(WIPO code: NG) (latest review July 2021)

by STILLWATERS LAW FIRM, Lagos – Mr. Afam Nwokedi

General Information

Area

923,768 sq. km.

Population

219,463,862 (estimated July 2021).

Federal capital

Abuja.

Main commercial center and port

Lagos and Port Harcourt.

Official language

English.

Main languages

Hausa, lbo, Yoruba.

Currency

Naira (NGN).

Imports

Pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, vehicles, oil services equipment, machinery, spare parts and now, refined petroleum products due to the poor state of the refineries.

Exports

Palm oil, rubber, cocoa, timber, groundnuts, palm kernels, crude oil, coal, columbite, tin ore, tin metal, hides and skins.

Administration

Nigeria operates a three tier federal structure made up of Local, States, and Federal Governments. The Federation now comprises 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory located at Abuja, the seat of the Federal Government.

Each tier of government is made up of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The local government Executive is made up of the elected Chairman and Supervisory Councillors; the State Executive comprises the elected Governor and Commissioners; while the Federal Executive is made up of an elected President and his Ministers.

The legislative arm of the local government comprises elected Councillors; the States have members of the Houses of Assembly; while that of the federation comprises of members of the National Assembly made up of the Senate and House of Representatives. The legislative arm makes laws for their respective local government areas, the States, and the whole federation.

The Judiciary is made up of Customary Courts, The Sharia Court of Appeal, States' Magistrates and State High Courts. The High Courts of the Federal Capital Territory, the Federal High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, which is the apex court in the country.

General Remarks

Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer. Natural gas is also an important resource with initiatives now being undertaken to exploit it - for example, The Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) project, Mobil's Oso condensate project and Chevron's Escravos Liquified Natural Gas project. Agriculture is still important and there is a growing timber industry and large rice and cassava plantations in the south of the country. The southwest also produces cocoa, rubber, and timber whilst the southeast is the main area for palm oil, rice and cassava productions. Cattle farming is predominant in the north which also produces grains and a large percentage of the vegetable food stuff for domestic consumption. Manufacturing industries which saw an expansion in the 70's and 80's are now stagnating due to a severe challenges in the electricity generation. Hydroelectrical power is being produced from the River Niger, particularly from the Kainji Dams, but the country relies most on three thermal power stations (also powered by gas).