With the Nigerian economy striving to find its way back to the top and various sectors of the Nigerian economy nursing the kicks and blows they received towards the fall of year 2015, many Nigerian entrepreneurs and start-ups are now looking for safer runways to take off. Chief amongst the decisions they would be making is the all important question of location. If you fall into this category, here are top 10 cities you should be looking at;
1. Lagos – Lagos State
Lagos is which is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, is also regarded as Nigeria’s number one commercial hub. Factories and seaports abound in the mega city has which has become the go to destination for human capital and business opportunities. This is why it is favored by a great number of tech and non-tech startups. It is also a major exporter of entertainment; recording huge successes in the fashion, music and movie industry as well.
2. Abuja – FCT
Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital City has the highest Per Capita Income in Nigeria. This implies that residents of Abuja have the highest purchasing power in Nigeria. This is why SMEs in Abuja are focusing on real estate, interior decoration, data services, e-commerce, cab hire services, food and hospitality, building material supplies, waste management, night club business, logistic services, supermarkets and many more. What Abuja lacks in population, it makes for in the affluence of its residents and this is an angle any startup may want to look at.
3. Kano – Kano State
Despite the security unrest in and around the city, Kano still stands as the commercial core of the Northern region of Nigeria. Kano is regarded as one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, ranks second in terms of population in Nigeria. . Kano plays host to entrepreneurs looking to invest in jewelry, footwear/leather making, plastic manufacturing, ceramic production, vegetable oil production, printing press, gum production, yoghurt production etc.
4. Port-Harcourt – Rivers State
The Garden city of Port Harcourt is also known as the centre of oil and gas in the country but lately, entrepreneurs in the city are also investing in hospitality, entertainment and night life. The tech eco-system is also recording significant growth with tech hubs like FocusHub, and Yasiga hub championing this movement. The city also plays host to a monthly startup meetup tagged Startup Sunday.
5. Ibadan – Oyo State
Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State ranks as one of the most populated cities in Nigeria and also one of the biggest cities in Nigeria. The city also hosts a few industries such as Oluyole Industrial Estate and big markets which fuel economic activities in the country. The closeness of Lagos to Ibadan as also influenced the growth of economic activities in the city.
6. Aba – Abia State
As the #buynaijatogrowthenaira hashtag continues to garner more audience, the city of aba is currently experiencing a hike in footwear production, textile production, even as traders in the city record significant increase in the patronage of household equipments pharmaceutical and cosmetics production, sales of car parts, second-hand clothing items (‘okrika’ business), and so on. Aba boasts of the biggest markets in West Africa – the Ariaria International Market. There is also a brewery and distillery within the city.
7. Ota – Ogun State
Ogun state’s position as an emerging investment destination is showcased in the emergence of Ota, a town in Ogun state which is home to various manufacturing and business conglomerates who prefer the town to the over-populated Lagos State.
It generally takes between one and two days to register for business premises and to obtain permit from the State Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The state is doing some obvious work in raising the infrastructure levels for smoother business operations but the main drawing force of Ogun as an emerging business destination in Nigeria is its proximity and offering as an alternative to Lagos. Little wonder renowned companies such as Nestle Nigeria Plc and Indo Foods have set up shops in Ogun which gives them the added benefit of being close to the nation’s commercial capital.
8. Enugu – Enugu State
Enugu is the capital of Enugu State in Nigeria and the city is regarded as one of the safest city in the country. What is not clear however, is whether this can be attributed to the superior security arrangements or the nature of the people as a whole.
Though the market is not so large Enugu prides itself as a center of attraction for the many dwellers in neighbouring states that constantly troop down to Enugu for one business or the other. It is easy to attract the neighbouring markets around Enugu as has been shown by the Ama Brewery established by the Nigerian Breweries Plc which now serves a greater portion of the Southeast and South-South Nigeria.
9. Calabar – Cross River State
Calabar regarded as Nigeria’s cleanest city and makes an attractive destination for those looking to mix business and pleasure as it boasts of the Tinapa Resort near the Calabar Free Trade zone.
Calabar is also relatively safe compared to several other states in the Niger Delta. Its peaceful outlook and tourist angle is of special persuasion to business people and investors looking to invest in a conducive environment.The city welcomes startups interested in travel and tourism, taxi services, hospitality and accommodation as well as tech leveraged businesses.
10. Uyo – Akwa Ibom State
When we ta;k about infrastructure wise, Akwa Ibom has emerged as an attractive destination for business and investment.It has a major seaport with another proposed construction of a world class port- the Ibaka Seaport at Oron. The city welcomes investors interested in supply chain business, transportation, hospital and IT.
This compilation is a reflection of the writer’s personal views. If you disagree, please tell us why by leaving a comment in the comment section below.
Author: Seun Adeyemi
Image Credit: Seun Adeyemi