Lawyers in Nigeria (I); Discovering No Man’s Land


Nigeria; Land of Attraction

As a diverse country, both geographically & climatic, a lawyer in Nigeria today should be very competitive with the country’s abundance of natural resources, especially petroleum & natural gas. 

With such great opportunities, it is hard to believe that only 50.3% of the Nigerian population are of urban nature, with densely-populated settlements located along the coast lies in the south of the country & on the West Coast of Africa. 850-KM long, Nigeria’s coastline hosts major economic activities. 

Aside from Oil & Gas & Agriculture already mentioned, fishing, shipping, sand-mining, and tourism are of utmost importance for the Nigerian people.

With 40% of Nigerian people living below the poverty line based on a report dated Jan 2022, the country is regarded as the most populous black nation on earth.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the legal and business aspects of this country, visit the articles below:
Nigerian Data Protection Regulation: Practical Guide for the Construction
Nigeria Engineers Registration (Amendment) Act 2018 Attracts International Interest

Nigeria’s Trade: Importation & Exportation of Goods

Sub-saharan’s total importation was more than $197 billion in each quarter of 2021 while its total importation recorded more than $122 billion in each quarter of 2021 making here a country to watch closely for businessmen & corporations. While Agricultural goods, Raw Materials, Solid Minerals, Energy goods, Manufactured goods & Oil Products make the importation to Nigeria, the same is among the exports of the country.

It is to great surprise that China (31%) has the biggest piece of cake of this country’s importation. U.S. (10.47%), Saudi Arabia (8.95%) & South Korea (8.2%) are other main suppliers of Nigeria’s importation.

In the field of export, India (15.41%) is ranked as the pioneer of Nigeria’s partners. Spain (9.92%), The Netherlands (9.08%), Ghana (7.74%), France (6.62%) & South Africa (5.88%) are the main customers of Nigeria’s exports.

UK Goods Popularity in Nigeria

Though the UK is not ranked as the main country which imports from, the two have an excellent commercial relationship. With mutual trade of over £6.1 billion worth of trade per year, this country is the 2nd largest African market for British goods. This is to reiterate that not only UK companies are well-known in here, but also Luxurious UK brands are in very high demand.

Nollywood; Global Emergence

The Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood) is the second-largest film producer globally. The Industry contributed 2.3% (NGN 239 B$ 575,550,479) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. “Omo Ghetto: The Saga” a gangster comedy directed by Funke Akindele is the best-selling Nollywood movie of all time, recording $1,530,997. Pete Edochie is considered the best Nigerian actor up to date. As a 65-year-old being active for more than 45 years, he starred in more than 74 movies. He is one of Africa’s most talented actors, being honored with Lifetime Achievement by the Africa Film Academy. Netflix, with a global active subscriber base of 208 million members, started licensing Nollywood in 2015. Alongside “Ojukokoro”, the second most picked on Netflix Nigeria top chart, “Òlòtūré”, “Citation”, and “The Delivery Boy” are among the most viewed Nollywood content on Netflix in 2020.

Fashion in Nigeria; Stronger & More International than assumed

The fashion industry plays a crucial cultural role in this country;

The industry contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Africa has 1% of the total global fashion industry is worth over $2.5 trillion. This country has a 15% share of the $31 billion Sub-Saharan fashion market. Shade Thomas (later Thomas-Fahm) is considered the first widely recognized Nigerian fashion designer. Having started her work in the 90s, she is the trendsetter in the use of locally woven and dyed textiles. 

Duro Olowu, another Nigerian-born Fashion designer is famous for his unique and colorful African prints showcasing the rich culture, spirit, and diversity of the Nigerian people with his textiles & prints. His Style attracted many celebrities in different fields such as Michelle Obama, Solange Knowles, Uma Thurman, and Linda Evangelista. 

Aside from fashion, technology, and creativity have a great deal of importance in here, making the country among the pioneers in Africa. With vibrant and friendly people & huge population diversity, tourism is among the most important industries in the country. 

Though experiencing a 1.6% decrease in contribution to GDP versus 2019, this African country had a total of $11 Billion in 2020 in the travel & tourism section (2.8% of GDP).

Nigeria; Land of Threats

Although we are talking about the land of opportunities in Africa due to its natural resources, it is considered one of the least peaceful countries standing 17th in the global ranking.

Child sexual abuse, corruption, domestic violence, human trafficking, kidnapping, murder, piracy, terrorism & organized crime with mafia-style are crimes that make the country dangerous to travel to, especially for westerners.

Coastal areas in the south i.e., Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states – except for Port Harcourt – are all dangerous to travel to, let alone northern states as in Kaduna. In the first six months of 2021, the government reported 1,723 people kidnapped in Kaduna, compared with nearly 2,000 for the entire previous year.

Being a Business Lawyer in Nigeria

The cream of the cream for the lawyers is to become business lawyers. This is the best position a lawyer could hold in a country with a $2,432 PPP (Purchase Power Parity) GDP per capita standing at 129th globally.

Thus, for large corporations active in here with a huge value of market capitalization such as Airtel Africa, Dangote Cement, MTN & Nestle, etc., being the best business lawyer there is considered a very important job.

Lawyer in Nigeria

Nigerian Business Lawyers’ Salary

The average salary for these types of lawyers in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) varies from NGN 200,000 ($481.63) to NGN 1,000,000 ($2,408.16) per month. This amount could even go higher based on the company profile, corporation’s multinationalism, lawyer nationality, etc.
Best business lawyers in here are advising on complex commercial cases, like joint ventures, limited liability companies, and partnerships. Corporate lawyers mostly focus on management & shareholders issues as in pre-business planning, mergers & acquisitions, capital expansion & investments, franchising, reorganization, JVs &, most importantly, security offering.

Since the best lawyers in this country are mostly business lawyers, a question is always raised in the country: How can I become a Nigerian Bar Association Lawyer?, How to become a rich lawyer in there? or how to become a personal lawyer? The answer is simple:
Graduate summa cum laude in legal education, find a job in a respected law firm, collaborate with others professionally, choose clients wisely & manage income in the same fashion!

To be continued…

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