• Conduct at the Corporate Affairs Commission availability search on the proposed name of the company; once the company name is approved, a set of incorporation forms should be purchased and filled; the registration of business name can be conducted without the assistance of a legal practitioner and attracts a fee of 10,000 Naira (Ten Thousand Naira).
• Submit appropriate documents to the Federal Inland Revenue Service for payment of stamp duties and stamping.
• Submit the completed and stamped documents with together with the corresponding permits to the CAC for verification and final approval.
•The Certificate of Incorporation is then issued, with the accompanying Certified True Copies of relevant documents to the investor. All post-registration processes are done at the Head Office of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) where all files are kept in safe custody and data entered on the CAC records.
Incorporating and Operating a foreign Company
Foreign companies wishing to establish and operate in Nigeria must accomplish required formalities for the local incorporation of the Nigerian branch or subsidiary, or autonomous business entity. Prior registration must be done before embarking on any business activity. An investor may, however, give power of attorney to a solicitor for a limited period of time during which incorporation is being processed. This arrangement would then be indicated in the relevant incorporation documents, specifying that the solicitor, whose name appears therein, is merely acting as an “Agent” or “Principal”. The appointed solicitor ceases to function in the specified capacity upon the completion of the registration formalities. The locally incorporated company must then register with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) before commencing formal operations. It may also apply to NIPC for other investment approvals (expatriate quota, etc.) and incentives ((Pioneer Status, etc.).
Exemption from Incorporation
Where applicable, exemption from local incorporation may be granted in accordance with Section 56 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. Application to this effect should be addressed to the National Council of Ministers, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). The National Council of Ministers eventually grants the exemption in the terms it deems fit. Below are the concerned categories of businesses:
• Foreign Companies which are in Nigeria for the execution of a specific individual loan project on behalf of a donor country or an international organisation;
• Foreign government-owned companies engaged solely in export promotion activities; • Engineering consultants and technical experts on any individual specialist project under contract with any of the governments of the Federation or any of their agencies or with any other body or person, where such contract has been approved by the government.
CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (CAC)
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was established by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (1990) as an autonomous body to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. The Commission dispenses a wide range of services before, during and after incorporation and registration of business enterprises. It administers the Companies and Allied Matters Act promulgated in 1990 and commonly called the “Companies Act”. It is headed by a Registrar General/ Chief Executive Officer.
Among the functions and services offered by the Corporate Affairs Commission Headquarters are:
• Registration of business name and incorporation of companies;
• Registration of Incorporated Trustees;
• Same Day Incorporation Services, whereby, under certain conditions, companies can be registered within one day;
• Issuance of True Certified Copies of filed company documents;
• Registration of share capital increases, mortgages, etc.;
• Processing the statutory filings of Annual Returns, increase, changes in the memo and articles, addresses, etc.
• Management and winding- up of companies.
The Corporate Affairs Commission has branch offices in all the 36 states of the Federation. It enjoys accreditation for ISO 9001 for its services. www.cac.gov.ng
A foreign company may set up representative office in Nigeria. However, such an office can only serve as a pro- motional and liaison office and its local expenses have to be covered by the foreign company. It cannot engage in business activities or conclude contracts or open or negotiate any letters of credit.
Legislation On Investment
Two principal laws govern investment in Nigeria, with emphasis on foreign investment: •The Nigerian Investment Promotion Act N° 16 of 1995;
•The Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act N°17 of 1995. The functions Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), as stipulated by the NIPC Act 16, 1995, are wide-ranging and include coordinating, monitoring, encouraging and providing necessary assistance to and guidance for the establishment and operation of businesses in Nigeria. The NIPC is also to promote investment in and outside Nigeria through effective means. The highlights of the above- mentioned Acts (N°16 and N° 17 of 1995) with regards to investment are as follows:
• A foreigner may invest and participate in the operation of any enterprise in Nigeria; •An enterprise in which foreign participation is permitted shall, after its incorporation, be registered with the NIPC;
• A foreign enterprise may buy shares of any Nigerian enterprise in any convertible currency;
• A foreign investor in a registered enterprise is guaranteed unconditional transferability of funds through an authorised dealer, in any convertible currency, be it: – dividends or profit (net of taxes) attributable to the investment; – payments in respect of loan servicing, where a foreign loan has been obtained; – proceeds (net of taxes and other obligations) in the event of sale or liquidation of enterprise or any interest attributable to the investment; – the entire capital can be transferred should the investor decide to relocate elsewhere.
The legislation on investment also provides solid assurance regarding the protection of investment. It guards against nationalisation or expropriation of an enterprise by the government and the compulsory dispossession of an investor of his/her interest in the capital of an enterprise, whether wholly or in part. It guards against the acquisition of an enterprise by the government unless the such an acquisition is in the best interest of a public purpose, in which case adequate compensation must be paid promptly, with authorisation for full repatriation of the proceeds in convertible currency, where applicable. The law also gives the investor the right of access to the courts for determination of his/her interest of right and the compensation to which he/she is entitled.
Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements
Countries willing to invest in Nigeria may choose to enter into bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with the Nigerian government. Deregulation of Equity Structure in Nigerian Enterprises
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Act N° 16 of 1995 has effectively abolished any restrictions in respect of the limits of foreign shareholding in an enterprise registered in Nigeria. However, certain categories of enterprises remain subject to authorisation for non-Nigerians:
• Production of arms and ammunition;
• Production of and dealing innarcotics and psychotropic substances;
• Manufacture of military and paramilitary wears and accoutrements;
• Participating in coastal and inland shipping.
ROLE OF THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM
The Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are the primary institutions regulating the Nigerian financial system as regards investment. The financial system comprises bank and non-bank institutions. Other institutions involved in the regulation of the financial system include the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the National Board for Community Banks.
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
The Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) is the central regulatory organ of the Nigerian financial system. It advises the Federal Government on its fiscal policies and operations, and monetary matters generally, in con- junction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). www.fmf.gov.ng
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the apex regulatory authority of the financial system established in 1958, the Bank promotes monetary stability and a sound financial system. Its powers have been expanded since 1991 to regulate and oversee the banking sector. It also licenses banks and finance companies. CBN www.cenbank.org
NIGERIAN DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) provides deposit insurance and ancillary services to banks so as promote confidence in the banking industry. It is therefore empowered to examine the books of insured banks and financial institutions receiving deposits. It guarantees the depositor a certain amount in the event of bank failure. Though autonomous, the NDIC complements the regulatory and supervisory role of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Main regulatory organ of the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission is
Maintains surveillance over the market to enhance efficiency and ensure discipline. It regulates and approves mergers and acquisitions.
NATIONAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is charged with the administration, supervision and regulation of the insurance business in Nigeria. It protects insurance policy holders, precisely through a bureau established to receive and attend to com- plaints by members of the public against insurance companies and their agents.
THE MONEY MARKET
The Money Market is a mechanism which facilitates the raising of short-term funds from the surplus sectors of the economy to the deficit sectors. The deficit sectors which could be public or private, obtain funds from the market to bridge budgetary gaps by either engaging in interbank taking or trading in short-term securities such as Treasury Bills, Treasury Certificates, Call Money, Certificates of Deposit (CD) and Commercial Papers (CP). With the commencement of the Open Market by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the scope of the Money Market has been expanded. The number of participants has also increased with the establishment of discount Houses. Money Market institutions include Discount Houses, Commercial Banks, special purpose banks such as Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank, as well as Micro-Finance Banks.
Discount Houses are non-bank financial institutions which intervene in mobilising funds for investment in securities in response to the liquidity of the system. This is achieved by providing discount/rediscounting facilities in government short-term securities. Discount houses serve as financial intermediaries between the Central Bank of Nigeria, licensed bank and other financial institutions. First Securities Discount House Ltd, Express Discount House Ltd, Associated Discount House Ltd, Kakawa Discount House Ltd and Consolidated Discount House Ltd, are among the Discount Houses currently in operation.
DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE
The Debt Management Office was established as an autonomous body to address the problems of debt. It centralizes debt management functions in one single agency, to ensure proper coordination. These functions include debt recording, debt service forecasts and payments, debt negotiations and borrowings. DMO www.dmonigeria.com
FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is a major contributor to the Nigerian financial system. It is an agency which processes all tax-related matters (tax registration, tax collection and management, issuance of tax clearance certificate and payment of stamp duties, etc.).
BANK OF AGRICULTURE
The Bank of Agriculture, formerly Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) came into being through the merger in 2000 of the Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (founded in 1973), the People’s Bank of Nigeria and the risk assets of the Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP). The name Bank of Agriculture was adopted in 2010. Owned by the Federal Government (Federal Ministry of Finance 60% and Central Bank of Nigeria 40%), the BOA now stands as the single largest development institution in Nigeria. It operates three main types of loan schemes:
• Small holder loan scheme: subsidised credit scheme for small scale farmers and enterprises;
• Large-scale or Investment Loan Scheme: for medium and large-scale farmers and enterprises; requires a proper investment appraisal by the borrower;
• On-lending scheme: provision of wholesale credit to other on-lending agents (apex- credit bodies, cooperatives, government institutions) The bank’s main source of fun- ding are the Federal Government of Nigeria, inter- national development agencies, equity and deposit accounts.
BANK OF INDUSTRY
The Bank of Industry (BOI) is an offshoot of the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) which was incorporated in 1964. It is one Nigeria’s oldest development financing institutions. It came into being in its present form in 2001, following the restructuring of NIDB. The core mandate of Bank of Industry (BOI) is to provide financial assistance for the establishment of large, medium and small projects; as well as expansion, diversification and modernization of existing enterprises; and rehabilitation of ailing industries.
BUSINESS ETHICS AND CONDUCT, PRODUCT CONTROL
Several institutions are charged with the control of business operations and products to ensure compliance with the law as regards business ethics and con- duct and quality standards. They include the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission.
STANDARD ORGANISATION OF NIGERIA
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria is empowered to enforce standards, quality control of products, science of measurement and all matters relating to metrology. It also has powers to designate, establish and approve standards in respect of metrology, materials, commodities, structures and processes for the certification of products in commerce and industry throughout Nigeria. SON has branches spread across the Federation; it set up and operates the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme. It also put in place the SONCAP process, used to verify that products to be imported into Nigeria are in conformity with the applicable NIS or approved equivalents and technical regulations before shipment. The Standards Organisation of Nigeria is headed by a Director General. SON www.son.gov.ng
NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOODS AND DRUGS ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a parastatal established in 1993 under the Federal Ministry of Health and charged with verifying the compliance of all food products, drinks and drugs produced and distributed in Nigeria, imported into or exported from the country, with established quality standards and specifications, which guarantee fitness for human or animal consumption as the case may be. Such products must be declared to NAFDAC for testing, approval and registration before being introduced into the market. The registration number delivered for each product must be printed on its package for easy check by consumers. Recently, the registration number features in a bar code that consumers can photograph with a cell phone camera and text to given number, then instant feedback will be received indicating if the product is approved by NAFDAC or not. NAFDAC is responsible for authorising (controlling) the importation and exportation of Narcotic drugs, psychotropic and other controlled substances, to ensure that their use is limited to medical and scientific purposes.
NIGERIAN CONTENT NCDMB NIGERIAN CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING BOARD
Nigerian Content is the quantum of composite value added or created in the Nigerian economy through the utilisation of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services to the petroleum industry within acceptable quality, health, safety and environment standards in order to stimulate the development of indigenous capabilities. The Nigerian Content Development Board, headed by an Executive Secretary, is charged with enforcing the Nigerian Content Policy. Established in 2010, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is saddled with the following responsibilities, among others:
• Increase indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry,
• Build local capacity and competencies,
•Create linkages to other sectors of the national economy;
• Boost industry contributions to the growth of our National Gross Domestic Product. Investors are strongly encouraged to take cognisance of Nigerian content dispositions that may apply to their field of activity, particularly in the oil sector, as they go into operation.
NIGERIAN DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
Established in 1990, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency – NDLEA is charged with the elimination of the production, processing, selling, exporting, importing and trafficking of hard drugs.
Nigerian Drug policies are streamlined with the international conventions such as the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances. While pursuing its actions to arrest carriers of illicit drugs, the NDLEA is also focusing on the controlling members of narcotics and money laundering organisations. NDLEA Contact: www.ndlea.gov.ng
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION AND INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES AND OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION
Two government agencies are charged with spearheading the fight against corruption and financial crimes: the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC, set up in 2004, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), established in 2000. They are empowered to initiate investigation into reported cases of corruption and financial malpractice and engage legal action against the individuals involved. Besides, their missions include the prevention of such illegal acts. The ICPC is specifically charged with handling corruption and financial crimes involving government officials and other public service officers. The EFCC has been very active in the war against money laundering and the famous “Advance Fee Fraud”, commonly called “419” scam, in reference to the decree made to combat it. Advance fee frauds are proposals by swindlers to transfer huge sums of money into the bank accounts of their would be victims, who would be rewarded for their cooperation with attractive commissions, but from whom in reality money would be extorted without any services rendered. www.efcc.org and www.icpc.gov.ng ■