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Profitable business in Nigeria - 11 Most Profitable Nigerian businesses

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 Businesses that are highly profitable in Nigeria


Profitable business in Nigeria - 11 Most Profitable Nigerian businesses

It is one thing to have money to invest in a business and it is another thing to have good business ideas that are ideal for your capital and like most people, coming up with viable ideas that are profitable can be sometimes exhausting or vague. To clear one’s mind of this indecisiveness, it is recommended to either do market research of various business niches or seek the opinions of other people with caution and clarity.


 The writer of this article is not a business expert but just like you, the writer is also a curious business person who finds pleasure in researching feasible and highly demanding business ideas that still work in Nigeria and that is how I have been able to come up with this eleven business ideas which I think to a large extent are very profitable and sustainable in the long run. 


Aside from explaining why I think the undermentioned businesses are profitable in Nigeria, I will not be writing deep on how to set up each of the businesses but as a general principle, you would agree with me that nothing great comes cheap or too easy. Hence, the profitable businesses in Nigeria also require a fair amount of money to start and run them. Without further ado, let’s dive into the list in no particular order;


Profitable Pharmaceutical business in Nigeria

After food, clothing, and shelter, health is human’s most sought-after need. Everybody wants to live healthily and even when they are not sick, they still spend on preventive drugs to keep illness away as much as possible. When Nigerians are mildly ill or showing symptoms of illness, their first point of reference is to see a pharmacist or chemist even before thinking of consulting a doctor. 


For this reason among many others makes a pharmaceutical business a very profitable venture in Nigeria, not only is the daily demand for medicine high but the profit margin on drug sales is quite interesting. On average, pharmacies and drug retailers make between 200 - 400% ROI on wholesale drugs.


You might be wondering how hard it would be to acquire the legal paperwork or license that is required for a pharmaceutical business, but the good news is that as a businessman you don't necessarily have to go through the stress or go study pharmacy before you can do this business in Nigeria. All you need to do is find a trusted and licensed pharmacist to make an “arrangement” with and then reach a consensus of mutual benefit.

Profitable Real estate business in Nigeria

Housing and accommodation is human’s second most important need after water and food according to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. With a market value of over $9.6 trillion, commercial real estate arrives at the third position of largest industries in the world after the construction industry and financial services.


The real estate business will constantly sell and be profitable for as long as humans exist. Starting a profitable real estate business in Nigeria does not really require some license or government approval, all that is needed of you is money, land ownership, and skills to understand your environment as well as the type of housing project that sells most in your environment.


Don’t go about building a shopping complex in an area that's dominated by residential buildings. Don't build a single room (face-me-i-face-you) in an elite area, don’t build a three-bedroom flat where room and parlor self-con is mostly demanded, don't build a small-sized room where the normal or large-sized room is in high demand, don't build family apartment in a student dominated area. 


Packaging is the soul of marketing, you also need to put into cognizance some little but important details and designs that increase the rental value of properties and the best way to go about this is by consulting real estate agents to get insights from them because no one understands consumer behavior more than these agents.

Profitable Club and hotels business in Nigeria

Hoteliers are one of the few business people that make money even while they are sleeping. Hotel business in Nigeria is not just profitable but guarantees income day in, day out with special demands on weekends.


Depending on the state and location, in Nigeria, a three-star hotel room would normally cost 5-7k per night. A one-storey building hotel that's built on a plot of land will contain up to 20 rooms that will generate 100k - 140K on a weekend day. This is excluding the profits that will be made from sales of drinks, food, laundry, and other service charges in the same hotel business.


Clubs on the other hand operate 2-3 times weekly with ridiculously priced drinks. You can make a fortune in just one night as a club owner. The club is designed for 3 types of people, the rich ones, the ones who want to act rich and have fun and the ladies who want to go out to meet new people while catching also. The first two types of people have one thing in common, and that is “show of affluence”, their mindset for coming to the club is what you as a club owner need to capitalize on to make your business profitable in Nigeria.

Profitable Car rental business in Nigeria

Car rental service is one of the underlooked yet profitable businesses in Nigeria. Car rental is one of the two ways to make your car a financial asset instead of a liability. The good thing about the car rental business in Nigeria is that the niche is not saturated yet has high demand in major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Ilorin, Kano, umahia, and so on.


Keep in mind that the car rental business is best in elite communities and GRAs where upper-class citizens stay, this ensures more patronage and also serves as a security layer for your business. Avoid areas with thugs and records of violence or theft. Using car trackers is necessary also and advisable to install multiple trackers in your car in case of unforeseen circumstances. Collect legal and trackable identifications from your customers and offer them competitive rental prices for cars with good mechanical, electrical and aesthetical conditions.

Profitable Car dealership business in Nigeria

The selling of cars is a popular and profitable business in Nigeria with over 6million potential buyers visiting Jiji.ng every month shows how much Nigerians spend on cars whether economic cars or luxury cars.


One thing you need to take note of if you want to venture into a car dealership is the preference of buyers within your city because, in Nigeria, each state has cars that the people think are more suitable and durable for them in terms of budget and maintenance. For example, Lagos is a populated city with a diverse set of people and mindsets so for this reason, almost any car brand, make or model will sell in Lagos as long as the body part is readily available in the market. 


But in cities like Ibadan where commercial cab drivers prefer Nissan Micra, Ilorin where taxi drivers prefer Mazda, Oyo/Ogbomosho where they prefer Mitsubishi lancer, Abeokuta, and Ogun where they prefer Nissan Almera or Abuja where taxi drivers prefer golf 3. You need to tailor your car supplies in accordance with the demand and preference of the city where you find yourself.


But in general, Nigerians like Japanese car brands like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and some old german/American car models like golf 3, ford frontier, volks wagon Sharon, ford galaxy and so all. Selling of car is lucrative and relatively profitable if you learn and understand the business from those who are deep-rooted in it. On a single car, you can make 20-40% ROI.

Profitable Foodstuffs business in Nigeria

The food industry has a market value of $5 trillion and is ranking number 7 in the top 10 biggest industries in the world. Food is the foremost need of every human just like fuel is to cars and generators. Without food, humans and human society can not function properly and that is why heavy importance and expenses are placed on food or means to getting good food.


In Nigeria, the food business is the most popular business because nobody wants to starve, but on a more classy level, a good portion of Nigerians spend more on fancy food than they spend on their basic square meals. All these are pure signs that people spend a lot on food not just in Nigeria, but the world at large and they can’t get enough of it. 


An average Nigerian adult spends 200 nairas on food every day coupled with over a 100million adults in Nigeria, a whopping amount of over 20 billion nairas exchange hands daily. Now as a businessman that’s looking to profit off the food industry, it’s left to you to figure out how to penetrate the market and get a lion’s share of 20 billion nairas that exchange hands daily.


There are two ways you can go about the food business, either by selling cooked/processed food or supplying/distributing raw foodstuffs in bulk. However, the supply of raw food tends to be more profitable and has low risk compared to cooked/processed foods that are perishable. Some of the food items that are profitable are for Nigerians are;

  • Bags of rice

  • Bag of Beans

  • Millet

  • Corn

  • Sorghum

  • Wheat

  • Cassava

  • Yam

  • Yam flour

  • Garri

  • Food provisions 

  • Soya beans

profitable Cattle fattening business in Nigeria

Cattle production also falls under the food industry but on a more micro level, cattle ranching is a large and profitable aspect of the industry on its own. Cattle farmers are one of the few people then enjoy almost zero cost of production in Nigeria apart from owning the cattle themselves. 


An adolescent cow of 8-12 months old sells for 80 - 120k in Nigeria and all it takes is to get these animals a good farm settlement where they can graze to their fill every day till they attain your desired size or marketable size.


Cattle fattening may not be smooth for people in the cities where there are community rules prohibiting cattle grazing, but for people in the rural setting or agrarian communities, cattle fattening is a cash cow that only requires directing the herds out to eat and directing them back with a routine health check on the animals.

As an investor that does not have to monitor cattle business, it’s advisable to employ a trusted and seasoned cattle herder to help monitor business for you, and believe me, the profit that will be made will outweigh the cost of paying for the herder’s service.

How to go about cattle fattening in Nigeria

Secure at least an acre in an area with less crisis and grazable land. We want to avoid having clashes with crop farmers, hence we need to situate the ranch in a distant location from the crop farmers. Next is to fence the land and build the herder’s lodge and storeroom. It’s preferable to employ a herder with family and kids to ensure more hands on the farm and security.


Next is to acquire adolescent bulls that are young with good body structure and physique and of course a good breed that has good adaptation, high disease resistance, and hardy just like yankana breed or red Bororo. These young bulls would normally cost 50k - 70k in Nigeria. Next is to graze them for 10-12months after which they should be worth 140-170% of the price you bought them if well managed. It is also important to buy locally bred cows that are used to your region on the country, this is to avoid issues with adaptation.


Profitable Building and construction material in Nigeria

There is no way we can talk about the profitability of real estate that we won’t mention the building and construction business and its profitability as well. Real estate and construction are like bread and beans because they go hand-in-hand, with a $12.5 trillion market value, building construction is the second biggest industry in the whole wide world. Every day there are ongoing architectural and road projects not just in Nigeria but the world at large.


Construction services and sales of construction materials in Nigeria are probably the second biggest industry in Nigeria after oil the and gas industry. This statement is justified by the fact that most of the richest Nigerians according to Forbes acquired their wealth through sales of construction materials like Aliko Dangote and Abdulsamad Rabiu of bua group. Below are some of the most popular and highly demanded construction materials and services in Nigeria


  • Cement

  • Roofing sheet

  • Wood

  • Gerard roofing service

  • Tiles and ceramics

  • Plumbing services

  • Plumbing materials

  • Welding service

  • Industrial iron and wire mesh

  • Cable and networking services

  • Bricklaying and civil engineering

  • Road construction machinery and machine operators

  • Manual labor

  • Architectural service and quantity surveying

Profitable Haulage business in Nigeria

Even during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, heavy trailer trucks were exempted from the lockdown largely because these trailer guys are the reason why food, drugs, and other important human essentials are distributed nationwide. Transportation is the soul of commerce in Nigeria. Even if you order food online or do any commodity transaction online, you still rely on these truck guys for interstate delivery because it’s impossible to receive physical goods wirelessly.


When it comes to construction also, trucks are primarily needed for loading and offloading materials whether sand, gravel, cement, or machinery tools. In the haulage business, you may not get frequent work orders like the taxi owners because you deal with loads, not passengers, but every single order that you get in a day will be worth more than the several orders that a taxi driver got on that same day.


Haulage companies charge as high as 500k for intra-state service within Lagos alone and as much as 1.6 million nairas from Lagos to kano or Kaduna depending on the size and type of truck. Trucks that transport yam or soya beans from Benue to Kaduna were collecting 700k as of 2020 with a high chance of the said price to have increased.

Profitable Transportation business in Nigeria

Progress and society’s sustenance are premised on human interaction and the interaction is incomplete without mobility. All of the aforementioned profitable businesses in Nigeria will be cease to be functional without transportation. For one reason or the other, commercial or personal, people will always find themselves moving from one place to another and by so doing, making conscious and unconscious expenses into the industry of transportation business.


Igbo multi-millionaires like chisco, ifeacinachi, peace and Yoruba business moguls like kasmag, young legacy, and other unpopular brands make good money from the transportation business whether on regular days or festive periods. Even state governments rely on revenue generated from transportation to facilitate other state projects.


Lagos State, Kwara state, ondo state, Benue, and Kano states governments all have state transport services that they generate revenue from because they understand the profitability of the transport industry. Even on the grassroots level millions of naira can be made from private intrastate transport services for a business person who has the financial resources to procure several vehicles and deeply understand the business status quo.

Profitable Oil and gas business in Nigeria

The words operations in any given industry are powered or executed by oil. Oil is like the oxygen of human everyday occupation and commercial operation ever since the creation of the mechanical engines. For this reason, the world can not do without oil, and Nigeria for that matter will be dependent on oil at least for the next two decades.


Competition or spoilage is not an issue in the oil and gas business because the demand is equal to the supply, therefore every oil marketer will always make sales, maybe at a different frequency but definitely, the chances of making sales and earning profit is constant for every fuel marketer in Nigeria.


There are thousands of fuel stations in Nigeria already serving the population, but just as people buy cars and import cars into the country every day, the demand for oil keeps growing consequently too. All these interrelated series of events all boils down to one fact, and that’s is oil business is constantly profitable and sellable anywhere in the country.


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  1. What a brilliant explanation, especially with the haulage business it's a profitable business indeed. Those truck drivers make a lot of money on just a trip just between apapa and ikeja

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