One of Africa’s largest economies, Nigeria is poised to grow by leaps and bounds by 2050, at an average of 4.2% year-on-year, rising eight places from 22nd to 14thin the rankings. While the government has struggled with corruption, residents have an entrepreneurial attitude that keeps pushing the country forward. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data, more than 30% of Nigerian residents are new entrepreneurs or the owner-manager of a new business, among the highest rate in the world.
“There is a ‘hustle and bustle’ culture in the air,” said Nigerian native Colette Otusheso, CEO of Accelerate TV, who lives in Lagos. “Nigerians are hard workers and it almost comes naturally for us to be working on several things at once, which means there is always something going on.”
Even the country’s challenges, like minimal public transportation, have segued into business opportunities. “We now have an app very similar to Uber for okadas (motorbike transport), which is the most used form of transport in Nigeria but in the past has not been very reliable,” said Otusheso. “Now we can track okada drivers and locations just as you do for transport and deliveries with Uber.”
Residents mostly feel positive about the county’s future but are wary of government corruption and foreign investment. “We need to be careful what country we take money from, who we allow to help us improve our infrastructure and what strings are attached to it,” said Nigerian native Chizoba Anyaoha, Founder of TravSolo, noting their history of other nations taking advantage of their natural resources and raw materials.
Newcomers should settle in Lagos or Abuja, both big cities with good schools and great nightlife and food. Just like any big city, street smarts are key. “The best way to acclimate here is to know someone currently living here you trust,” said Anyaoha. “It is quite easy to identify expats, making them easy targets. Keep a low profile, take precautions, always be aware of your surroundings and the people in it.”