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Annually, an average of 5. 5 million metric tonnes of rice is consumed in Nigeria. Between 2021 and 2022 this increased to almost 7 million metric tonnes, and it's expected to keep increasing.

The Big Opportunity for you

According to reports from USDA and the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), Nigeria has produced between 4.4 million metric tonnes to 5 million metric tonnes of rice between 2018 and 2022. This leaves a deficit of  2 million metric tonnes of rice.. According to projections by MSMEs today, the rice consumption deficit will increase by 4% by 2029.

Here is an open window for you to make good money in Nigeria. There are 9 states in Nigeria where your rice farm can thrive. You can make money from just farming or doing it with milling and packaging/distribution. In whatever capacity, rice is a cash crop that will bring you profit.

With the ban of rice importation by the federal government of Nigeria through the land borders, very few importers are licensed to import through the sea borders.

This creates good business opportunities for you,  a local rice producer.

Let's see the steps you need to take to make good cash from the Rice farming business in Nigeria.

Step 1: Research and train yourself 

To start, here are the key items you need to know:


In Nigeria, rice seeds are categorized according to where they are planted, i.e., lowland and upland. The  seeds planted on the lowland are Faro 44, Faro 52, and Faro 57. For upland the seed varieties are, Nerica 1, Nerica 2, Nerica 4, Nerica 7, Nerica 8.

You can get these seeds from research institutes such as IITA, seed companies, designated government ministries and accredited Agro dealers.

Soil/land type: 

Rice planting requires specific types of soil, which are  clay, clay-loam or loamy soil. This is because rice loves lots of water, so water holding soil is ideal. 

Weed control: 

Weed controls are applied before and after planting. Research the best herbicides to use for both stages. For instance, most farmers use glyphosate herbicide at the pre-plant stage and quintrione after planting and transplanting.


You need to learn different fertilizers for rice at different stages. This means that rice needs different nutrients for different stages, hence you need a pedologist. They will advise you on what you need at what stage and what quantity to apply.

Pest control: 

There are different ways to control pests. Some of them are integrated pest management (IPM), crop rotation, etc. This is an important aspect of your research that you need to understand so your investment doesn't go to waste.


To make more money from rice farming, you will need to get involved in rice milling and processing. This involves pre-cleaning, de-husking, de-stoning, polishing, whitening, sifting, grading and packaging your harvested rice.Yes, you will have employed professionals to handle this, but when handling people, you need to know a little of everything, hence a little training in rice milling or processing.


 As much as rice farming/production is labour intensive, there are tools you also cannot do without. So, you need to research them and know what to use them for and how to use them. Some of these tools and machineries for planting and processing are:

Step 2: Choose your business base


There are currently 9 states in Nigeria where rice farming  thrives. These 9 states are Kano, Gombe, Niger, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Anambra, Nassarawa, Ogun, and Ekiti. Choose one of these states.

Milling and bagging of rice in one of these states makes it easier to attract other farmers who do not have rice mills, which translates into better profits.


An important factor when choosing your business base is accessibility. 

Your location must be motorable. If transportation isn't easy,  it will discourage most customers from patronizing you. It will also cost you more money as your transports will be at risk of constant damage. Hence, your location must be motorable.

Step 3: Design a plan and register your business 

Register your brand

The first stage of your registration should be with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). You can book a session with our experts to help with your CAC registration after reading this article.

You are also required to register with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development as a farmer. This will open you up to any benefits from the Federal government for farmers. Benefits such as grants, loans, free seeds, etc 

Other organizations you need to register with are the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and control (NAFDAC), the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), National Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (NRMAN) and other associations that might be beneficial to your business.

Your Business plan is a guide

A business plan will help you in ways you might never imagine. The business plan is what an investor, grant organization or a loan institution will ask for before giving you money. It is very  vital that it could determine how good your business might turn out. So, it is imperative that you prepare a professional business plan. 

If you need help with your business plan, one of our experts who will help you design a standard business plan.

Step 4: Funding

There are different channels through which you can fund your rice farming business in Nigeria. Some of these are personal funding, Loans, Grants, crowdfunding, investments. However, whichever channel you choose, you need an understanding of what you need the funds for.

See the table below:

Table 1

Please note that the costs in table 1 are subject to changes. Our experts will help you with the current prices when preparing your business plan.

Step 5: Planting and harvesting plan

You have now come to the stage, where the actual work is done. In this stage you are required to plan your pre-plant, planting and post planting stages, as well as harvesting, depending on where your base is.

In the Northern part of Nigeria, rice is planted between mid-May to mid-June while it is planted between March to mid-April in the south. Hence, your planning should align.

Rice can be harvested between 3 to 4 months after planting once the plant changes  from green to brown.

You need a crop expert on your team to handle the planting and harvesting planning and execution.

Step 6: Marketing and sale of your harvest

You only need to sell your harvested rice to milling companies if you have focused on rice farming alone. Though it sounds simple, this also requires some aggressive marketing because you have other farmers to compete with.

If you decide to go bigger by having a rice milling arm to your business, you need a full team to handle this. You need a marketing team that includes graphic designers, brand manager, social media handlers, business development personnel, etc.

In fact, you need a massive brand awareness,  as you are not coming into a new market. According to The Guardian, as of January 2022, there are over 68 rice mills in Nigeria. So, you have all the almost 100 rice mills to compete with. You therefore need to focus on convincing your potential customers that you have a better rice mill through pricing, branding, attractive packaging, promotions, bonanzas, customer focused  visual and audio outreaches, etc.


Though labour and capital intensive, rice farming in Nigeria is profitable. With the increase in the daily demand and the high export potential , it is a business that can yield a significant investment return. Book an expert consulting session on Counseal to discuss how we can help you start your rice farm.

There has been a movement for a law to regulate and create a conducive environment for tech startups—the Startup Act (the Act). The Nigerian presidency initiated it in May 2021 in collaboration with relevant government bodies and some leaders in the tech world. The President recently assented to the bill for the Act.  

The Act has bridged the gap between startups and government agencies. There are provisions for tax incentives as well as a fund of ₦10 billion that will be set up specifically for startups. There will be funding for research programs, training, workspaces, and so much more.

Let’s look at how the Act affects you.

Overview of Key Benefits

The Act applies to startups registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act; which includes companies, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. 

This Act creates a council (the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship (the council)). The council and other government agencies will implement the Act. The Act empowers them to delegate some responsibilities to subcommittees.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will serve as the secretariat for the council. It is also responsible for carrying out the ease of access processes for startups. Among these processes are:

Establishment of the Startup Consultative Forum

This forum will be set up by the secretariat. The forum will enhance collaboration in the Nigerian startup ecosystem. It will be made up of:

Startup Label: a certificate issued to startups registered through the Startup portal

The secretariat issues the certificate. They issue it to startups. This certificate opens you up to all the benefits under the Act.  

To qualify for the label, you must fulfil the following requirements:

How do you get the Startup label?

If you have complied with all requirements, you will get the certificate.

What are your obligations as a labelled startup?

What happens if you don’t comply?

This will ultimately lead to the label being withdrawn. You won't be able to access the benefits of the Act.

If you rectify all your defaults, you can re-apply to the coordinator for the certificate.

Startup Portal: this is an all-in-one website to specifically meet the needs of startups

This will be an online platform. You can register and interact with the relevant government agencies on this platform. 

What does the Startup Portal do?

Startup Investment Seed Fund and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)

The Act provides for a Startup Investment Seed Fund (the fund) of ₦10 billion. The main purpose of the fund is to provide financial help and fund the incentives provided under the Act for labelled startups. The NSIA manages the fund.

How will the Fund be applied?

Training, Capacity building, and Talent Development

The secretariat will design and implement this scheme for startups. 

What can you gain from this scheme?

Tax, Grants, and Fiscal Incentives 

Pioneer Status

You can apply for pioneer status if, as a labelled startup, you fall under the industries supported by the Pioneer Status Incentive Scheme. You should apply for this status through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

Exemption from Payment of Income Tax and other Taxes

For four years, you will be exempt from paying income tax. The exemption will start from the date they issued the startup label.

You will also enjoy income tax relief on 5% of your assessable profits in a year. If;

This will apply if your employees meet these criteria within the assessment period. This tax relief will be available for five years and its non-renewable.

Access to Export Facilities, Incentives and Financial help

This applies to exports of products and services that are eligible under the Export (Incentives and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. The Export Development Fund, Export Expansion Fund, and Export Adjustment Scheme Fund will fund it.

Access to Government Grants, Loans and Facilities

You will be qualified to access all financial facilities available to small and medium-scale enterprises and entrepreneurs. To learn more about grants, check here and here for government loans.

Establishment of a Credit Guarantee Scheme

It will provide financial help to labelled startups. It will also oversee the use of the funds by startups.

Incentives and Reliefs for Investors Investing in a Startup

Tax Incentives for Employees

Your employees will be exempt from paying 35% of Personal Income Tax (PIT) on their income for two years after employment. 

The secretariat and the Joint Tax Board will determine the eligibility of the employee.

Tax Incentives for External Service Providers

Foreign companies that provide you with services as a labelled startup will pay only 5% withholding tax (WHT) on income derived from the service.

If the company is not resident in Nigeria, the 5% WHT will qualify as the final tax payable.

You can learn more about the tax system in Nigeria here.

Support with Regulators

Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

It will have a separate section on the startup portal. This is to enable labelled startups to conduct transactions with the CAC.   

Nigerian Copyright Commission and the Trademarks, Patent and Design Registries

There will be a collaboration with these agencies to help holders of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. This will be a drive towards making the rights commercial and international.

It will also have a section on the portal to ease all processes relating to IP rights of labelled startups.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The SEC will create the legal framework for hassle-free crowdfunding. The council will be involved.

The council will work with labelled startups that desire to be listed on the Nigerian Exchange to ensure they meet all requirements. These include granting incentives that will aid a startup’s development.

National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP)

The secretariat will work with NOTAP to: 

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

This is especially for Financial Technology (FinTech) companies. 

The secretariat will work with the SEC. 

The Council will work with the CBN and SEC. This is to ensure that:

The CBN and other regulatory agencies will also permit FinTech startups to take part in a regulatory sandbox. 

Accelerators and Incubators

An accelerator is a fixed-term, cohort-based program that provides a startup with mentorship and educational help to aid its growth.

An Incubator includes a company, partnership, non-governmental organisation or limited liability partnership, who solely provides support for the establishment and development of a startup, promotes innovation, and other related activities through the offer of dedicated physical spaces and services;

The Act provides incentives for accelerators and incubators. To qualify for the incentives, they have to be involved actively in providing goods, services, or finance to support the operation and growth of startups.

Clusters, Hubs, Innovation Parks and Technology Development Zones

The council will establish these parks. They will serve the purpose of:

  1. connecting startups and large companies, encouraging collaboration, and creating business opportunities
  2. collating expertise, suggestions, and perspectives 
  3. providing a startup with access to resources and expert services 
  4. encouraging startups to work together and innovate

Apart from the roles listed above, they will also provide:

The Secretariat will collaborate with the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority to establish a Technology Development Zone (“Zone”) in Nigeria to spur the growth and development of startups, accelerators, and incubators. 

The Zone will grant a licence to a startup, accelerator, or incubator before it can begin an approved activity. 

A startup, accelerator, or incubator, carrying out an approved activity in a zone will be entitled to existing incentives provided under the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Act.

Key Takeaways

The Startup Act 2022 is a giant stride in the right direction for tech startups in Nigeria. The Act is to ensure ease of doing business for you as a startup. You can book a free consultation with a Counseal expert if you need help. 

In 2015, Nigeria exported 160,000 tonnes of catfish. This was a 39% increase from 2010. Two years later, Nigeria produced 300,000 tonnes and there has been a constant rapid increase in production and consumption till now. So much that Nigeria is known as the world's largest producer of catfish.

From 1951, when fish farming started in the country till now, Nigeria's production of catfish keeps expanding. The  Nigerian Government initially dominated catfish farming. And by 1991, when catfish farming had given Nigeria prominence in aquaculture in the world, the government provided an enabling environment for farmers.

We agree with you, now is the best time to start a catfish business in Nigeria. 

In this guide, we will show you, step-by-step how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria. We will also touch on some red flags to avoid.

Ready to launch a profitable catfish firm? Let's jump in!

Step 1: Research

Like any other business, research is essential. You can find helpful materials for your research on Google. The following are the important items you must investigate thoroughly:

Know your catfish

The most common species of catfish in Nigeria are Clarias gariepinus, Heterobranchus bidorsalis, Clarias AND Heterobranchus hybrid (Heteroclarias), and Clarias nigro-digitatus.

The heterobranchus species are common in the southeast while the Clarias species are common in the western parts of Nigeria.  Note also that these two species have been found to grow faster than others.

Also, you need to research where to get your swim-up fry or fingerlings. It is advisable to look at suppliers who have been in business for a while.

Know your soil

You cannot use any type of soil for catfish farming. It is important to know the soil type, soil texture, and mineral of the soil. Hence, a soil test is essential.

The soil test will guide you in choosing the type of pond and depth of the pond. It will also provide you with information on the water retention volume of the pond.

Know your pond: 

The following are basic for any fish pond:

  1. Dukes, also known as pond walls
  2. Inlet and outlet channels for water
  3. Water controls: these control the rate and level of water in the pond.
  4. Harvesting tools: Sweep nets, shock tanks , etc.
  5. Roads and tracks for easy navigation.

For Catfish farming, the following are the commonly used ponds in Nigeria:

  1. Plastic pond
  2. Tarpaulin pond
  3. Concrete pond and 
  4. Earthen pond

We will come back to these pond types..

Security measure

You are wondering, is it not just fish? Yes, it's just catfish but they are equivalent to good money. And let's not forget the good taste too. So, you need to research which measures are good for your farm. Some effective measures are:

  1. Don't cite your farm in a hidden location
  2. Ensure you secure your ponds with nets
  3. Security cameras are handy
  4. You can't go wrong with having a barbed wire fence
  5. A well-lighted farm is no place to hide

Step 2: Tailor your budget

Some of us like to work strictly with plans, so if you already have a budget, you now know where your budget fits in from your research. If you don't have one yet, it's fine too because your research will help you know how much you need. 

However, I will still give you an idea of how much a starting catfish farm can cost. From our discussion under research, some of the essential things you need to consider on your budget are; Land, pond construction, cost of swim-up fry or fingerlings, cost of security, Cost of feed, workers' payments, etc.

Below is an overview of the cost of setting up a catfish farm depending on location and the factors aforementioned.

Size of FarmLand sizeNumber of catfish Cost
Small-scale catfish farm1-3plots1000₦400,000 - ₦4000,000
Large-scale catfish farm5-25 acres5000 and above₦5000,000 - ₦30,000,000

Step 3: Design your pond

There are types of ponds that are specific to catfish in Nigeria:

Plastic pond: 

Plastic ponds come in various sizes and are volumes from 1000 litres to 20,000 litres. They are made of plastic water tanks. This is a temporary type of pond and cannot be used for large-scale farming.

Tarpaulin pond: 

These are portable fish ponds that are easy to transport, set up and assemble. They are made from tarpaulin materials. They come in different sizes. For instance, the smaller ones can accommodate about 300 fish while the bigger ones can accommodate about 1000 fish and above. This is also a temporary pond.

Tarpaulin Pond

Concrete pond: 

There are two methods of concrete ponds; the flow through method and the water recirculation method. The former requires regular release of water for pond maintenance and increased oxygen for the fish. The latter, just as its name implies, is simply a system where water is recycled. It reduces heating and cooling costs.

Concrete ponds are expensive hence, you don't want to spend a lot of money on a concrete pond that will not last. So, don't do the following:

Earthen pond: 

This is the largest of them all and it is constructed from soil materials. They are also the most common for large scale catfish farming in Nigeria. There are two types; the embankment pond and the excavated or dug-out pond. 

The embankment ponds are constructed through damming a small stream and can be constructed on stream sites where the slope is steep enough to limit the size of the dam. Excavated or dug-out  ponds are just as the name implies constructed by digging out an area fed by springs and run off. Simply put, a hole in the ground.

Step 4: Start Farming

It's time to start your catfish farm if you've followed the 3 steps above!

Your pond is now ready for production. First thing to do at this point is get a healthy supply of  catfish, swim up fry or fingerlings. Now is also the time to decide if you want to have a hatchery for selling out fingerlings or you want to sell the 'big fish'.

I'm sure you are already wondering what swim fry and fingerlings mean. I'll explain, relax.

A swim fry is a stage in the life cycle of a catfish. As soon as the spawn or eggs assume the shape of the fish and grow to about 1–2 cm it is known as fry. At this stage they are primarily smaller size zooplankton feeders. It takes about 7 to 10 days for the spawn to grow up to the fry stage. Once the yolk is used up and fish have developed mouth parts, the fish will “swim up” to the surface of the tank and search for food. This is the swim fry stage.

Swim Fry

Once the fry is up  to 10–15 cm size or roughly equal the size of a finger it is called fingerling. It is the proper size for stocking in table fish production ponds. It takes about 30–60 days for the fry to grow up to fingerling size.

Catfish Fingerlings

A  juvenile catfish is between 6-8 weeks old. This is slightly older than a fingerling which is between 3-4 weeks. You need either of the two to start your catfish farm.


Now it's all coming together.

Next thing to consider at this point is the feed for your catfish. Feeds for Catfish are mainly plant based with some fishmeal and animal protein. It is vital to get a good supplier and stick with them.

Another important thing is your farm management and team. Be sure that your farm manager is experienced and has people skills. You also need a consistent Veterinary doctor. One thing I've learned is that you get tremendous output from your team when you treat them well. So note it.

Now, you have a catfish farm! Well done!

But, there will be red flags you must look out for…

Red flags to avoid for Catfish Farming in Nigeria

Farm Management issues

You might not want to spend much money setting up your catfish farm and then lose it all. So, you must avoid sentiments during recruitment. If you can't trust your family and friends, then don't involve them. Make sure you recruit trusted and experienced professionals.

It is also important to keep a constant check on your staff. Do this through regular reports, video chats, regular picture updates with backing documents. This includes keeping close track of financial books. No stone must be left unturned when it comes to regular information of the farm.

Don't use different suppliers

It is safest to use one trusted supplier rather than testing too many suppliers. For your fingerlings and feeds, not sticking to one supplier might reduce the quality of your production. You can have another just for backup but having more than that is risky.

For instance:

A quality bred fingerlings should weigh between 13-15grams. But, some suppliers who want quick profit don't mind breeding with any fish. And, they don't mind what size the fingerlings are. You will be open to the risk of producing less quality fish if you buy from such suppliers.

Avoid treating your catfish yourself

The same way self-medication is wrong for humans, treating your catfish yourself is wrong. Except of course you are a Vet doctor. No matter how experienced or vastly read you are about catfish, the role of a Vet doctor cannot be overemphasized. 

Now to the money part.

Catfish farming in Nigeria has gone beyond just producing fish and selling them. There diverse avenues to make money from your catfish farm:

Tips for making profit from Catfish Farming in Nigeria

Sell fingerlings/ juvenile: This requires you to have a hatchery from which the fingerlings or juveniles will be harvested for sale. This means you don't have to wait till the catfish is table size or bigger to sell. Some farms in Nigeria only focus on this area but you can do more…

Sell freshly harvested catfish:  This category has the highest number of demand. You need a strong marketing team who will reach out to eateries, hotels, Bars, caterers,etc. The grown fish is consumed widely all across Nigeria.

Catfish Pepper soup

Sell frozen catfish: You could also get good freezers to store harvested fish that will be sold later. You can sell this in kilos or in boxes depending on what your customers like.

Sell smoked catfish: Another way to make money from catfish is by smoking and drying. You could either use the local method or buy the special made machines for this. The machine method is actually faster and gives more output.
The best business to venture in with the economy of Nigeria is the food business. And, catfish is food. The demand for catfish in Nigeria keeps rising and the sector expands every day. Hence, this is a good time to start your catfish farm in Nigeria. With the steps I have shared in this article, you can start your catfish farm seamlessly.
We would love to read your comments on this article. If you still have any concerns about starting a catfish farm in Nigeria, speak with one of our experts.

With just your internet and laptop, you can get going right now. 

Ready to be your own boss? 

Let’s jump in.

1. Start a blog:

If you're passionate about a particular topic, you can start a blog and share your ideas with the world. It's easy to set up a blog, and it doesn't require any upfront investment.

Linda Ikeji started her business with a simple blog that grew into what it is today.

2. Create an online course:

Do you have expertise in a particular subject? You can create an online course and share your knowledge with others. Examples of courses you can create online for Nigerians are content marketing, brand management, digital marketing, etc. You can use websites like for your business.

3. Be a freelance writer:

If you enjoy writing, you can be a freelance writer and write articles for websites or blogs. You can register on Upwork or Truelancer to get writing jobs.

4. Sell products online:

You can sell physical or digital products online using platforms like Amazon or Jumia.

5. Create a YouTube channel:

If you're creative and enjoy making videos, you can create a YouTube channel and share your content with the world.

YouTube pays based on traffic.

6. Be a social media consultant:

Do you have experience with social media? You can offer your services to businesses and help them grow their online presence.

7. Start an e-commerce store:

If you're interested in starting your own online store, there are plenty of e-commerce platforms to choose from, like Shopify and WooCommerce.

8. Offer web management services:

If you're tech-savvy, you can offer web management services to businesses and help them with their website maintenance.

9. Be a virtual assistant:

If you're organized and enjoy helping others, you can be a virtual assistant and provide various services to clients, like scheduling appointments or managing social media accounts.

13. Provide consulting services:

If you have experience in a particular field, you can offer your services as a consultant in that field. Some profitable consulting fields in Nigeria are; real estate, finance, health, marriage, etc.

14. Offer coaching services:

If you’re passionate about helping others, you can offer coaching services and help people reach their goals. You could coach in these areas depending on your interest and training; business, writing, fitness, speaking, etc.

15. Be a resume writer:

If you have experience writing resumes, you can offer your services to individuals who are looking for help with their job search.

16. Offer transcription services:

If you're good at transcribing audio, you can offer your services to businesses and transcribe meetings or interviews. Tools like Google docs and Microsoft word are needed for your business. These tools are free and easy to use. 

17. Provide proofreading services:

If you have a keen eye for detail, you can offer your services as a proofreader and help businesses or individuals with their writing.

18. Offer copywriting services:

If you're good at writing persuasive content, you can offer your services as a copywriter and help businesses with their marketing.

19. Sell handmade products:

If you're crafty, you can sell your handmade products online or at local markets. Some handmade products that are often used in Nigerian homes are woven baskets for home decor, knitted cardigans and caps for babies. 

20. Vlogging:

If you're comfortable in front of the camera, you can start a YouTube channel and share your life with the world. YouTube is a great platform for vloggers, and you can make money from advertising.

21. Brand influencing:

If you have a large social media following, you can offer your services as a brand influencer and help businesses promote their products or services. Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for brand influencers.

You can learn from popular influencers like KieKie and Taoma on Instagram.

22. Online tutoring:

If you're knowledgeable in a particular subject, you can offer your services as an online tutor and help students learn. Some of the apps you can use are Zoom and Skype.

23. Sell your recipes:

If you're a good cook, you can sell your recipes online or in cookbooks. You can use websites like the Amazon Kindle to sell your recipes. You can focus on Nigerian health foods like food content creator Winifred Nwania popularly known as Zeelicious foods.

24. Offer webinars:

Webinars are becoming increasingly popular and they're a great way to share your knowledge with others. You can use platforms like Zoom or GoToWebinar to host your webinars.

25. Sell e-books:

If you're a good writer, you can write an ebook and sell it online. This is a great way to share your knowledge and make money at the same time.

26. Interior designing:

If you're creative and have an eye for detail, you can offer your services as an interior designer. You can help businesses or individuals with the design of their space.

27. Sell graphic designs online:

If you're a talented graphic designer, you can sell your designs online. You can use platforms like Etsy or Creative Market to sell your designs. You can also enter contests on Canva to make some extra cash.

28. Home tutoring:

If you're knowledgeable in a particular subject, you can offer your services as a home tutor and help students learn.

29. Real Estate Agency:

If you have experience in real estate, you can start your own real estate agency. You can specialise in residential or commercial properties. You can also be a consultant for investors.

30. Logistics service:

If you have experience in the logistics industry, you can start your own business and offer your services to businesses. You can start with 1 okada and gradually grow the business.

32. Car rental service:

If you have a large car, you can offer your services as a car rental service. You can rent your car out by the day or week.

33. Private driver:

If you have a driver's license, you can offer your services as a private driver. You can drive people around town or to the airport. To make your business well packaged, you can create a website where customers can book your services online.

34. Grocery delivery service:

If you have a car, you can start a grocery delivery service. You can deliver groceries to people’s homes or offices. This business is becoming popular in Lagos, Abuja, and Portharcourt.

35. Electronic sale:

The sale of electronic gadgets is a very lucrative business; with a wide market, especially in Nigeria. You can start by selling phones and later move into other gadgets like laptops, tablets, etc.

36. Mini-importation:

This is a business where you buy goods in small quantities from other countries to sell in Nigeria. The most popular items for mini-importation are; clothes, shoes, bags, phones, and electronics.

37. Online marketing:

If you're good at online marketing, you can offer your services to businesses and help them with their digital marketing efforts.

38. E-commerce:

If you're good at online marketing, you can start an e-commerce business and sell products or services online.

39. Automobile clinic:

If you know about car repairs, you can start an automobile clinic and offer your services to car owners. To differentiate your business from the local or roadside mechanics, you need to have modern gadgets and equipment.

40. Cyber cafe:

A cyber cafe is a great business for people who are computer savvy. You can offer your customers internet access, printing, and scanning services.


You can become an agent for banks and provide POS and e-payment services to people. POS/e-payment centres are found everywhere in Nigeria; in the park, markets, residential areas, etc. You can start in a small shop or kiosk with your phone and POS machine.

42. Solar panel installation:

As the use of solar energy increases, there is a need for more solar panel installers. If you know about solar panels, you can start your own business and offer your services to businesses and individuals.

This is currently a good business in Nigeria because of the hike in fuel prices.

43. Art Gallery:

If you're an artist, you can start your own art gallery. You can sell your own artwork or that of other artists.

44. Music school:

If you're musical, you can start your own music school and teach people how to play instruments or sing.

45. Recording studio:

If you have experience in the music industry, you can start your own recording studio. You can record music, voice-overs, and podcasts.

46. Restaurant:

If you're a good cook, you can start your own restaurant. You can serve Nigerian or international cuisine. Restaurants are best located on major roads for good sales.

47. Real estate investment:

If you have some money to invest, you can buy property and rent it out. This is a long-term investment, but it can be very lucrative.

48. Gaming centre:

If you're a gamer, you can start your own gaming centre and offer your services to other gamers.

49. Sports betting:

Sports betting is a very popular business in Nigeria. If you're good at predicting sports results, you can start your own sports betting business.

50. Fish farming:

Fish farming is a very lucrative business in Nigeria. If you have some land, you can start your own fish farm. Doing this business in Nigeria requires some knowledge and experience.

51. Printing press:

A printing press is a great business for people who are creative and have experience in the printing industry. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals. You will get regular business as long as there are events and people need printed materials. All you need to do is to be aggressive with your marketing.

52. Fumigation business:

Fumigation is important in Nigeria because of the tropical climate. If you know about fumigation, you can start your own business and offer your services to offices and homes. You will need to get the equipment and chemicals for this business.

53. Haulage business:

Haulage is a very lucrative business in Nigeria. If you have a truck or two, you can start your own haulage business. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals.

54. Food exportation:

Nigeria is a very rich country when it comes to food. If you're interested in the food business, you can start your own food exportation business. You can export Nigerian food to other countries.

55. Fashion stylist:

If you're fashionable and have a good sense of style, you can start your own business as a fashion stylist. You can offer your services to people, especially celebrities.

56. Recharge card printing:

Recharge cards are very popular in Nigeria. If you're interested in the printing business, you can start your own recharge card printing business. All you need is a printer and some paper.

57. CCTV installation:

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CCTV cameras are very important for security. If you're knowledgeable about CCTV, you can start your own business and offer your services to businesses and individuals.

58. Surprise planning:

If you're good at planning and organising events, you can start your own surprise planning business. You can offer your services to people who want to surprise their loved ones.

59. PR agent:

If you're good at promoting and marketing, you can start your own PR business. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals. PR work includes adverts, press releases, branding, etc.

60. Sound system rental:

If you have a good sound system, you can start your own business and offer your services to businesses and individuals. This is a profitable business in Nigeria.

All you need is to be aggressive with your marketing.

There you have it!

60 Self-employed Business Ideas You Can Start in Nigeria. These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you have any other ideas, please share them in the comments section below.

Do you want to start your own business but don't know where to start? Check out our website to speak with one of our experts.

If you're based in Nigeria and looking for small business ideas, you are in the right place.

Starting a small business in Nigeria is a great way to become financially independent and provide for your family. There are many different businesses you can start, so there's something for everyone.

If you're interested in starting a business, here are some small business ideas in Nigeria that require little to no start-up capital:

Let's see them:

1. Food production

Food business is a profitable business to start regardless of the location or country you find yourself in.  You can produce and package food products like; local spices, seasonings, chili pepper, ginger, garlic etc. and make good profit from it.

Another option in food production is to go into animal husbandry and rear animals like; chicken, turkey, goat, cow etc. for their meat and sell to butchers or hotels. 

Budget for this venture can be as low as N10,000.

Lagos,Abuja, Ibadan are good places to start this Small business in Nigeria because  of the high population which results in a large market for your products.

2. Poultry farming:

This is another great business  idea  for  animal lovers. You can either raise chicken for their meat or eggs. Poultry farming is a lucrative business, and it doesn't require much to get started. All you need  is a small piece of land, some chicken coops and feed and you're good to go.

To start a small scale poultry farming, you need between 1,000 to 1,500 - day old chicks.  You can  purchase these from hatcheries or feed stores.  The next thing you need is chicken coops and runs.  They can be homemade or purchased from a farm supply store.  You will also need chicken feed and water containers.

3. Cosmetic production:

The beauty industry is always booming and there's a huge demand for cosmetics.  You can produce different products like; soaps, creams, perfumes, hair products, etc.  This business is very profitable,  and it doesn't require much to get started.

You can start with as low as 20,000 naira and make a good profit from it.

You can market your in University hostels, offices,  etc.

4. Grocery store

Another great business idea is to start a grocery store.  You can either open a small shop or an online store.  If you choose to open a physical shop, make sure it's l

 in a busy area with a lot of foot traffic. You can purchase your products from wholesalers or directly from manufacturers.

To start an online grocery store, you need to create a website and list all the products you want to sell. There are free websites like Shopify where you can create your own online store.

5. Clothes boutique: 

Clothes are always in high demand, so starting a clothes boutique is a great business idea.  You can either open a physical store or an online store.

Opening an Online store is cheaper and easier to set up.  You can create a website or use a marketplace like Jumia or Konga to sell your clothes. 

To start a physical store, you need to find a suitable location and purchase clothing from wholesalers or manufacturers.  You will also need racks, hangers, and other store fixtures.

6. Laundry business:

Laundry business is another great business idea for busy people.  Your laundry service can pick up and deliver clothes. You will need to purchase a washing machine, tumble dryer, ironing board, and other equipment.  You can either start this business from home or rent a small shop.

7. Home cleaning services:

This is a great business idea for busy people who don't have time to clean their homes.  You can offer weekly or bi-weekly cleaning services.  You will need to purchase cleaning supplies and equipment.  It is possible to start this business with one employee and grow it as demand increases.

Though this business costs little to start it up, it is however a very profitable business.

8. Home-based bakery:

Do you love baking? If so, starting a home-based bakery is a great business idea.  You can bake cakes, cookies, bread, cupcakes, and other pastries.  You can sell your products to friends, family, and neighbors or you can start an online store. 

To start a home-based bakery, you need to purchase baking supplies and equipment.  You can start with the basic things you already have at home like an oven, mixer, and baking pans.  You will also need flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and other ingredients.

9. Personal shopper:

You can be a  personal shopper for busy people who don't have time to shop for themselves.  You can do their grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and even gift shopping.  This is a great business idea for busy moms or people who love to shop.

To start this business, you will need a computer, printer, and a phone.  You will also need a means of transportation to do the shopping.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

10. Car wash services: 

This is a great business idea for people who love to wash cars.  You can start a car wash service that picks up and delivers cars to customers.  You will need to purchase a pressure washer, soap, brushes, and other supplies.  You can either start this business from home or rent a small shop

11. Pet sitting: 

If you love animals, starting a pet sitting business is a great idea.  You can offer to take care of people's pets while they are on vacation or away for business.  This is a great business for busy people who love animals.

To start this business, you will need to create a website or use a marketplace like Petbacker. You will also need to purchase insurance and bonding.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

This business will do well in cities like Port-Harcourt,Abuja,Lagos.

12. Home-based daycare: 

This is a great business idea for busy people who love children.  You can offer to take care of people's children while they are at work or school.  This is a great business for stay-at-home moms or dads.

To start this business, you will need to create a safe and fun environment for children.  You will also need to purchase insurance and bonding.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

13. Personal assistant: 

You can be a personal assistant for busy people who need help with their day-to-day tasks.  You can do their grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and even gift shopping.  This is a great business idea for busy moms or people who love to help others.

To start this business, you will need a computer, printer, and a phone.  You will also need a means of transportation to do the shopping.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

14. Unisex Salon:  

A unisex salon is a great business idea for busy people who need a one-stop shop for their beauty needs.  You can offer hair, nails, and makeup services.  You will need to purchase a variety of beauty supplies and equipment.  .  It is possible to start this business with a low budget and grow it as demand increases.

15. Personal chef: 

You can be a personal chef for busy people who don't have time to cook for themselves.  You can prepare meals for them ahead of time or cook for them on a weekly basis.  This is a great business idea for people who love to cook.

To start this business, you will need to create a website or use a marketplace like Upwork or Mobile cooks.  You will also need to purchase insurance and bonding.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

16. Personal trainer: 

 You can be a personal trainer for busy people who want to get in shape.  You can train them in their homes or offices.  This is a great business idea for people who love to stay fit.

To start this business, you will need to create a website or use a marketplace like Rover.  You will also need to purchase insurance and bonding.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

17. Freelance writer: 

If you love to write, you can be a freelance writer for businesses or individuals.  You can write articles, blog posts, or even e-books.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about writing.

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

18. Social media manager: 

You can be a social media manager for anyone.  You will create and manage their social media accounts.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about social media.

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

19. Event planner:

You can be an event planner for businesses or individuals.  You will plan and execute events.  This is a great business idea for people who are organized and love to plan events.

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

21. Virtual assistant: 

You can be a virtual assistant. You will be responsible for tasks such as customer service, scheduling, and data entry.  This is a great business idea for people who are detail-oriented and have good customer service skills.

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

22. Freelance editor: 

If you have experience in editing, you can be a freelance editor for businesses or individuals.  You will edit documents, articles, or books.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about editing.

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

23. Freelance photographer:  

If you love to take pictures, you can be a freelance photographer for businesses or individuals.  You will take pictures of events, products, or people.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about photography.

To start this business, you will need a camera and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

Take a note from TY Bello, the popular Nigerian musician and photographer who started photography after her music band KUSH failed.

24. Rabbit Farming: 

Rabbit farming is a great business idea for people who are looking to start a small business.  You will need to purchase rabbits, cages, food, and water bowls.  You can start this business with just a few rabbits and grow it as demand increases.

25. Recycling

You can start a recycling business by collecting recyclables.  You will need to sort the materials and sell to a recycling company. This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about ecology.

To start this business, you will need a truck and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a list of businesses and individuals who you can recycle from.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

26. Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a great business idea for people who are looking to start an online business.  You will need to create an online store and find suppliers who will ship products directly to your customers.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about e-commerce.To start this business, you will need a computer or phone and an internet connection.  You will also need to create an online store and find suppliers.  You can start this business with just a few products and grow it as demand increases.

27. SEO Consultant: 

You need to have experience in SEO, to be an SEO consultant . You will help businesses and individuals to improve their search engine ranking.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about digital marketing. 

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

28. Social Media Consultant: 

You will help businesses and individuals to create and manage their social media accounts.  This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about social media. 

To start this business, you will need a computer and an internet connection.  You will also need to create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

29. Fabric Sale:

Fabric business is good for people who love sewing and making clothes. You will need to purchase fabrics, threads, and other materials.  You can start this business with just a few fabrics and grow it as demand increases.

30. Beverage Production: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about making drinks. You will need to purchase beverage production equipment, such as a blender, bottles, and labels.  You can start this business with just a few flavors and grow it as demand increases.

Some beverage ideas are Zobo drink, Tiger nut milk, soya milk, smoothies, and juices

31. Fruit and Vegetable Sale: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about healthy eating. You will need to purchase fruits and vegetables, as well as storage containers.  You can start this business with just a few products and grow it as demand increases.

32. Candle Making: 

Candle making is a great business idea for people who are creative and passionate about making things. You will need to purchase candle making supplies, such as wax, wicks, and molds.  You can start this business with just a few candles and grow it as demand increases.

33. Puppy Sale: 

Puppy sale is a great business idea for people who love animals. You will need to purchase puppies from breeders and sell them to customers.  You can start this business with just a few puppies and grow it as demand increases.

34. Jewelry Making: 

Jewelry making is a great business idea for people who are creative and passionate about making things. You will need to purchase jewelry making supplies, such as beads, wire, and tools.  You can start this business with just a few pieces of jewelry and grow it as demand increases.

35. Party Supplies: 

This business idea is good for people who love planning parties. You will need to purchase party supplies, such as balloons, decorations, and games.  You can start this business with just a few party supplies and grow it as demand increases.

36. Flower arrangement: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about flowers. You will need to purchase flowers, vases, and other supplies. You can start this business with just a few arrangements and grow it as demand increases.

There's more...

37. Shoe making: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about shoes. You will need to purchase shoe making supplies, such as leather, thread, and tools.  You can start this business with just a few pairs of shoes and grow it as demand increases.

38. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a great business idea for people who are organized and detail-oriented. You will need to purchase bookkeeping software and create a system for tracking income and expenses.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

39. Snail Farming: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about farming. You will need to purchase snail breeding stock, as well as food and housing for the snails.  You can start this business with just a few snails and grow it as demand increases.

40. Web Design: 

Web design is a great business idea for people who are creative and have a passion for technology. You will need to purchase web design software and create a portfolio of your work.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

41. Frozen Food Sale: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about food. You will need to purchase frozen food, such as chicken, fish, and vegetables.  You can start this business with just a few products and grow it as demand increases.

You need to locate your shop in major markets such as Bodija in Ibadan or Ketu in Lagos. Residential areas are also good location for this business.

42. Catering: 

Catering is a great business idea for people who are passionate about food. You will need to purchase catering supplies, such as tablecloths, plates, and utensils.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

43. Food Delivery: 

Food delivery is a great business idea for people who are passionate about food. You will need to purchase food, as well as packaging and transportation supplies.  You can start this business with just a few customers and grow it as demand increases.

You can start by delivering to offices, then homes, then events, and so on. A website will also be very useful for marketing your business.

This is how actress Chioma Akpotha started her food business during the lockdown in 2020.

44. Landscape and Garden Design: 

 This business idea is good for people who are passionate about plants and gardening. You will need to purchase landscaping and gardening supplies, such as plants, soil, and tools.  Budget for advertising and marketing your business.  You can start this business with just a few clients and grow it as demand increases.

45. Computer Repair: 

Computer repair is a great business idea for people who are passionate about technology. You will need to purchase computer repair tools and parts. You can start this business at home or in an office and grow it as demand increases.

It is best to locate your business in places known for computer repairs. For instance, Computer Village in Lagos and Mokola in Ibadan.

46. Mobile Phone Repair: 

This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about technology. You will need to purchase mobile phone repair tools and parts.  You can start this business at home or in an office and grow it as demand increases.

47. Sewing and Alterations: 

Sewing and alterations is a great business idea for people who are passionate about fashion. You will need to purchase sewing supplies, such as fabric, thread, and patterns.  You can start this business at home or in an office and grow it as demand increases.

48. Barbering Salon: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about hair. You will need to purchase barbering supplies, such as clippers, scissors, and combs.  You can start this business at home or in an office and grow it as demand increases.

You can raise money for a shop with a home service like the popular celebrity Barber Mr Kay. He raised the balance for his first shop from home service.

49. Makeup Studio: 

This business idea is good for people who are passionate about makeup. You will need to purchase makeup supplies, such as foundation, lipstick, and eye shadow.  You can start this business at home or in an office and grow it as demand increases.

Makeup studios are best  in markets, close to a photography studio or near an event centre anywhere in Nigeria.

50. Thrift Clothing Store: 

This is a great business idea for people who are passionate about fashion. You will need to purchase thrift clothing, such as shirts, pants, and dresses.  You can start this business with just a few items and grow it as demand increases.

If you are looking to start this business, Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt are the best locations for thrift business.


I have given you 50 solid small business ideas in Nigeria that you can start with little or no capital. 

Now it's up to you to take action and start your own business. 

If you need help to get started, visit our Counseal website to speak with one of our experts.

Here are the ways to make money online we will cover in this guide

Top 21 Ways To Make Money Online In Nigeria + 1 Bonus Method
1. Build an eCommerce Business
2. Sell on Online Marketplaces
3. Freelancing
4. Blogging
5. Trade Cryptocurrencies
6. Dropshipping
7. Drop Servicing
8. Information Marketing
9. YouTube and Vlogging
10. Affiliate Marketing
11. Start a Digital Marketing Agency
12. Social Media Influencing/Marketing
13. Create an Online Course
14. Start Online Consultation
15. Websites Flipping
16. Domain Names Flipping
17. Online Surveys
18. Podcasting
19. Publish eBooks
20. Trade Forex or Binary Options
21. Sell Stock Photos
22. Opera New Hub

3 Unexplored Ways To Make Money Online In Nigeria
1. Mint and Trade NFTs
2. Print on Demand
3. Rent Your Home on Airbnb

Top 22 ways to make money online 2022

Build an eCommerce Platform

eCommerce business is probably the most popular way to make money online. It has the highest income-growth potential than any other method on this list.

eCommerce involves building an online platform through which you sell physical goods to customers. When someone visits your store through an ad or referral and buys an item, you have it delivered to them through a courier service. Customers can pay you onsite through a payment gateway or pay after delivery. It all depends on the payment options you offer.

Billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Ja Ma made their fortunes from eCommerce. In Nigeria, the business is still young, with Jumia, Konga, Payporte, and Jigi leading the pack. That means there are lots of opportunities to take in this space.

The business can be capital intensive, especially if you plan to hold inventories in a warehouse. It requires a lot of online marketing to drive traffic to your store. But once your store pulls momentum, it can be really profitable.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building your own eCommerce business.

Sell on Online Marketplaces

If you cannot afford to build an eCommerce platform, you could sell your goods on third-party platforms like Jumia and Konga. 

Jumia offers a vendor hub that allows you to create an online store to list and sell your products. You could hold inventory yourself or subscribe to the Jumia Express service to make your products quickly available for delivery once sold. Jumia deposits your earnings into your bank account at intervals and alerts you. Start selling on Jumia.

The same concept applies to selling on Konga. Learn how to sell on Konga.

Don’t rely solely on the traffic Jumia and Konga bring to your online store. Instead, market your online store and products on your social media handles too. You could run Google display ads and even build a mailing list to grow your business faster. 

Other online marketplaces you can explore are Jiji, OList, Scrader, and just recently, Flutterwave Store. If you’re a mini importer or already run a physical store, this is the right leverage to reach more customers.


Freelancing is one of the most popular ways skilled Nigerians make money online. It’s all about applying your digital skills online to make money. 

If you’re a writer, programmer, designer, administrative person, consultant, et Cetra, you can earn online working for foreign employers. You only require a laptop, internet connection, and your skills.

I’ve summarized 7 steps to help you get started as a freelancer:

The key to succeeding as a freelancer is delivering high-quality work, meeting deadlines, varying for positive reviews from your clients. 

Learn how about making money with freelancing.


You’ve probably heard about blogging a million times, but this is an evergreen way to make money online. It has produced several million-dollar net-worths Nigerians like Linda Ikeji, Omoyele Sowore, Seun Osewa, Uche Pedro, and the likes.

Blogging goes beyond just writing news, gossips, or your opinions over the web. To make money blogging, you would need to learn how search engine optimization works and invest in digital marketing skills. 

Building a blog requires time, patience, and the work you put in to build an audience. But once traffic pours, the money flows.

You can monetize your blog using Google Ad-sense, affiliate marketing, paid sponsorships, and many other methods. With blogging, you can work from anywhere you are in the world and make money while you sleep.

Sounds interesting? Learn how to start a blog that generates over $3000 a month.

Trade Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies were the goldmine a few years back and still are today. Aside from Bitcoin, a lot of altcoins have emerged over the years and have made many Nigerians millionaires.

There are several ways to make money from cryptocurrencies. I’ve summarised the most common methods for you:

Irrespective of the method you wish to explore in cryptocurrencies, I recommend doing your own research (DYOR) and understanding the markets and technologies before diving in.


Dropshipping is just like an eCommerce business, except you don't hold the inventories (physical goods) that you sell. 

Nope, it’s not magic. Let me explain. 

In dropshipping, you create an online store, list and promote images of the products you want to sell through your store. When a customer makes an order and pays upfront, you order the physical product from a manufacturer or supplier. They make and deliver the goods to your customer and you bag the profits.

Dropshipping allows you to sell any product from any supplier in the world, without bearing the production cost or taking inventories. Your market is not limited to Nigeria as you can ship products to customers anywhere they are in the world.

Dropshipping requires you to know your way around supplies both at home and abroad, especially sellers in China. The key to profitability is sorting for and selling hot-in-demand products, getting your online marketing right, and ensuring only quality products get delivered to customers.

Learn how to build a successful dropshipping business.

Drop servicing

Drop servicing is a relatively new business and one that you can start without investing a dime but grow into massive profits. Simply put, drops servicing pays you for being a middleman between clients and freelancers.


You find clients who will pay you for digital services you offer; for example, writing, coding, designing designs, et Cetra. Now, instead of doing these gigs yourself, you outsource them to freelancers who do the job. You pay your freelancers from payments collected for the gigs, deliver completed works to clients, and pocket the margin.

The goldmine in drop servicing is building that massive network of clients and freelancers. If you have the best of both, you’re in business! It’s important to ensure your pricing per gig suffices to cover your freelancer’s cost and your profit, but reasonable enough to not turn clients away.

Learn how to start a drop servicing business from scratch.

Information Marketing

Information marketing is basically selling information about particular topics to people over the internet. If you have in-depth knowledge about anything—say health, fitness, finance, relationship, et Cetra—you could package it as an eBook, video, or audio record and sell it to people.

But you don't need to have specialized knowledge to get into information marketing. You could research any hot topic your audience may be interested in, create an info-product from that and sell! Alternatively, there are a lot of private label rights (PLR) eBooks you can buy and resell as your own products. See top websites to download PLR eBooks.

This is one of the online businesses you can start with no money. To kick off the right way, I recommend:

-Picking high-demand, less-competitive niches

-Creating a standout product that un-sits competitors

-Marketing your information product (yes! Spend on ads!)

-Building a loyal customer base/fanbase (this makes repeat purchases easy)

Get started by learning how to build a profitable information business.

YouTube and Vlogging

In the time it would take you to read this section, Mark Angel Comedy would have made a couple more thousand dollars from their YouTube channel. With over 8 million subscribers and over 1 trillion views across all videos, Mark Angel and his crew are the highest-paid Nigerian YouTubers!

A YouTube channel can earn you passive income over time after you've uploaded videos, amassed subscribers and watch time, and monetized it. You could make videos about anything using just a smartphone and phone-based editing software, or professional videography equipment.

“But I’m camera-shy!” That’s ok. You can make YouTube videos using edited videos cuts or animations, without showing your face. To get started:

Once your channel has accumulated 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 views across videos, you can monetize it. Check out the top 7 ways to monetize a YouTube channel.

But YouTube isn't the only way to make money online vlogging. People earn thousands of dollars using other video platforms for creators too like Vimeo, Twitch, and even TikTok.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the biggest online cash cows for entrepreneurs. This is something you could infuse with other methods of online activities like blogging, YouTube, eCommerce, and more. 

Affiliate marketing is a business model that allows you to promote other businesses' products or services online through their affiliate program, and earn a commission on every sale made via your affiliate links.

Assuming a company's affiliate program (say Jumia) offers a 9% commission on products a buyer purchases through your link. If a person—through your blog, video ads, or social media posts—visits the company's online store and buys a product(s) worth N25,000, you get N2,250 (9% of N25,000).

Now, imagine 500 people buying N25,000 worth of goods on average, every month, via your links. That's N12,500,000 in sales for the company, and N1,125,000 hitting your bank balance every single month!

It gets better when you're affiliating with a foreign brand, like Amazon, and earning in dollars. Check out the best affiliate programs for a variety of niches worldwide and the top affiliate programs in Nigeria.

Here’s a complete guide to starting an affiliate marketing business in Nigeria.

Start a Digital Marketing Agency

You must have seen some ads on Facebook or Instagram promoting how they help businesses get more traffic or sell more products. These are marketing agencies run by people just like you.

There are a lot of small businesses in Nigeria that either do not have an online presence or are struggling to make sales. If you have a basic understanding of how to run ads on major platforms, you can help these businesses sell their products and get paid for them.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and recently, Tiktok are the ads platforms to master. However, diving into Search Engine ads, email marketing, display ads, and mobile marketing will give your business a competitive edge.

Once you've established yourself in this space, you'll easily get referrals from previous clients. Start by learning how to build a digital marketing agency in Nigeria.

Social Media Influencing/Marketing 

Marketing monies are moving from TV and radio stations and flowing to social media platforms where most Nigerians spend their free time.

So if you’ve amassed large followers on social media, you could make money promoting products from different brands to your audience. This is called social media influencing. It’s one way many Nigerian comedians and reality TV stars make money.

But you don't have to be an influencer to earn from social media. If you understand social media ads, content marketing and engagement, and how the algorithms work, you could help businesses build their social media audience and make sales.

For beginners, the best way to start is to learn and master one social media platform after another

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Just like building a marketing agency, once you've established yourself as the go-to social media guru, the money rolls in easily. Check out this free course on how to specialize in social media marketing.

Create an Online Course

More people are learning online today than in classrooms using their computers, internet connections, and, yep! Online courses. Therefore, making and selling online courses to teach people skills or concepts they want to learn can make you a lot of money. 

You can create a course around anything; be it designing, social skills, engineering, handicrafts, academics, business, sports, anything at all. Online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable and more, make it possible for you to sell your course to thousands of people around the world.

The key to succeeding in this space is delivering really valuable lessons in an easy-to-understand and enjoyable manner. If your content and teaching methods are dominant, more people would positively rate or review your course, increasing your chances of selling to even more people.

Interested? Here’s a guide to successfully creating and selling an online course.

Start Online Consultation

Online consultation is still a green money maker for many Nigerians. If you're an expert in any field, you could find people willing to pay you to counsel them on related matters.

You can start by building a social media profile (Facebook page or group, or Instagram account) for yourself and offer free value at first. When you've built a strong following, you monetize and start charging for your service.

Charging an hourly rate is ok, but it puts you in direct competition with other consultation services out there. Instead, make a package plan and let your clients pay a once-off fee for the total consultation. Prices can then vary depending on the duration of consultation, format, or services included in a package plan. 

Read this guide on how to charge consultation fees.

As your reputation as an expert consultant grows, you could offer your services to companies and large corporations. Here’s an insider tip: repackage rehearsal consultations on certain topics into videos or an online course and sell. 

Learn how to start an online consultation from home.

Websites Flipping

Do you know you can earn online buying and selling websites? Here’s how it works: 

You buy a cheap existing website from a marketplace, improve the website, and resell it for a much higher price. This was one of the earliest ways web developers made money online and it's still a cash cow today!

The most popular marketplaces to buy and sell websites are Flipper, Empire Flippers, and Digital Point Forum.

To succeed in this business, you need expert knowledge of web design and development, preferably in a niche. This knowledge would guide you in spotting defects on any website you're buying, and how to fix them. Most website flippers make use of content writers, and UI designers to flesh out web pages. However, the bulk of the programming, optimization, hosting, and other backend tasks required to turn a "not-so-great" website into a stunner, they do themselves.

If you are interested in website flipping, I recommend learning from The Website Flip. They are expert tutors in the business.

Domain Name Flipping

Closely tied to website flipping is domain name flipping. This involves creating or buying domains and reselling them at a higher price.

For example, you can buy domains as cheap as $10.99 on websites like NameCheap, and resell them for $100 or more on sites like,,, et Cetra. 

Alternatively, you can create new domain names that could be in demand in the future, register and host them for cheap, and put them up for sale. If done right, you can make thousands of dollars selling domain names you literally cooked up.

Domain flipping requires both technical web knowledge and creativity for spotting or making up premium domain names. There's a whole science to this, so I recommend learning more before getting started in this business. 

Online Surveys

One way you can earn some money online with minimal stress is by completing paid surveys on certain online platforms. Online surveys are basically helping brands collect or analyze data by answering specific questions.

Online surveys typically pay $0.50 to $3 of 10 to 20 minutes of your time. But your cumulative earnings across platforms over a period may add up. This is something you can do in your spare time to support other ways you earn. 

While some foreign survey sites do not support Nigerians, you can always find legit Nigerian survey platforms to earn from. Check out global top-rated survey sites for Nigeria.


Podcasters run "audio blogs" in the same way radio presenters host audio shows for a listening audience. If you love creating talk shows around a niche you're passionate about, you can start a podcast through an online platform. Some voice talent or training and audio editing skills are huge pluses, of course.

Once you've grown an audience over time, you can monetize your channel like you do a YouTube channel or a blog. You get paid by show sponsors, affiliate marketing (promoting your affiliate links), selling your merchandise, and membership support.

To start, you would need to create and host your podcast channel on a podcast hosting platform. Check out 31 podcast hosting platforms you can choose from. 

Here’s how to start and run a profitable podcast in Nigeria.

Self-publish eBooks

Online publishing involves researching and writing (mainly non-fiction) on any topic or field, and selling your works on ebook retail platforms. 

Amazon Kindle is the largest self-publishing and ebook retail platform available on any device and downloaded worldwide. With Amazon, you can sell books to readers globally and earn 70% on each sale. So if you've listed a book for $2.99, you would make $2.09 per book sold. 

There are other publishing platforms you can explore aside from Amazon Kindle. Also, leverage social media platforms to both drive traffic to your online bookstore and to sell directly to customers.

The key to succeeding as a self-publisher is to create valuable content and put in outstanding marketing work. It's important to get some positive reviews on your books as this helps rank them higher in search results on retail platforms.

For deeper insights into self-publishing, I recommend learning with Self-Publishing School. Start by reading these 9 steps to publish an ebook.

Trade Forex or Binary Options

Forex and/or binary options trading are complex but highly lucrative ways to make money online if you become an expert at them. 

Forex trading is about speculating on the rise or falls in the value of a currency pair—i.e. British Pound (GBP) against the US Dollar (USD)—for a profit. 

Binary options trading mirrors forex trading but deals with derived assets rather than real currencies pairs. Here, you’re basically predicting if the price of a particular asset would rise or fall against your market position.

A currency trading platform gives you access to these financial markets. Most platforms would provide you with a demo account where you can practice your trading skills before going LIVE with real money. Some also offer free trading courses for beginners. I highly recommend you take advantage of these resources. 

Once you’re confident of your trading skills, you can fund your account with the trading platform and trade the LIVE financial markets. With the right education, long-term practice, and patience, this can pay you enough to live your dream life.

Here’s one of my favourite free forex courses you can sign up for.

Sell Stock Photos

Are you a creative photographer? You can make money selling your photos online as stock images.

The easiest way to do this is by listing your images on third-party microstock websites like Shutterstock, Getty Images, and iStock. Many of these platforms pay up to 60% royalty to the photographer per sale. 

The big money-spinner, however, is to sell through your own website. Yes, this involves building a website from scratch, maintaining it, and marketing your business. But you'd enjoy presenting your photos how you want on your website, express yourself better, and keep 100% of each sale.

As a beginner, I recommend starting out with third-party platforms, using social media and your networks to grow. You can add your website later when your market is large enough. I recommend building on WordPress as it provides lots of plugins that support stock photo websites. 

If you're an already established photographer with a strong online following, you may already own a website. You can monetize your website and equally leverage both third-party platforms. 

Learn how to create stock photos that sell and more on building a stock photography business.

Opera News Hub

Opera news hub is one of the simplest ways to make money online by publishing trending news.

You don’t have to be exceptional at writing; you just need to be able to whip out trending news or attractive stories that can get traction. 

To start, you would need to create an account with the hub and verify it. Next, you create an Opay account (download the app on your mobile device) and link to your Opera new hub account. This is because you get paid only through the Opay app. 

After creating accounts, you can proceed to publish your posts. Each post goes through the Opera new hub review system before it's released to the public.

Depending on how much traction (clicks, likes, comments) your posts generate, you can easily make N100,000 or every month. However, you can request to withdraw your earnings once it gets to N5000 at any time.

See in detail how to make money with the Opera New Hub.

Phew! That’s 22 up. I promised to show you 3 more completely new and unexplored ways to make money online in Nigeria. Here they are;

3 Unexplored Ways to Make Money Online in Nigeria

Mint or Trade NFTs

This is a game-changer and arguably the newest way to make money online. NFTs are fast becoming the next big thing and it’s creating millionaires all over the world.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that represent unique ownership of an item, be it art, music, real estate, and more. Through a process called minting, the blockchain technology secures the unique identity of each NFT ensuring they cannot be changed, stolen, or replicated by anyone.

People buy NFTs as a store of value (just like physical arts), or to use them in building various digital projects like online games and virtual galleries or museums.

If you are a talented artist in Nigeria, you can start earning online by creating, minting, and selling NFTs on NFTs marketplaces. Check out these top 10 NFTs marketplaces. Even if you’re not an artist, you can make money buying and selling NFTs.

Some knowledge of cryptocurrencies is required to navigate this space. This is because pay for and are paid in cryptos like Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB). So it’s impossible to get started if you don’t own at least a crypto wallet.

NFTs are really more complex than presented here. I recommend researching extensively about the space before signing up. Start by watching this video.

Print on Demand

Print on demand (POD) is a business model whereby you work with a supplier of a white-label product to customize and ship the product to customers on a pre-order basis. Like dropshipping, you hold no inventory and do not pay for the product until you've sold it.

If you’re an artist or graphic designer, you can expand your income by selling print-on-demand products. All you need to do is create samples of your designs on various products; apparel, stationery, souvenirs, documents, etc. (Look up Etsy for print design inspirations. Thank me later!) You could also hire freelance designers to assist.

Once your designs are ready, create your online store on either a marketplace like Etsy, Teespring, or Merch by Amazon, or an eCommerce platform like Shopify and BigCommerce. This is where you source products you can place designs on, and where you upload photos of the finished works.

Next, look for a POD company to partner with. These platforms allow you to upload photos of products with your designs on them. Once done, you can list them on your online store.

Now when a customer orders a product with particular designs from your online store, you contact the product supplier to send the product to your POD provider where the real designs are printed on it. You then ship it directly to the customer via your online store and bag the profit. The customer pays for everything in this process, from the product to printing services and shipping costs.

POD is still a new concept in the Nigerian online business space. Starting now would give you a local competitive edge while exposing your designs to a global market. Here’s a guide to starting your POD business from scratch.

Rent Your Home on Airbnb

Airbnb is an American online marketplace for lodging and vacation rentals. Not a lot of people know that Airbnb now operates in Lagos, Ibadan, and Abuja and that Nigerians are making money with it.

Airbnb allows you to list your apartment online and make money when people rent it for a period. Think of it as the Uber or Taxify of home rentals. You could host a guest for a day, 2 nights, or whatever the deal is and make as high as $700 a month.

If you don't mind sharing your living space, this can make you money. It's even better if you have lots of rooms to spare in your home. 

For now, apartments listed on Airbnb are in the high-end regions of the cities where the company operates. In time, they could enter more regions and give more people access to rent their homes for income.

Start hosting your home here. And since you're reading this piece, here are 15 steps to turn Airbnb rentals into a full-time business in Nigeria


Making legit money online is never a get-rich-quick as many would think. It would require time and effort before it pays off. Don't forget to learn the skills required to succeed in any of these methods listed here.

Let me know what you think about this list in the comments. If you've enjoyed this piece, why not share it with friends? Heck! Share with everyone in your network!

Here's everything you need to know to register and protect your trademark in Nigeria.

First, let's start with...

Understanding Trademarks

A trademark is a word, phrase, design, sign, or symbol that distinguishes your goods or brand from that of another. The look, spelling, or pronunciation of your trademark must be distinctive and easily identified with your business.

When you register a trademark, laws protect the articles (word, phrase, design, sign, or symbol) preventing others from using them, therefore, preventing incidences of piracy.

You can trademark anything aside from the above, be it a letter, numerical, signature, style, colour, device, ticket, or label, depending on your type of business. However, you cannot trademark:

The distinctiveness of your trademark is a crucial factor to consider during a trademark. A mark cannot be trademarked if it lacks any distinctive properties or if the language has become customary in the country of origin or is contrary to public order, according to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

Take, for instance, Wakanow, a travel brand in Nigeria. “Waka” is customary pidgin for “come” or “go,” while “now” is a more commonplace word. On their own, they may not merit a trademark for a travel company, but “Wakanow” makes a valuable trademark due to its distinctiveness.

Example of a Trademark

Types of Trademark

Before registering trademarks, it is essential to distinguish among the different trademarks to find out which is best suited to protect your brand. Failure to understand this could lead to serious mistakes causing lawsuits or, at worst, outright dismissal of your trademark registration.

I’ve grouped these trademarks into general and specific categories:

General Types of Trademarks

Specific Types of Trademarks

Whether general or specific, for a mark to stand as a protective article, it must be classified either as registered or trademarked (more on these later in this guide). This is where familiar symbols like ™, ®, and © come into play.

Let’s discuss these symbols next.

Trademark Symbols

Trademark Symbols - The Difference Between ™ and ®

There are two major kinds of trademark symbols: the ™ (superscript TM) and the ® (R in circle).

The ™

™ stands for “Trademark.” It denotes that the mark attached to the symbol is to be trademarked, but makes no claim as to the registration status.

It's always a good idea to attach ™ to the word or other marks you intend to trademark while applying for registration. This may help to protect the mark until it is registered.

The ®

® shows that a trademark has been registered. Adding the ® to your trademarks protects them from becoming generic and gives you the right to prosecute for trademark infringements. In many jurisdictions, Nigeria included, it is illegal to make use of the ® without an actual registration.

Other symbols

Other types of trademark symbols are the copyright symbol ©, and the record producer/performer symbol ℗, both applying to the creative industry.

The ℠ (superscript SM: service mark) symbol carries the same meaning as ™ but is used for unregistered service marks. The ℠ is dominantly used in the United States, as other jurisdictions apply ™ to both goods and services.

How to Select a Good Mark to Trademark

Before running off to the trademark registry, you may want to have a pre-determined name, slogan, logo, or any other article for trademarking.

So, how do you go about crafting a mark that gets the "thumbs up"?

For one, you can outrightly hire the services of an accredited trademark lawyer to advise on valid business names or marks you can use. (More on trademark lawyers below).

Alternatively, you could craft your business marks yourself (name, logo, slogan, colour, etc.) and propose them for trademarking.

Here are five (5) points to guide you:

Already thinking of the perfect trademark for your business? Fantastic!

Now, let’s proceed to the major focus of this guide:

Registering a Trademark

Registering A Trademark in Nigeria

Trademark registration in Nigeria is governed by the following relevant laws:

  1. The Trade Marks Act 1965
  2. The Trade Marks Regulations 1967
  3. Trade Marks Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990
  4. The Merchandise Mark Act, CAP M10 LFN 2004
  5. Trade Marks Act, CAP T13 LFN 2004

Other laws containing trademark provisions are:

  1. The Trademark Malpractice (Miscellaneous Offence), CAP T12 LFN 2004
  2. The Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015

Trademarks are registered in Nigeria through the Trademarks, Patents and Design Registry — a registry under the Commercial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Registering a Trademark in Nigeria

There are five (5) major steps involved in registering a trademark in Nigeria. These are:

Let’s dive into the details:

The first step required of you in registering your trademark is to conduct a preliminary search for the availability of your proposed mark. (You must have done your homework and decided on the article(s) you intend to trademark. I covered that in the first section of this guide.)

In Nigeria, you would require the services of an accredited trademark agent to examine the official records of the Trademarks Patents and Designs Registry through their online portal. This service attracts a fee (usually around ₦33,000 ($80) to ₦50,000 ($120) depending on the agent) because only accredited agents have access to search the records and they pay for conducting such searches.

But since you’re reading this guide, here are a few strategies you can use to perform simple trademark searches yourself before deciding on hiring a search agent:

Please note that these suggestions mostly apply to IT or internet-based businesses.

Now, if your self-searches do not yield results or self-search does not apply to your class of business, hiring an accredited agent is the best alternative.

This search is conducted by an accredited agent through the official records to ensure the proposed trademark does not infringe on existing trademarks or trademarks filed for registration. Usually, agents conduct searches through the registry’s online portal, but searches can also be done in person at the registry’s office in Abuja.

The search must be conducted at the appropriate trademark class, meaning if a single trademark is to be registered in multiple classes, the search must be conducted in each of the classes. (See trademark classification in section 4 of this guide.)

Once a completed search proves your proposed trademark doesn’t conflict with existing or filed trademarks, your agent will clear you and the application process can begin.

Step 2: Trademark Application

Also known as “filing,” this process starts with submitting your (searched) articles for trademarking at the registry and receiving an Acknowledgement Letter from the trademark registrar. The letter contains your application details and that of the mark to be registered. It is usually issued twenty-four (24) hours from submission.

It’s important to note that the letter issued here is only an acknowledgement of the application and NOT an acceptance of the trademark. The trademark can still be refused registration even after a successful search.

Trademark filing is usually done online by accredited agents via the online portal of the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry. Further payments are to be made at this stage for processing the application. These are called filing fees.

Once your trademark has been filed, buckle up for the moment of truth.

Step 3: Acceptance or Refusal

The acceptance or refusal of a filed mark depends on the discovery of infringement on existing trademark(s). Here, the registry decides on whether to accept or reject your filed mark.

Where the filed mark is cleared for registration, the registry will accept, register the trademark, and issue you an Acceptance Letter. But when the mark is found to conflict with existing trademarks or is a mark that cannot be registered, a Refusal Letter will be issued.

If you get a Refusal Letter, I suggest you plan a better mark and discuss it with a trademark lawyer before reapplying.

A trademark may be registered either plainly (black and white) or in colour. When a trademark is registered in colour, the protection afforded is limited to the colour(s) registered. A plain (black and white) registration protects the trademark at all times.

The entire decision process takes 4-6 weeks.

Step 4: Publication

Once your trademark has been registered, it will be processed for publication in the Nigerian Trademark Journal. Publicized trademarks are also listed on the publication page of the Trademarks, Patents, and Designs Registry. The process usually takes thirty-two (32) weeks or more.

This publication contains full details about the trademark and its proprietor. Just think of it as a mini advertisement screaming, “Say hello to the newest trademark in town!”

Once your trademark is published, any person or organisation who considers the trademark a conflict with theirs (or any pre-existing trademark) has a two-month window to protest to the registry to stop such registration. They can do this by filing a "notice of opposition."

If such opposition comes up, the registry notifies and asks you to respond with a counter-statement. Your statement must defend your mark and explain why you are entitled to it.

The response window is one (1) month from receiving the notice. Failure to respond within this period is deemed an abandonment of the trademark application.

In a situation when you provide a counter-statement to the notice of opposition, the registry will make up a tribunal to resolve the conflict among the contending parties. If resolved in your favour, the Certificate of Trademark Registration will be issued to you.

However, if there are no oppositions after two (2) months of publication, you can apply for and get your trademark certificate.

Step 5: Certification

Once you’ve made it to this stage of the registration process, you can very well pop a bottle of champagne.

A trademark certificate is a license that declares you the legal owner of a registered trademark. It gives you full rights to use the trademark to the excursion of any other entity and confers rights to prosecute for infringements.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Now, you’re thinking, “Ok, how much would these cost me?” Good question! We cover that in the next subsection.

Cost of registering a Trademark

Cost of Trademark Registration in Nigeria

The cost of registering a trademark includes all the fees paid at various stages of the process; specifically the search, filing, certification, and professional fees paid to a trademark lawyer or accredited agent handling the registration.

Considering that fees vary from agent to agent, the total cost of registering a trademark range from ₦105,000 ($250) to ₦290,000 ($700).

Another factor that influences the cost of registration is the number of trademark classes a mark is registered into. The average cost of registration applies to only one class (called First Class). However, if you wish to register your trademark in more classes, additional charges will apply per class. This range from ₦83,000 ($200) to ₦124,000 ($300) per class, again depending on your agent.

A third influential factor is whether the trademark is owned by a local or international organisation or by an individual. Foreign-owned trademarks attract higher fees compared to local-owned ones.

You are at liberty to process a trademark registration up to the Acceptance stage for a start, intending to complete the certification stage later.

I recommend engaging a single agent or lawyer to manage the entire registration process. This will allow you to bargain for better individual fees and maybe, if you're lucky, get discounts.

Duration of Trademark Registration

The duration for registering a trademark in Nigeria is usually 12 to 18 months when there are no oppositions. Certification may, however, take a longer period when there are oppositions to a registered trademark.

Here’s an estimated breakdown of the timeframe:

Basic requirements for Trademark Registration

You will be required to provide the following for trademark registration:

Where to Register Trademarks in Nigeria

The office of the trademark registry is at the Trademark, Patents and Design Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Area 1, Garki, Abuja. There are no other branches of the registry nationwide.

Since you might need the help of accredited agents to commerce registration at the Registrar, many accredited agents offer full registration services at their offices scattered nationwide.

All you need to do is find and research selected accredited agents, run negotiations through each one and appoint the agent you think offers the best services at the best rates.

You can find accredited agents using the online portal of the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry, conducting a simple Google search, or speaking with legal practitioners in your network.

Lifespan and Renewal of Trademarks

A registered trademark is valid for seven (7) years from registration and can be renewed after this period.

An application for the renewal of a trademark registration must be made three (3) months before the expiration of a current license. Each renewed trademark lasts for fourteen (14) years.

The requirements for renewing a trademark are:

Assignment of Trademarks

Imagine the need arises for a close associate of yours or business partner to leverage your trademark for a specific period. Imagine that the use of your trademark for some time was a requirement for a partnership deal you’re working on. What do you do in this situation?

The law allows a trademark titleholder to assign such trademark to another person or entity for usage for a while.

To do this, either you (the assignor) or the other entity (the assignee) may apply at the trademark registry for the recording of such trademark rights or title in favour of the assignee for a specified period.

However, the assignee should apply for this recording themselves. This is because the holder of a trademark right may enforce such a right against any infringing third party.

To assign a trademark, you would need:

Revocation or Cancellation of Trademark

Simply registering a trademark doesn’t mean you can shove it under the bed for all eternity.

Sections 31, 38, and 56 of the Nigerian Trade Mark Act empower the registry or a court to cancel a registered trademark on grounds of non-use or applications challenging the validity of a trademark.

Below are the grounds for cancellation of a registered trademark:

This is why I cannot emphasize enough the importance of thoroughly researching and understanding your mark before creation or registration. I recommend you put your mark to use before and after registration to avoid trademark revocation for non-use.

Should you ever face trademark cancellation proceedings, it would be wise to engage the services of an intellectual property rights lawyer to handle your case.

Self Registration vs Using a Trademark Lawyer

A trademark lawyer (also known as accredited agents here in Nigeria) is a lawyer who has expertise in trademark laws, designs, and practice. Their role is to provide legal advice and assistance in fields relating to trademark laws and practice.

A trademark lawyer must be an authorized lawyer or an agent accredited by the Trademark, Patents and Design Registry.

Now, whether the appointment of a trademark lawyer is necessary is debatable.

In theory, any layperson to register a trademark can apply themselves without the help of a trademark lawyer. However, certain rules regarding trademark registration in Nigeria make it impossible to skip the services of a lawyer.

For example, only accredited agents may conduct trademark searches using the records of the Trademark Patents and Design Registry. Furthermore, the Power of Attorney appointing the trademark agent remains a required document for performing actions like trademark registration, renewal, and assignment.

As discussed earlier, it is entirely possible to conduct a trademark search yourself without the help of an agent. You would not get access to the registry’s record, though. Aside from that, you would require an agent to forge ahead with the registration.

So yes, using a lawyer gets the upper hand.

But, hey! There is a lot to benefit from appointing a trademark lawyer. Let’s see those quickly:

Why Appoint a Trademark Lawyer?

Now that we’ve seen why appointing a trademark lawyer is essential, we must measure the benefits of registering your trademark against the risk of not doing so.

Registered and Unregistered Trademarks

Registered and Unregistered Trademarks

Benefits of Registering a Trademark

The most obvious advantage of registering your trademark is, of course, protecting your business mark from infringement. But there's more. Here’s why trademark registration is a good idea:

Next, we explore the

Risks Associated with Using Unregistered Trademarks

It’s not uncommon for businesses to proceed using unregistered trademarks. Many big brands and startups in Nigeria operate with unregistered marks.

While it is entirely possible to start a business in Nigeria without registering your marks, the associated risks, potential roadblocks, and liabilities cannot be denied.

Here are reasons why you might want to avoid using unregistered trademarks:

This brings us to the next subsection.

Famous/Well-Known Trademarks

A famous or well-known trademark is one that enjoys special treatment given its widespread recognition or reputation among the public.

Well-known (foreign) trademarks enjoy infringement protection in most countries, whether they are registered in that region or not. The holders of unregistered well-known trademarks in Nigeria can sue for trademark infringement of any form, even though holders of other unregistered marks cannot.

These protections are important for famous marks because they are a big target for pirates.

Therefore, an unregistered trademark can earn the full protection of a registered trademark if it attains the status of a well-known mark.

While I recommend registering your trademark from the onset of your business, the ultimate decision to register or not is yours. Use it wisely.

That said, we move to the various classes of trademarks in Nigeria. If you desire a trademark registration free of complications, this section is for you.

Classification of Trademark

Classification of Trademarks

Trademark classifications differentiate groups of trademarked goods and services with similar nomenclature from another group.

To ensure international uniformity in the classification of trademarks worldwide, the Nice Classification (NCL) was drawn up from the 1957 Nice Agreement to establish a classification of goods and services to register trademarks.

45 different trademark classes were created as a result, with Goods listed from classes 1 to 34 and Services completing classes 35 to 45.

A new edition of the Nice Classification is published annually since 2013. Below, I summarize the 45 classes of Trademark according to the 2021 (11th) edition of the NCL:

Goods Classes

Services Classes


You can register your trademark under one or more of the classes listed above. Registration into any class attracts a fee, as earlier explained. Registration into multiple classes would attract extra costs per class. (See cost estimates in section 2.2 above.)

I recommend you thoroughly discuss with an accredited agent to understand the class(es) your trademark(s) fall into before registration. Once a trademark is registered in a class, it cannot be undone.

"Diligent research" is the watchword when it comes to trademarking in Nigeria. Use it at each stage of your process: from crafting the letters that would eventually represent your brand to doubling checking your marks even after publication.

Beyond registration, look at ways you can monetize your trademark. It is an asset after all and can be worth a lot of money in the future. Engage an intellectual property lawyer to help with this.

Yes, registering a trademark in Nigeria is tedious. Nurturing it after that is no fun, either. But the potential rewards it generates can pay off for a lifetime.

What are your thoughts on or experiences with trademark registration in Nigeria? I would love to know in the comments. Also, if you need clarification regarding any aspect of trademarking in Nigeria, drop your inquiries; I’d be happy to assist.

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