Business Environment

flag Nigeria Nigeria: Business Environment

In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices


Accounting Rules

Tax Year
From 1 January  to 31 December (calendar year).
Accounting Standards
Nigeria's legal, accounting and regulatory systems are consistent with international standards (NASB SAS / IAS / IFRS);  however, implementation cannot be guaranteed.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Securities and Exchange Commission
Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act
Accounting Reports
A statement of accounts, balance sheet, a profit or loss statement, the auditors' report and management report must be prepared and submitted. Additionally, in the case of a holding company, the group's financial statement must also be prepared.
Publication Requirements
The financial statements must be prepared and submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) annually.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria , Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
Association of National Acountants of Nigeria , Association of National Acountants of Nigeria
Certification and Auditing
The auditors are appointed at the annual general meeting of a company. Those eligible to be appointed as external auditors are generally Chartered Accountants, members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) or members of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

Institute of Internal Auditors ; KPMG Nigeria ; Ernst & Young ; Bamisile Group ; PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Accounting News

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value-added tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
Some goods and services are exempt from VAT, such as exported goods and services (aside from non-oil exports); medical goods and services and pharmaceutical products; basic food items; locally produced sanitary napkins; books and educational materials; plant, machinery and goods imported for use in free-trade zones; plant, machinery and equipment purchased for the utilization of gas in downstream petroleum operations; tractors, plows and agricultural implements purchased for agricultural purposes; services rendered by community banks and mortgage institutions; plays and performances by educational institutions as part of learning; proceeds from the disposal of short-term federal government of Nigeria securities and bonds.
Zero-rated items include non-oil exports; goods and services purchased by diplomats and those purchased for humanitarian donor-funded projects.
Other Consumption Taxes
Excise duty is imposed on products such as tobacco, alcohol and carbonated and sweetened beverages.
Goods liable to excise duties have been expanded to include telecommunication services provided in the country.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Resident companies are liable to corporate income tax on their worldwide income, whereas non-residents are subject to taxation only on their Nigeria-source income.
Non-resident companies providing professional, consultancy, management and technical services to Nigerian residents are subject to a 10% final tax if the company has a "significant economic presence" in Nigeria. The same principle applies to digital companies, which are subject to income tax in Nigeria on profits attributable to the taxable presence in the country.
In general, it is illegal for a non-resident company to operate through a branch in Nigeria.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains tax is generally levied at a rate of 10% of the profit made from assets disposal. Computation of capital gains tax is done by deducting from the sum received or receivable, the cost of acquisition to the person realizing the chargeable gain, plus expenditure incurred on the improvement or expenses incidental to the realization of the asset.

Gains from
the sale of shares are exempt in several cases:
transactions valued above NGN 100 million or where the gains are reinvested in a Nigerian company within a 12 month period or where the transaction is related to a Regulated Securities Lending Transaction.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Expenses are deductible for depreciation and depletion and for expenses wholly incurred for the business or trade. Interest expenses on money borrowed and employed in producing taxable income, bad debts and charitable contributions are also deductible. Donations made in cash or kind to any fund set up by the government in respect of any pandemic or natural disaster are deductible up to 10% of assessable profit after other allowable donations. Goodwill is not deductible.
The following items are also deductible: rent expenses, expenses incurred in respect of salary and wages, expenses for repair of assets, liability incurred for purpose of trade, R&D costs.
Losses can be carried forward indefinitely, but cannot be carried back.
Other Corporate Taxes

Other taxes include:

  • stamp duties
  • property tax (governor’s consent fee and land registration fee - rates vary depending on the state and the location - 3% in Lagos)
  • pension contributions (for employers with at least 15 employees, at 10% of gross salary). If the employer decides to bear the whole contribution, the minimum contribution is 20% of the monthly salary
  • National Housing Fund contributions (2.5% of basic salary; applicable to Nigerian employees earning a minimum of NGN 3,000/year)
  • payroll taxes
  • capital gains tax (10%)
  • information technology tax (1% of its profit before CIT; for companies with an annual turnover of NGN 100 million or more)
  • levy on contracts awarded in the upstream oil and gas sector (1%, with a fine of 5% of the contract value in case of violations)
  • Police Fund levy (0.005% of the net profit of companies operating a business in Nigeria)
  • Tertiary education tax (2.5% of the assessable profit for each year of assessment - non-resident companies and unincorporated entities are exempt)
  • levy for the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (0.25% of the profit before tax of commercial companies in the banking, mobile communication, ICT, aviation, maritime, and oil and gas sectors - only applies to companies with a turnover above NGN 100 million)
  • Cabotage levy (2% surcharge of the contract sums earned by vessels engaged in coastal trade in Nigeria).
Other Domestic Resources
Federal Inland Revenue Service
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Nigeria Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 48.0 36.6 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 343.4 284.8 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 34.8 47.3 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Personal income tax Progressive rates up to 24%
NGN 0 to NGN 300,000 7%
Next NGN 300,000 11%
Next NGN 500,000 15%
Next NGN 500,000 19%
Next NGN 1,600,000 21%
Above NGN 3,200,000 24%
Minimum income tax If a taxpayer has no taxable income, a tax rate of 1% is applied to the total income
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
In general, expenses incurred wholly, exclusively, necessarily, and reasonably in the production of taxable income are tax-deductible.
Specific deductions include life insurance premiums
, contributions to state pension funds, housing and healthcare, contributions
to research centres (up to 10% of taxable income), mortgage or other loan interest relating to owner-occupied accommodations.
The law provides for a c
onsolidated relief allowance (higher of NGN 200,000 or 1% of gross income plus 20% of gross income).
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Individuals resident in Nigeria are taxable on their worldwide income. For employment income, a non-resident person is liable to tax in Nigeria if the duties of employment are wholly or partly performed in Nigeria, unless: the duties are performed on behalf of an employer who is outside Nigeria; the remuneration of the employee is not borne by a fixed base of the employer in Nigeria; and the remuneration of the employee is liable to tax in that other country under the provisions of a taxation treaty.
For tax purposes, an individual is considered resident if is physically present in Nigeria for at least 183 days in any 12-month period, including leave and temporary absence.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
See the list of the tax treaties signed by Nigeria
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 10%, Interests: 10%, Royalties: 5% (individuals)/10% (companies).

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
The Trademarks, Patents And Designs Registry under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment (FMITI) is the regulatory body with regards to intellectual property.
Regional Organisations
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patents and Designs Act
Patents and Designs Act, 20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trade Marks Act
The registration of a trademark is valid for seven years and begins on the date of registration. The trademark registration is renewable in periods of 14 years. Trademark Law Treaty
Patents and Designs Act
20 years  
Copyright Act
Films and photographs: 50 years following the end of the year of publication of the work.
Sound recordings: 50 years 
following the end of the year of registration.
Broadcasts: 50 years
following the end of the first broadcast.
Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
Industrial Models
Patents and Designs Act
20 years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Yes, foreigners are in fact often better treated than locals.
The Language of Justice
The language of the justice system is English. However, in most of the northern states (about twenty), Hausa is used. Ibo is used in two states in the Northeast and Yoruba in the Southwest.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Defendants have the right to an interpreter for free, if necessary.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
Nigerian law is based upon the country's Constitution, legislation, English law inherited from the period of British colonization (Common Law), customary law, Islamic law (Sharia in 12 northern states) and jurisprudence.
Checking National Laws Online
International Centre for Nigerian Law

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National Standards Organisations
Standards Organisation of Nigeria
Integration in the International Standards Network
The Nigerian Standards Organisation (SON) is a member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (IOS), the International Electrochemical Commission (IEC) and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO-ORAN).
Classification of Standards
Nigerian standards are called Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS).
Online Consultation of Standards
Information on standards can be found on the website of the library of the Nigerian Organisation for Standardisation.
Certification Organisations
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control

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Business Practices

General Information
Commisceo Global
Opening Hours and Days
In general, businesses are open from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Government offices are open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (in some states). Banks are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday and from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday. Working hours in the private sector are usually from 8 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Public Holidays

1 January New Year's Day
1 May May Day
29 May Democracy Day
1 October National Holiday
25 and 26 December Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Friday before Easter Sunday Good Friday
The day after Easter Sunday Easter Monday
Varies Prophet's Birthday (Eid-ul-Mouloud)
Varies End of Ramadan (Eid-ul-Fitr)
Varies Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha)
Holiday Compensation
In reality public holidays are compensated, but not authorised by the law (Public Holidays Act).

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Ramadan one month

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Latest Update: May 2024